11 Best snacks to pack when you're traveling
There's nothing worse than being absolutely starving while on a long flight or other means of travel. This ravenous hunger can lead to making poor choices when you actually get the chance eat, because you're simply famished.
You should be eating several small meals a day to keep your blood sugar levels normal and your metabolism on track. When you're traveling, that might not always be the easiest goal to achieve. Since some of our recommended snacks will need to stay cold, consider purchasing an insulated bag big enough for an ice pack. These handy (and often attractive) bags keep your eats and drinks nice and fresh for up to 10 hours. You can also store small plates, bowls and utensils, which will help you stay in control of when and how you eat your mini meals.
Try packing snacks that are filled with healthy fats, protein and fiber and that will work to keep your hunger level in check. Here are some options for you to consider:
Oatmeal contains insoluble fiber that stays in the stomach longer, making you feel full for an extended period of time. Grab a few single-serve bags of plain oatmeal to bring along with you. These are easily made by adding hot water, which you can find in airports and on most airlines. (Tea, anyone?)
Granola has a long list of vitamins and minerals, including dietary fibers, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc, to name a few. It can be paired with fresh berries for a jam-packed health party in your mouth. Pack granola in a ziplock bag to prevent staleness.
3. Single-serve peanut butter
Grab a single-serve packet of peanut butter to smear on a banana for a snack that's full of protein, omega-3s, fiber, vitamin C and potassium. The protein and fiber are a great combination to keep you fuller longer.
4. Cheese and crackers
Since you already have the ice pack keeping your goodies cool, you might as well throw in some single-serve slices of cheese and a few wheat or multigrain crackers. Crackers made with whole grains provide a good source of dietary fiber and also contain protein. If you're thinking about what cheese to pack, consider that an ounce of cheddar cheese has 7 grams of protein, while an equivalent serving of Swiss cheese has 7.6 grams.
5. Raw veggie sticks
You already know that raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers and red peppers are excellent healthy options to snack on anytime, anywhere. Each contain their own long list of vitamins and minerals and are oftentimes enjoyed plain and without a dip. If that's not your preference, consider packing a single-serve packet of hummus or yogurt dip in your bag.
6. Dry cereal
Most ready-to-eat dry cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, vitamin B6 and B12. Opt for a variety with less than 3 grams of sugar per serving. Pour a few cups into a ziplock bag, and enjoy dry or with some milk, which you know you can find in airports and on most airlines. (Would you like milk with your coffee?) Also, don't forget you already packed a bowl in your insulated bag!
7. Protein bars
Frankly, the main benefit to protein bars is their convenience. Look for bars that are low in sugar and calories. Try to eat just one in any sitting so you don't overdo it.
8. Hard-boiled eggs
Sure, they might smell bad, but hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and good fats that are also packed with vitamins. What more could you ask for? One large hard-boiled egg is 80 calories. If you're looking to cut out all the fat, then just scoop out the egg yolk.
9. Fresh fruit
Fresh fruits like apples and oranges come with their very own packaging — their skin! Apples, when eaten with the skin, have 4.4 grams of fiber, which makes these treats a satisfying snack. Oranges provide 97 milligrams of vitamin C, fulfill your requirement for daily potassium intake and are packed with folate.
Dates are a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. They contain essential minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and K. Dates are often categorized as a laxative food, so be extremely cautious of your intake. Read: Don't eat 10 of them in one sitting!
Nuts like almonds and peanuts are simply a powerhouse of nutrition. They are high in calories (mostly from healthy fats), so try to eat only a small handful — 1 ounce — at a time. A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted almonds has 170 calories but 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. The same portion of peanuts is 166 calories, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.
Now, where are we going on vacation?