Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks

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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.*
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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.
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    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 :)
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    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!
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    Muffins-
  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.
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    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.
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    peas-
  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!
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    Veggies-
  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.
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    popcorn-
  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.
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    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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50 comments to Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks

  • Kristin

    We try not to snack in-between meals but we do like to pack meals to eat in the car or at our destination. I love knowing my kids are getting a healthy lunch, plus it saves time and money by not stopping at a restaurant. I also love vacationing at places with kitchenettes so I can bring food from home and cook our families meals. By eating healthy food for our meals, I feel OK about treating the kids to GOOD local bakery or local ice cream during our trip. Plus, since our trips usually occur over the weekend, it count’s as our dessert for the weekend.

  • Just don’t try to take fruit or veggies through customs without declaring it and even then you may have to toss it.

  • I have tried to prepare Brown Rice Cakes, Grain Muffins at home. Rest of the vegetables are also free and healthy. I will take care of your suggestion and fill by tank with fresh water.

  • These are very good suggestions. Another problem is theme parks. Sometimes you take a trip to a theme park and you are forced to wait in lines for food you are afraid to eat. Its better to pre plan theme parks also.

  • Sharon

    Thanks for the list. Just ordered the Raw Crunch bars. The discount code 100DAYS didn’t work, although I am happy knowing what snacks I can stock up on.

  • Good timing as we start to prep for back to school already, and many of those are perfect for school lunches too!

    I also travel a lot for work, and am always struggling with eating on the road- I’ll reference back to this for help.

    Thanks!

  • Meghan Corbeil

    We brought a loaf of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, with fruit and granola bars to Disney every day for lunch for the week we were there. we also ate breakfast in our hotel (we had rented a small condo with a kitchen), so the only meal we had out was dinner. it helped cut down on cost and eating badly tremendously. I always pack easy to eat home made snacks for the plane, then if we have to buy a sandwich or something small it’s not a big deal.

  • Hannah

    This might sound strange but I bring small pumpkin pancakes for my girls. They love them and they are less messy than muffins. I also make waffles and cut them into strips.

  • Cori

    Love the ideas! We are recent converts to whole/clean eating. One of our “go-to” snacks is avacado. It is easy to bring along, put on bread or mix into egg salad.

  • Bonnie

    Great tips! I’m flying by myself with a 2.5 year old and 15 month old next week and this is a good list, although not sure about bringing a dip/hummus in your own personal container because it could technically be considered a liquid or something by TSA. I DO however love Justin’s squeeze packs :) They are perfect for air travel! Their almond butter is so yummy! also thanks for the reminder of Luna & Kit’s Bars.

  • great site. I love organics and real food

  • Rosebriars

    We love roasted beans or split peas. I roast them with steak seasoning in the oven for about a half hour at 350. They’re non-perishable, super cheap, incredibly filling, and a great source of protein. They’re not so good to use to keep yourself awake while driving though because you’ll get too full!

  • [...] Real Food Tips: Top 10 Travel Snacks :: We’re on-the-road snackers, and the gas station snacks aren’t the greatest. I’m loving these grab-and-go travel snack ideas. [...]

  • Elaine

    My Granddaughter loves the pizza lunchables, can you please tell me where I can purchase the small squeezable containers of pizza sauce? I can put together the rest of the grated cheese and whole wheat pita pockets.
    I just found your blog and really like the information you share.
    Thank you!

  • Candice

    I’ve seen you post these amazing little packets for snacks and lunches.. like the tomato sauce, peanut butter and I was thinking a couple others.. where are you finding these little packets of magic?

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    Hi Candice. I’m not exactly sure which packets you are referring to. If you are talking about the little almond butter packet, I’ve seen them at Earth Fare and Whole Foods. Lisa recently had zipcicles: http://www.zipzicles.com/ pictured containing pizza sauce/. ~Amy

  • [...] I’m often on early morning flights. This means I’m rolling out of bed at the last second to get to the airport. This maneuver also means I’m starving at the departure gate! Next, the bagels and muffins start calling my name. Now I pack a meal to enjoy at the airport before I depart. Click here for some options. [...]

  • Stephanie

    When we travel with our kiddos – 11,10,7,5 and 4. I like to pre portion out snacks. I usually do 1-2 fruits, a veggie, a cracker or pretzel, either a sandwich of some kind or a meat rollup with cream cheese and a little treat with their water bottles. Then I place everything in their lunch box. When it gone its gone. Other things we might include if its a long drive, jerky, trail mix, raisins and then in the cooler I will do string cheese, yogurt.

  • Laurie

    String cheese and hard boiled eggs are another one we usually bring along. We have a smaller cooler we keep in the car on road trips.

    We went through Happy Baby baby squeeze pouches like crazy when we flew with our 13 mo old.

    Just thought of an idea- we have reusable food pouches (Little Green Pouch brand), and we could do yogurt or smoothies in them. We use them for that at home, but on a road trip would be perfect too, and would last longer if were frozen beforehand.

  • Kerry

    I love that you have frozen peas here. My son is 4 and has been eating “cold carrots” since he was teething. Frozen sliced carrots are a great travel snack and teething soother.

  • Valerie S.

    My daughter has a severe tree nut allergy. We pack snacks every time we leave the house, and I’m always looking for tasty whole snack ideas. You have a lot of great ideas here! Thank you ! Although I think the snacks containing nuts and nut butters are great for traveling in your own vehicle (she can eat peanut butter), I think it’s a little scary to fathom that my child might be exposed to tree-nuts from fellow passengers while on a plane where she can’t get life saving treatment. Epi pens are only the first step in saving someone’s life with a severe allergy. It is really just buying some time til they can receive further emergency treatment at a hospital. Because of this, no exposure is the goal especially while traveling by plane.

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