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7 Healthy Travel Snacks7 Healthy Travel Snacks


Travel snacks

While traveling, it can be tempting to opt for the convenience of vending machine or gas station snacks. However, with a bit of preparation, you can have tasty and nutritious snacks on hand for whenever hunger strikes.

Fruit and Vegetable Kabobs

Fruit and vegetable kabobs pack well in a cooler and are easy to handle on a road trip. Choose fruits and vegetables that can be cut into ready-to-eat pieces that easily slide onto a wooden skewer. Apples, pears, melon, plums, strawberries, and pineapple are good fruit choices. Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, celery, and bell peppers are good vegetable choices. A skewer with two medium strawberries, two bell pepper pieces, two cauliflower florets, and two cherry tomatoes has about 25 calories.

Cucumber Cups

Cut a cucumber into pieces about 2 ½ inches thick. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the center. You want to create a hollow section to hold a filling. Fill the cucumber cups with hummus, tuna salad, or bean salad for an easy travel snack. One cucumber cup with two teaspoons of store-bought hummus has about 24 calories.

Homemade Snack Mix

When you make snack mix, you control what goes into it, and you can divide it into proper portions for each traveler. For a single serving with 260 calories, combine 20 pretzels twists, one tablespoon of dried cranberries, one tablespoon of sunflower seeds, and one tablespoon of chocolate chips.

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasting chickpeas turns them into a healthy snack that is easy to pack in your travel bag. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and drain one 15-oz can of chickpeas. Dry off the chickpeas and put them in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and two teaspoons of your favorite seasonings. Try cumin and chili powder, dill and garlic powder, or curry powder. Toss to coat the chickpeas in the oil and seasonings, and then spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, and then allow them to cool. One-fourth cup of roasted chickpeas has 67 calories.

Kale Chips

If you haven't tried kale chips yet, you will be amazed how a dark, leafy green can be turned into a crispy snack. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the stems from one bunch (about 1 lb) of kale. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add seasonings such as garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake the kale for about 15 minutes or until the edges darken and become crispy. This will make six servings. Each serving has about 33 calories.

Cold Soups

Cold soups are great options when you need something filling but lack the tools to heat a meal. A soup such as gazpacho is full of vegetables and best served cold. Gather three peeled and chopped tomatoes, one large peeled cucumber, one red bell pepper, half of an onion, four cups of tomato juice without salt, a quarter cup of fresh basil leaves, one teaspoon of salt, and a quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper. Divide the ingredients so you can puree them in batches. Add about half of the ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and continue to puree the vegetables in batches until the soup is complete. Combine the purees and refrigerate. This makes six servings with 65 calories each.

Snack Wraps

Snack wraps can easily be made at home and work well for sweet and savory ingredients. You can leave them whole for a meal or cut them into smaller pieces for snacking. For a sweet wrap low in added sugar, mash one tablespoon of natural peanut butter with half a ripe banana. Spread on a whole wheat tortilla, and roll up. Half of a wrap contains 148 calories.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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