6 TOP Travel Snacks

photo-9Traveling makes healthy eating a bit more challenging. Whether you go by car, train or plane, when you aren’t in your normal environment, it’s just easier to get off track and forget about your meal routine. And while you shouldn’t try to lose weight when on vacation, you don’t want to backtrack either. So taking a few minutes to pack snacks for your trip will help prevent you from stopping at the corner stop for a candy bar or pulling into the fast food lane for a milkshake and fries. That being said, some convenient stores and airport vendors do have healthy snacks to choose from. You just have to choose wisely. Here are a few suggestions for healthy snacks to bring along on your trip.

  1. Nuts: Great source of healthy omega-3 fats, fiber and plant proteins. Nuts are also calorie dense, so just a small handful (1/4 cup) can be pretty satisfying and hold off your hunger for your next meal. Choose any kind you want- roasted peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc or make a variety pack. Measure them out and put in baggies.
  2. Fresh Fruit: Choose less perishable fruit, such as bananas, grapes, apples, plums and apricots. Fruit is hydrating, full of nutrients and low in calories, so it can be a good way to satisfy the munchies that pop up during a long trip.
  3. Raw Vegetables: Great for a road trip. If you can bring along a cooler, pre-wash and cut veggies such as radishes, carrots, fennel and celery. Place all in a plastic bag and put on ice. These make a great dipper for hummus or homemade ranch using plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
  4. Popcorn: Popcorn is actually a whole grain. Pop up a batch and flavor it yourself with garlic powder, onion powder,rosemary, oregano, pepper, sea salt or even hot sauce for a kick. Or to keep it simple, pick up the 100 calorie bag servings at the grocery store for built-in portion control.
  5. Trail Mix: Make your own! Mix together a whole grain cereal such as Wheat Chex or plain Cheerios, nuts, dried fruit and dark chocolate pieces. Place in individual baggies.. This snack doesn’t require refrigeration so can last the length of your trip.
  6.  Energy Bars: Choose those with few ingredients, low in added sugar ( 6 or less grams of sugar per serving), contain some protein (more than 3 grams) and fiber (at least 3 grams per serving). Kind Bars and Lara Bars are excellent choices because they are satisfying, tasty and contain more “whole food” ingredients. If you don’t pack ahead, good news! Most of the aforementioned items can be found at most convenient stores or airport vendors. Happy snacking!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN is an award-winning Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, author, blogger and speaker. She the author of the new ebook The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad (Nirvana Press 2014) and The Teen Eating Manifesto (Nirvana Press 2012.). Lisa is the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of The Year from The New York Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Her expertise includes teen and adult weight management, travel nutrition and diabetes. Lisa loves to ignite passion in her clients for the taste of delicious and healthy plant-based foods. She consults with clients in Huntington, New York and on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. To find out more about Lisa or to schedule a nutrition appointment, please visit here.

Airport Nutrition 101: How To Make The Best Choices

logan-airport_01

You may feel that once you hit the entrance of the airport for vacation, you’ve got a pass to indulge in all food that comes your way. However, we all know you’ve worked so hard to maintain a healthy weight, you don’t have to throw it out the window for a cinnamon bun, ribs and draft beer in one sitting. With simple strategic tips, you can kick off your vacation, yes, still at the airport, without overloading on calories, excess sugar and fat. In addition, since traveling can cause an increased risk of dehydration, constipation, circulatory problems and added stress, it’s more imperative than ever to be more mindful of how to select healthier options.

While each airport prides itself on their unique layout, many airports share the same staples of restaurants and food options, which is great for us, as a lot of the following tips can be used for domestic and international airports. Instead of just providing broad suggestions, we’ve taken a closer look into some fliers favorite go to kiosks, providing suggestions on how to opt for the less guilt free version of foods.

Tips for healthier airport beverage options:

• At Starbucks, skip a 16 oz. Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage with caramel sauce, milk, ice and whipped cream and opt for Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage with ice and milk, this will slash more than half the calories

Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage

Caramel Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage

Calories

410

140

Carbohydrates

37 g

29 g

Fat

3g

0g

Fiber

0g

0g

Protein

6g

3g

Sodium

100 mg

0 mg

Or, better yet, just drink it black (5 calories!).

Smart Tips For Healthy Airport Eating

1. When choosing salads, ask for the dressing on the side, or better yet, stick with olive oil and vinegar.

2. Choose fiber rich fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants. Many airport kiosks offer bananas, oranges and/or apples to go. Fresh fruit is a great airplane snack.

3. Prior to heading to airport, research airport’s website for the best place to grab a healthy meal. If you’re short on time for searching, Starbuck’s usually has healthy options.

4. Bring healthy, portable snacks with you to enjoy on your flight (i.e. apples, peanut butter sandwiches, carrots, nuts, dried fruit, etc). This is truly the best option if you have the time to pack up some food.

5. Before picking the first restaurant you see at the airport, take a lap around the terminal and check out what’s offered. Who knows, you may find a new favorite.

6. Stay hydrated by purchasing bottled water or unsweetened iced tea.

7. Avoid rich, greasy, fried foods as it can trigger acid reflux (also known as GERD) or an upset stomach on flight.

8. Aim for lower salt foods to avoid feeling bloated during your flight. Good choices to bring along include fresh fruit, cut up raw vegetables and unsalted nuts.

If you’re looking for a bit more direction in what to eat, look no further than your smartphone! With the Calorie King app, created and maintained by registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), it identifies menu options and their nutrition facts from over 200 chain restaurants, so you can make the best choices, whether traveling or at home. By using the above tips, your next flight and vacation should go smoothly, with a bit of healthy flavor, too!

Lisa Stollman, MA, RDN, CDE, CDN was recently honored as the 2015 Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The Trim Traveler: How to Eat Healthy and Stay Fit While Traveling Abroad. For more info on Lisa, please visit here.  Special thanks to Nikki Nies for helping with the writing of this post.