Have you ever rested the back of your head against the seat of a plane, relieved that you made it through traffic, security and a bustling airport… only to realize the onnne thing you forgot was to feed yourself? *face palm* Nothing can put a damper on the start of a trip like some lukewarm plane food or wondering where your next meal is going to come from, but it’s a situation that can be easily avoided by packing a few snacks along your journey. Here are a few of my faves — most of which you can pick up in the airport if you forget to pack them beforehand.
Fruit and nut bars: There are admittedly a lot of junk-food, sugar-filled granola bars that are marketed as healthy, but there are a lot of high-quality options, too. Like most food, it comes down to scanning the ingredient list to know which ones are marketed as healthy, and which ones are actually full of clean ingredients you can pronounce. I love to pack bars because they take up hardly any space in a purse, yet usually pack a good amount of protein and healthy fats, which result in longer fullness than other sugar-heavy options like dried fruit. My go-to brands include LÄRABAR, RX Bar and Thunderbird.
Meat and veggie bars or jerkies: This is a great bar alternative full of healthy fats, protein and fiber from veggies. Wild Zora has tasty combos like BBQ Beef, Mediterranean Lamb and Apple Pork, while Epic Bars features grass-fed beef, venison and wild salmon.
Seed crackers: If you love a good crunch, crackers are another great portable option that packs well. Crackers get a bad rap because most are made with processed flour and preservatives, but a few brands have developed crackers that are nutrient-dense and filling. Brands like Flackers, Jilz, Go Raw and Mary’s Gone Crackers focus on recipes full of seeds, quinoa, and brown rice, which are naturally full of healthy fats and complex carbs. They also limit gluten, artificial flavors and genetically modified ingredients.
Nuts: An oldie but a goodie. Nuts are the ultimate power snack. You can keep a larger bag with you, or portion them out so they’re easy to grab-and-go and are already portioned out. There are also so many flavors and combos of nuts now — smoked, wasabi, honey roasted — that if you get bored with one, you can jump to another. I personally love a good package of salty almonds or creamy cashews.
Nut butters: Speaking of nuts, you don’t have to just eat them in nut form, persay. Companies like Justin’s makes all-natural peanut butter, hazelnut butter and maple almond butter packs that you can spread on the crackers mentioned above, smear on top of an apple or banana, or eat straight out of the package. (Not speaking from personal experience or anything… 😜)
Olives and hummus packs: There are several other individual serving packets on the rise, including olives and hummus. Both offer a great source of plant-based nutrition. Pair them with crackers, nitrate-free jerkies or deli meats, or nuts for a little healthy charcuterie plate.
Dark chocolate: While most milk chocolate is full of sugar, rich dark chocolate is surprisingly full of healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. It doesn’t hurt to keep a bar with you, and break off a piece or two when hunger strikes. Just look for a bar that’s 70% or more dark chocolate to be sure it’s more cacao than sugar. My favorite is Theo’s Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, but I also love other fair-trade brands like Endangered Species.
Plane snack packs: Ok, so what happens if you forget to pick something up in the airport or just run out of time? Look for the options above in airplane snack packs. Many airlines are responding to their customers becoming more health-conscious by offering more nutritious options. I like to look on the airline menus for a tapas plate (with things like the olives, hummus and seed crackers) or the fruit, cheese and nut plates. Oftentimes, the snack packs are large enough to constitute a full meal, or at least to tide you over until you land.
I’d love to hear — what are your favorite travel snacks? Comment below if there are others I should try!