Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks

It’s no secret that we’ve done our fair share of traveling so far this summer. If your family still has some fun trips coming up – whether by car or by plane – below are some snacks that we think are great and easy to take along. Even if you just can’t (or won’t) stick to a real food diet once you get to your destination, I think it’s a good idea to bring some items for the trip there and even to supplement meals once you arrive. What good is a vacation if you feel sluggish (or even sick) from some not-so-great airplane or gas station food? And yes, you can take your own food and empty water bottle through airport security, provided you follow TSA guidelines for anything considered a liquid.*

Top 10 Real Food Travel Snacks

  1. Homemade Trail Mix or Granola

    Trail mix is easy enough – just mix together a variety of nuts, seeds, and even dried fruit then divide up into little baggies or reusable containers. Or alternatively bag up some yummy homemade granola cereal that you can just eat dry out of your hand. These options can be an especially filling snack for taking up such little space.

    Trail Mix

  2. Simple Store Bought Fruit & Nut Bars (or homemade!)
    For the store bought versions be sure to check the ingredients for a short list of items you are familiar with and would cook with at home. We personally like Lara Bars, Kit’s Organic and Raw Crunch. (Tip use coupon code “100DAYS” for 15% off your online Raw Crunch purchase.) And yes it’s extra work, but I promise the homemade version of dried fruit and nut bars are even better than you could imagine :)

    Fruit and Nut Bars
  3. Whole-Grain Muffins
    With so many recipe choices from pumpkin to zucchini to berries to banana nut to cornbread…what’s not to love? You can basically bake any “quick bread” loaf in muffin cups!

  4. Apples or Bananas (with our without an individual packet of peanut butter)
    Apples and bananas by themselves are good, but let’s face it – (if you don’t have an allergy) they are even better topped with peanut or another type of nut butter. Either way though you’ll be light years above a gas station snack with this one.

    banana and PB
  5. Frozen Peas
    One of the great things about frozen peas – aside from the fact that it’s a veggie my daughters both enjoy – is that if you pack them frozen they can act as sort of a temporary ice pack for any other perishables you decide to take along.

  6. Washed, Peeled, and Sliced Veggies like Carrots, Cucumbers and/or Celery
    For a road trip pack your fresh veggies (and other goodies) in a divided lunch container with hummus or homemade dip like ranch or tzatziki – yum!

  7. Organic Popcorn
    Make your own “homemade” popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag without having to resort to those pre-made bags full of additives and chemicals.

  8. Dried Fruit or Homemade Fruit Leathers
    This is another one of those categories where there are SO many choices…raisins, dried apple rings, dried apricots, dried cranberries, banana “chips,” and any flavor of fruit leather you can imagine. For the store bought variety look at the ingredients to make sure they don’t contain added sugar.

    homemade fruit leather
  9. Cherry Tomatoes or Grapes
    Packaged into the perfect bite-size by nature, these are two incredibly convenient whole foods to take on the road. When it comes to tomatoes Sun Gold cherries are my all time favorite, but a little baggie of any home grown – or locally grown – variety will do.
    Sun Gold cherry tomatoes
  10. Whole-Grain Crackers or Brown Rice Cakes
    This snack could easily complement many of the snacks mentioned above…you can make your own Easy Cheesy Crackers or for store bought our favorite brand is “ak-mak.” Brown rice cakes are another whole grain alternative to crackers – also good with one of those little nut butter packets. :)

easy cheesy crackers

Also, don’t forget to bring plenty of water along as well. If you will be flying just keep your reusable water bottle empty until you pass through security and then fill up on the other side. Please share your favorite “real food” travel snacks in the comments below!

* You can take solid foods through security, but according to the TSA website, any creamy dips, spreads, or other liquids must be placed in containers 3.4 oz or smaller and placed in a quart clear sized plastic bag. This includes foods such as jelly, peanut butter, spreadable cheeses, sauces, salad dressing, etc.

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  • Comments

    1. Christina G |

      We are about to do a road trip from Tennessee to Colorado so I have tortilla wrap sandwiches, cheese, whole grain crackers (I love Mary’s Gone Crackers), carrots and hummus, dried organic mango slices, and homemade granola bars on the in-car menu, plus lots of water (and probably a couple stops for black coffee along the way). Trying to make it as healthy as possible.

    2. Dennis |

      I travel by air nearly every week for work (I did 92 segments last year on United). My carry on bag always has the following:

      -Bag of raw almonds (true raw almonds sourced directly from Bremner Farms in CA)
      -Individual packets of raw almond butter from Artisana. I just open the top and eat it right out of the packet
      -Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake along with a blender ball shaker cup. Good for an emergency meal if your stuck.
      -Oatmega snack bars made from grass fed whey, non-GMO, and low in sugar
      -Go Raw brand organic snack bars
      -Kind snack bars: pretty common now. Can usually find at most airports.
      -And…. good old Bananas which you can find everywhere at airports (even Starbucks usually sells them)

      I have noticed a trend that airports are getting better and better food. For example, the Rick Bayless restaurant Tortas Frontera in O’Hare lists out on a board the local sources/farms and their farming practices. While not perfect, on a scale of quality it is much better than other typical airport garbage food.

      On last tip. I keep the Yelp app on my phone and I use Yelp and Apple Maps to do searches in my arrival city for the following phrases: “organic restaurant”, “farm to table”, “juice bar”. Very often you can find hidden restaurant gems in a lot of cities that serve local and organic food.

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