From The Nutritionist

Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN
Guest Author:
Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN

On-the-go Snacking for Summer Adventure

It’s June, and when I think of summer the first thing that comes to mind is vacation and travel! In my free time, I like to do anything outside, especially visiting new places and trying new foods. The summer months are the perfect time to put my favorite hobbies into action!

Whether I am hiking, biking, beaching, or traveling abroad, I ALWAYS pack snacks and staple foods to keep me fueled when I am on the go.

On one particular trip, my husband and I were waiting at the airport for an adventure and our flight was delayed until the following morning. At that time of the night, the airport restaurants were closed and leaving the terminal for a hotel did not make sense. The only available fare in the terminal was from the junk-laden vending machines. (Have you ever noticed that when you cannot have something, you would give anything to have it?) Luckily, I was prepared with pre-packed snacks. Unfortunately, a mother traveling with her three small children was forced to hit up the vending machine for chips, cookies, and candy bars.

It was that moment I realized that packing nutritious snacks for trips should be a part of every traveler’s checklist. As a dietitian, I see the value in educating others on healthful ways to do just that and avoid a food access emergency. Instead of digging for loose change or dollar bills to feed the vending machine, grab a nutritious pre-packed snack and save that money for souvenirs!

Air travel, in particular, affects what you are able to transport, and where you travel limits what goods you can bring with you. When on a road trip, hiking, or at the beach, you have more options. The following are my tips for better-for-you travel snacks no matter where adventure takes you this summer.

Road Trippin’!
Road trips are a great way to travel and bring the comforts and conveniences of home with you. If you are traveling via a car, a cooler is a great way to pack perishables for snacks along the way so you can skip the drive through window. Be sure to store foods at appropriate temperatures to prevent the potential for food borne illnesses.

Here are some of my favorite cooler friendly snacks:

  • Turkey and cheese sandwiches halved and individually wrapped
  • Fresh fruit such as apples and oranges
  • String cheese
  • Fruit/yogurt tubes can be frozen and put in the cooler as a frozen yogurt treat on the road!
  • Bolthouse Farms® Veggie Snackers

Non-perishable snack-and-go for the road:

Hotel-friendly microwaveable snacks:

Up, up, up and away – Nonperishable, TSA-friendly snacks
Traveling via airplanes means snacks should be shelf stable and meet Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements such as the fluid limit of 3.4 oz. in carry-on bags.1 Fluids include yogurt and fruit pouches. Unless you are willing to give up precious toiletry space, eat your perishables before security or be prepared to share them with your friendly TSA agents.

Air travel friendly snacks:

  • Dried fruit and nuts are easy to pack snacks that are satisfying, sweet, and savory. (Note: If you are traveling internationally be sure to check the customs website before you leave. Some countries have strict biosecurity laws on the types of foods you may bring with you. In general, commercially prepared dried fruit and nuts are acceptable.)
  • Protein bars with 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber - an easy way to power you up for a day of sightseeing!
  • Goldfish® Cheddar Made with Whole Grain Crackers or Goldfish® Grahams - I like to stock my purse with these grab and go snacks.
  • Whole grain cereal - in individual snack bags for vitamin fortified snacking
  • Empty water bottle. I never get on a plane without a water bottle-As long as it is empty, you will get through security without a problem and can fill it up once you get to your gate. This is an easy way to save money and stay hydrated!

Visit a local grocer!
One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new food. Whether you are going abroad or staying stateside, every region has unique products and iconic dishes just waiting to tantalize your taste buds. Visiting local grocers can help you stock up on snacks to keep you moving and provide opportunities to try something new!

Wherever your adventures lead you this summer, be prepared with on-the-go snacks and experience local fare along the way!

Live Deliciously,
Dani

Credentials per Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, CDE

Bio
Arielle “Dani” Lebovitz is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.) and health communications professional. Dani is currently the Sports Dietitian at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Georgia. She manages: health education program development, implementation, and evaluation; event planning for health fairs and 5k races; speaking engagements and briefings; newsletter content and editing; and, marketing communications and social media. Dani writes, edits, produces, develops recipes, and hosts “Dani’s Delicious Dish,” a weekly, web-based Facebook series endorsed by Air Force Medical Services that helps people live better, healthier lives (YouTube: Dani’s Delicious Dish). She holds a Master’s of Science in Health Communication from Boston University and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She also holds two specialty certifications as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Dani’s passion is educating children about nutrition to help foster healthy and “fruitful” relationships with real food.

1. Transportation Security Administration Accessed April 8th, 2015

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.