We’ve all been victims of the overpriced meals at airports and hotels that leave our wallets thin and our taste buds unsatisfied. And drive-through meals and gas station pit stops leave us feeling fatigued. It’s time to take matters into our own hands this holiday season! By spending a little extra time before travel, you can prepare nutritious snacks and meals that will give you healthy energy for your journey. Not only will you feel better, but you can spend less time stressfully searching for food and waiting in long lines.
Added bonus: any opportunity to save cash this time of the year is helpful!
For the Flight:
- Grab-and-go: Apples, bananas, oranges, crackers, pretzels, butter-free popcorn, granola bars, fruit leather or dried fruit, dry cereal, single-serving peanut butter packets, rice cakes.
- *Tip: Use a hard container to prevent smashed snacks.
- Trail mix: DIY with nuts, seeds, dried fruits, banana chips, whole grain cereal, dark chocolate or whatever else you have on hand.
- For longer travel, pack a sandwich, wrap or salad.
Remember to bring an empty water bottle to fill up past security!
For the Road:
- Pack a cooler! This allows you to bring more prepared food: Yogurt, cheese sticks, tuna packs with crackers, fruit salad, hummus and veggie sticks, veggie burritos, hard-boiled eggs, baby carrots, and pre-made smoothies!
- Like it hot? Fill a thermos with hearty soup to warm you up (just use caution sipping while the car is in motion!)
- Need a pick-me-up? Choose fruit, tea or plain coffee instead of an energy drink or sugary latte.
- *Tip: Chai tea or coffee brewed with cinnamon can help satisfy that sweet craving.
For the Hotel:
- Head to the nearby grocery store to pick up some healthy snacks: unsweetened instant oatmeal, unsweetened applesauce, trail mix, tuna or salmon packs, clementines, whole grain crackers.
- Stock the fridge with easy items to keep you on track: fruit tray, vegetable tray, plain yogurt, hummus, guacamole cups, cheese sticks, baby carrots.
- Ordering off the menu: keep it simple with key ingredients including lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey, fish, eggs, beans), whole grains and loads of plant-based foods. Go light on “creamy” “crispy” “gravy” “cheesy” and heavy dressings.
For delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and cooking and nutrition classes, go to the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. More health tips are also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.