Summer days means more travel and time on-the-go for many people. While part of the fun of traveling is enjoying local cuisine, you may find yourself wanting to pack some food for travel days to avoid rest stops or gas station food or just to have healthy snacks on hand.
To help you out, our dietitian is rounding up some of her favorite ready-to-eat foods that are nutritious, satisfying, and easy to pack. Pair two or three together for a light meal or a heartier snack that will satisfy.
If you have a cooler:
- Hard boiled eggs make a great easy-to-eat protein. Buy them pre boiled and shelled to limit the effort and mess.
- String cheese or other pre-cut cheese to pair with crackers or fruit for a balanced snack or part of a meal.
- Grapes, cherries, peaches, and plums. These summer fruits are easy to eat and don’t require any cutting. We do recommend napkins for the juicy mess!
- BeBOLD bars for a satisfying snack or sweet treat at the end of a meal.
- Bean salads for a heartier, more filling option. Mix together your favorite canned beans with chopped veggies (skip the greens) and a vinegar-based dressing. These ingredients hold up well for hours (or even days if kept cold), and offer a blend of protein and fiber to fill you up.
- Nut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole grain or sprouted grain bread. PB&J isn’t just for kids. It’s actually a filling, tasty, and satisfying meal that travels well. Give it a little nutrient boost by sprinkling chia or hemp seeds inside the sandwich. While this one technically doesn’t need a cooler, we do recommend keeping it cool if you’re going to be out for more than a few hours.
- Single serve Greek yogurts. Pair with a BeBOLD bar and fruit for a filling breakfast or enjoy on its own for a quick snack.
- Snap peas, cut bell peppers, baby carrots, or cherry tomatoes. These no-mess, no fuss veggies can be paired with any of the above items to boost your veggie (and nutrient) intake on-the-go.
For your backpack, purse, or beach bag:
- Trail mix made with your favorite blend of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, dried cereal, popcorn, or pretzels. We’d skip anything chocolate if you’re going to be in the heat.
- Dried chickpeas, broad beans, or edamame, which offer a blend of protein and fiber to fill you up.
- BeBOLD Bars for an easy, filling, delicious snack. Remember they can be out of the fridge for two weeks.
- Nitrate-free jerky for a shelf-stable protein.
- Single serve nut or seed butter packs with crackers or a banana.
Sarah Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and the owner of Sarah Gold Nutrition, a virtual private practice and nutrition communications consulting business in the suburbs of Boston. She empowers busy women to ditch diets and learn to build sustainable healthy habits to feel their best.