Affordable and Healthy Travel Snacks

Thursday, July 14, 2016

You’ve saved for the perfect trip and packed with precision. Now is the time to think about how to avoid the extra costs that might bust your budget. If there is one thing that you know you will spend money on, it’s food. With the right planning, a little extra packing, and maybe a bit of cooking you can spend less on snacks and save your money for the souvenirs that are bound to catch your eye.

Shop Before You Go
…because you may not find exactly what you want on the road.

Granola Bars:

A nourishing snack on their own or a small meal when paired with a Greek yogurt, protein rich bars such as Kashi Chewy Granola Bars or Nature Valley Chewy Protein Bars are a good choice. Better yet, save some money (and control all of the ingredients) with this simple recipe for Oat and Dried Fruit Bars.

Trail Mix:

Go for (dry roasted, low or no salt) nuts and maybe a bit of dried fruit. Avoid trail mixes with added sugar, fat, and calories (AKA “clusters”). Keep it easy to pack by taking advantage of small bags that can be enjoyed on their own, used as a topping for yogurt, or combined with whole grain cereal to create a satiating power bowl. Or try making this Kids Crunch Trail Mix ahead of time and packing in convenient snack size bags.

Nut and Seed Butter Packets: 
Bring along peanut, almond, sunflower or soy butter packets and you know that you have the start to a better breakfast or light lunch at your fingertips. Take this a step further by packing small bags of crackers for an affordable, super snack.

Boxed Meals: 
If you haven’t come across boxed meals like these from GoPicnic on your grocer’s shelves, then I suggest checking them out. Available in allergy sensitive/gluten free varieties, these boxes don’t require refrigeration and offer a nice balance of nutrients (especially for younger travelers).

Chia on-the-go: 
Can’t bear to be without your Chia? Pick up Mamma Chia Squeeze or Health Warrior Chia Bars.

Just add water: 
Protein rich oatmeal cups, low sodium dehydrated soups and the like that just require hot water can fill you up for free when you are travelling and are easy to pack.

Good ol’ Snacks: 
Be sure to grab some better-for-you snacks like small bags of light popcorn, “popped” corn, rice or seaweed snacks, and other low calorie, low sodium selections. You will likely want a snack and buying them ahead of time will save you money and give you more choice. If you have the time, make these Fruit Leather Rolls to bring along!

If you’re hitting the open road…
So you have shopped, packed, and loaded the car with “Tetris like” precision. What happens when you (or your joyful passengers in the back) get hungry? There are many options available at gas station shops. Take a look around and you are bound to find these items:
·         Cheese sticks (to pair with the crackers you packed)
·         Low/no fat, Greek yogurt (top with the trail mix you bought)
·         Whole wheat bread (for the nut or seed butter you picked up)
A long day of travel may also mean a long day of eating, so smaller, healthful choices are best.

Allison Stowell, consulting dietitian, Guiding Stars

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