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Top 10 Healthy Travel Snacks

We all want to stay healthy when on the road. Here are 10 RD-approved healthy travel snacks to pack with you on your next trip!

standing by lavender field with white gate

Traveling to new places is one of the greatest things in life, don’t you agree? I love going somewhere I’ve never been, and I am so grateful that I am able travel.

While most of my travel is for fun, lots of people travel for work on a regular basis. My dad has always traveled a ton for business, and now a bunch of my friends are frequently on the go.

As an RD, one of the most common questions my friends ask me is how to be healthier when traveling for work. They love living a healthy, active lifestyle at home, but find this lifestyle doesn’t transition well to life on the road.

Eating Healthy on the Road

My tips for eating healthy while traveling don’t differ much from healthy living at home. Choose meals that are mostly vegetables and lean protein. Go for whole grain carbohydrates rather than processed ones. Avoid excess added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. But one of my favorite ways to ensure you stick to your wellness goals on the road begins before you leave your home. Be prepared with healthy travel snacks!

Packing healthy travel snacks is a key piece of the healthy traveling puzzle. For one, having a healthy snack in your bag eliminates the need to buy snacks on the road. These options are often limited in selection and low in nutrients. Well-planned travel snacks actually fill you up, because they are full of all the good stuff that makes us feel satiated. Plus, you’ll save money by avoiding those $7 bags of trail mix at the airport snack stand.

10 Healthy Travel Snacks

Healthy travel snacks should have some combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep us full. We want to avoid excess added sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, as well as highly processed foods. Stock up on some of these delicious snacks to prepare for you next trip! I love these options because they easy to transport, don’t require refrigeration, and are full of good-for-you ingredients.

1. Fresh whole fruit

Whole fruit - healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

Choose firm, whole fruit that does not bruise easily. I love bananas, apples, oranges, and clementines. Fruit is great on its own or paired with nut butter for a more filling snack.

2. PB+J sandwich on whole grain bread

Toast with peanut butter and homemade chia seed jam - healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

Mom knew best – a PB+J sandwich is an awesome healthy travel option! You’ll get some filling fiber from whole grain bread plus healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter. Choose lower sugar jam, or make your own chia jam!

3. Nuts

Handful of Cashews - Daisybeet

Nuts are easy to carry, and a handful helps tide you over until you can eat your next meal. Look for unsalted or lightly salted nuts or trail mix to avoid excess sodium intake. We all know the swelling is real when we are in the air!

4. Popcorn or popcorn trail mix

Popcorn trail mix healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

This is one of my favorite snacks for home or travel! Popcorn is a whole grain, crunchy, satisfying, voluminous snack. Popcorn has fiber and air, both of which keep us full. Air-popped popcorn or a lightly seasoned version is best. I also love to add nuts and seeds for healthy fats and protein when preparing my popcorn.

5. Nut butter packets

Nut butter packs - healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

Nut butter packets are one of my favorite food innovations. I always bring a few with me on a trip to eat with fresh fruit, spread on some whole grain crackers, or added to hotel oatmeal for breakfast.

6. Whole grain or high fiber crackers

GG High fiber crackers - healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

Whole grain crackers are another crunchy snack to keep on hand when you are traveling. Make it a filling snack by pairing a few with a nut butter packet or hummus. If you have trouble staying regular while traveling, I love these high fiber crackers! Each cracker has 4 grams of fiber.

7. High fiber cereal

High fiber cereal - healthy travel snacks - Daisybeet

While we’re on the topic of staying regular, high fiber cereal is another healthy travel snack idea if this is of concern for you. Munch on it dry, or add it to yogurt you purchase on the road or in the airport.

8. Oatmeal packets or cups

Oatmeal packets - Daisybeet

Another portable snack, plain oatmeal has both soluble and insoluble fiber, thiamin, iron, and zinc. Just add hot water to a packet or cup prepare! To make it a meal, add a handful of nuts and sliced banana.

9. Chickpea snacks

Chickpea snacks - Daisybeet

If you love potato chips, chickpea snacks are a satisfying, healthier alternative. Each serving of chickpea snacks has about 6 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. They are salty, crunchy, and super delicious!

10. Bars

Bars - Daisybeet

Bars are always an easy travel snack option! Just make sure to choose bars with minimal added sugar and a decent amount of protein. When reading the ingredient list, look for whole ingredients you recognize, like nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. I look for bars with no limited to zero added sugar, 2-3 grams of fiber, and 4-5 grams of protein per serving. Some of my favorites are RX Bar, Larabar, and KIND bars.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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Healthy travel snacks infographic - Daisybeet

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

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Six Healthy Snack Ideas from a Registered Dietitian

Looking to step up your snack game? This post outlines how to choose a healthy snack, along with six easy, healthy snack ideas approved by a Registered Dietitian – me!

As an RD, people ask me all about snacks. Are they good for us? How often should we have them? What are some healthy snack ideas? Snacking is ingrained in American food culture – we are bombarded by snack advertisements in the media every single day. From fruit roll ups to 100 calorie packs, this post will help you weed through the media messages and give you nourishing, filling, and simple snack ideas.

Is Snacking Good or Bad?

Like most questions about nutrition, the answer to this one is not black and white. Snacking is neither inherently good nor bad, and it may benefit some people more than others. Remember that our nutrition needs are highly individualized, and what works for one person may not work for the next.

Snacking has been studied as it relates to weight status, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention. Overall, snacking is probably not necessary for the average person to maintain weight status OR maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. But, studies show that snacking may prevent hunger, and therefore prevent overeating at mealtimes later on.

Given this research, it is important to consider a few things when snacking. First, contemplate your motivation for snacking. Are you craving food because you are truly hungry, or does it relate to an emotion like boredom or stress? Second, snacking is highly individualized. A very active person will probably benefit from more frequent snacking, as they are naturally expending more calories than a sedentary person. Finally, it’s WHAT you snack on that really matters. Consuming balanced snacks, just like balanced meals, will have positive effects on weight, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention.

How to Make Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some of my tips for making mindful, balanced snack choices.

  • First and foremost, tune in to see if you are truly feeling hungry. Many of us, myself included, fall into emotional eating to satisfy a need that is not based on hunger! Take a step back before reaching for a snack to determine your motivating factor. If you find you’re not really hungry, do something to tackle the negative emotion you are feeling, such as taking a walk around the block.
  • Be mindful of portion size. Snacks are not meant to be as energy dense as meals. While I don’t count calories, a good size snack for most people is usually around 200 calories. This may vary based on age, gender, body composition, and health goals.
  • Start with fiber. Fiber is a nutrient many Americans don’t eat enough of. Since it slows digestion and absorption of nutrients, fiber helps keep us full. It also has a host of health benefits, which include promoting gut health, lowering cholesterol, and keeping our bowel movements regular. Use high fiber foods as your starting point for a balanced snack, such as whole fruit, whole grain products, or vegetables.
  • Add protein and/or healthy fats. Pairing your fiber-rich snack with some protein or healthy fats will further help slow down digestion and keep you fuller for longer. For those looking for snacks to help regulate blood sugar levels, choosing higher protein snacks seems to be best, based on research. Choose proteins like yogurt, egg, nuts/nut butter, and seeds, and healthy fats like avocado, olives or nuts/nut butter. The combination of fiber + protein/healthy fats makes us feel more satisfied, so we are less likely to keep reaching for more.
  • Make it simple and tasty. Snacks shouldn’t take you tons of time or energy to prepare – you’ve got other things to get done during the day! Keep it simple, and make sure your snack is enjoyable 🙂

Six Healthy Snack Ideas

Apple Nachos

Cut a small apple into wedges. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp nut butter, add 1 tbsp granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve with ¼ cup low fat yogurt for dipping.

apple nachos

Mini Protein Box

This is a totally customizable snack. Mix and match different sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Some examples include a hard boiled egg + small handful of nuts + 3-5 strawberries, or ½ cup grapes + 1 string cheese + 5 whole grain crackers.

mini protein box snack idea

Popcorn Trail Mix

2 cups air popped popcorn + ¼ cup of your favorite trail mix makes for a voluminous, portable snack that is great for munching.

popcorn trail mix healthy snack idea

Steamed Edamame

1 cup of steamed and lightly salted edamame is the perfect snack, as it contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats!

steamed edamame healthy snack idea

Bell Pepper + Quick Guacamole

A refreshing snack to much on in warmer months. To make quick guacamole, mash ½ of  ripe avocado with a squeeze of lime juice + a dash of both salt and garlic powder. Top bell pepper slices with guacamole and enjoy.

bell pepper and guacamole healthy snack idea

Chocolate Coconut Balls

These little bites are delicious, easy to make, and portable for on-the-go snacking. Filled with nuts, dates, coconut, and cacao powder, they only take 10 minutes to whip up. They taste incredibly decadent and dessert-like, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is the snack for you!

chocolate coconut balls

What makes these balls a healthy snack? They’ve got fiber from the dates and oats. Healthy fats and protein come from cashews and coconut. Plus, they’ve got a boost of antioxidants from the cacao powder! One or two of these little guys will tide you over until your next meal.

chocolate coconut balls

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Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Chocolate Coconut Balls

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 balls 1x
  • Category: Snacks

Description

A sweet, chocolately, and delicious snack to make. These chocolate coconut balls are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend together for 3-5 minutes, until a sandy consistency is reached. Scrape down the edges occasionally, if necessary.
  3. Remove “dough” from food processor and use your hands to form a large ball. Break off ~1 tbsp sized pieces and roll into 10-12 smaller balls.
  4. Roll each ball in additional shredded coconut, if desired.


Notes

Best stored in the refrigerator. 

Keywords: chocolate coconut balls, coconut, healthy snacks, healthy snack ideas

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Finding Balance While Traveling + My Denver Picks

Garden of the Gods

This post was written from the air on my way to Denver, CO to visit my sister for a long weekend. I had the best time exploring a new city, taking in the natural beauty of the state, and checking out the food scene!

I was inspired to write this post as I had about an hour to kill waiting to board my plane at LaGuardia Airport. The security line was surprisingly non-existent, so I spent my time floating around the terminal and checking out the food options. Even though I was in a small, probably older terminal, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of healthy options I found. I found a hot oatmeal bar at Au Bon Pain for breakfast! I added slivered almonds, some chocolate chips, and a packet of Artisana almond butter + a banana I brought from home. If you happened to look at my Instagram stories that morning, I highlighted a few nutritious options that were available. These included Siggi’s yogurts, 88 Acres granola bars, packets of hard boiled eggs, unsweetened matcha tea, and bananas.

After this experience, I wanted to address a problem I think many of us face, which is – “How do I eat healthy while travelling?” Over the years, I’ve come up with some pointers that help keep me on track, and I would love to share them with you!

Pack healthy snacks. This is likely the simplest way to plan ahead for travel. Making sure you have nutritious snacks on hand is essential for when hunger strikes on the road (or in the air). This also extends beyond just “snacks”, as I like to pack non-perishable options that can make a meal. Here are some of my favorite choices:

• Bars: RX Bar, Square Bars (20% off with code DAISYBEET), 88 Acres, and The Yes Bar are some of my favorites.
• Fresh Fruit: Apples, bananas, pears, and oranges are all easy to pack and don’t need to be refrigerated en route.
• Trail Mix/Mixed Nuts: The perfect salty treat to satisfy the munchies. Look out for added sugars and excessive sodium in your trail mixes (Most dried fruits contain added sugars, and try to limit sodium to <140 mg per serving). I also recommend making your own trail mix! You can get so creative with healthy add-ins. I like unsalted almonds and cashews, unsweetened coconut chips, pepitas, popcorn, and maybe some dark chocolate chips.
• Nut Butter Packets: So many great nut butter companies sell individual serving packets these days. These are great to add to fresh fruit for a protein-packed snack, or to oatmeal to make it more filling.
• Oatmeal Packets: Plain oatmeal packets are so easy to pack, and all you need is some hot water in your hotel room for a quick breakfast! You can add some fresh fruit, nuts, and a nut butter pack for a really satisfying meal. I’ve even been known to pack a cinnamon spice shaker – optional, but definitely recommended.
Salba Chia Chia Seed Packets: Another easy, portable way to add a boost of nutrition to hotel oatmeal, or oats you make yourself.

Prepare something portable the night before. If you’re really unsure of the food situation where you’ll be travelling, preparing something easy the night before to take with you can be so helpful. Here are some ideas:

• Bake a sweet potato, add some nut butter, cinnamon and granola and put it in a small Tupperware. If you find your favorite yogurt at the airport, you can have a really delicious sweet potato yogurt bowl!
• Hard boiled eggs are easy to transport – just make sure you consume them within ~2 hours of taking them out of the fridge.
• Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread. Healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs make for a delicious and filling meal on the go that does not require refrigeration.

Research the restaurant and grocery store scene at your destination. I love to spend some time looking up restaurants in my destination! Checking out the local food scene is one of my favorite parts of traveling. Mostly all restaurants have their menus available online, so you can see the available options before you go. It is also helpful to see which grocery stores are in the area. If there is a Whole Foods, you’re bound to get lucky with a classic brown box meal when you want a quick, inexpensive lunch or dinner.

Classic Whole Foods Market Brown Box Lunch

Make exercise fun. When I travel, I still love to start my day with some movement if I am able. Running is one of my favorite ways to explore a new area. It allows you to see more on foot than you would by walking. If running is not your thing, by all means, walk! I love to walk anywhere, especially in a new city. I also sometimes do a quick cardio/bodyweight workout if my hotel has a gym. Kayla Itsines has some great workouts that do not require much equipment. In addition, it’s so fun to check out local workout studios! I love talking to people in the health and wellness community, and this does not stop because I am traveling.

Explore the local delicacies. One of the best parts of traveling is that it allows you to stray from your routine. I encourage you to try new things, and don’t be afraid to indulge! Variety and new experiences make life memorable, so don’t pass up on The World’s Best Donut because it strays from your usual eating pattern. One way I like to find this balance in my own life is by filling up on all the nutritious foods I love during breakfast and lunch (think oatmeal, fresh fruit, big salads, lean protein, veggie packed omelets) and not worrying about how “healthy” dinner is. Knowing I’ve already nourished my body with these healthy foods helps eliminate any guilt, and adds to the excitement of trying new things (which may be vegetables, or may be French fries and pizza). And of course, I always leave room for dessert.

Rowdy Mermaid - Local Colorado Kombucha!

 

My Denver Picks:

Denver and the surrounding area exceeded my expectations. I had an incredible time exploring the city and mountains, getting outdoors, and (of course) eating delicious food! Here are some of the highlights from my trip:

Destinations

  • Garden of The Gods, Colorado Springs: This was a fantastic park about an hours drive from Denver. There are towering red rock formations that you can hike around and take in the beautiful colors of the landscape. This was a great destination for those who don't want a strenuous hike, but still want breathtaking views. We spent about an hour wandering around and taking everything in.
  • Red Rocks Amphitheater: Truly a sight to behold! I didn't get to see a show here, but went late one morning for the views and a quick workout. During the day, Red Rocks is a fitness lover's dream. People were running up and down the stadium stairs, doing planks and tricep dips, and walking their dogs. I would love to come back someday for their summer yoga events. It really is incredible!

  • Guanella Pass: After our Red Rocks excursion, we drove into the mountains and went up 11,000 feet to Guanella Pass. The temperature dropped about 20 degrees, and there was already snow on the ground! On our drive up, my sister and her boyfriend told us all about the camping scene here, and I learned about tree line. The summit felt like a different world! We were too cold to stay long, but it was so vast, beautiful and unlike anything I'll ever get in NYC.
  • Boulder, CO: We spent an afternoon wandering Pearl Street in Boulder. It's about 40 minutes driving from Denver, and the cutest town ever! Pearl Street is the main area, and it is lined with beautiful boutiques, outerwear shops, art stores, restaurants and coffee shops. I definitely need to spend more time here.

Work Outs

  • Red Rocks: As I mentioned above, Red Rocks is worth the drive to get in your workout. You'll be surrounded by likeminded people to inspire you, and the views are breathtaking.
  • Trail Runs: My sister's boyfriend took me on a trail run in Boulder one morning, and it was incredible. There are countless routes in the area, but the one we did was called Sunshine Lion's Lair Loop on Mount Sanitas. It was such a challenge, and felt SO different from my usual flat road runs in NYC. I could have run forever!
  • CorePower Yoga: One of my recent favorite yoga spots has many locations in Colorado! I took a Yoga Sculpt Class one morning, and it was the perfect way to start the day.
  • Barre3: I met my friend here after flying in for a class and lunch. It was the best way to stretch and move after sitting on a plane, and the employees were so welcoming.

Eats

  • Sushi Den: Who knew you could get some of the best sushi in a landlocked state? Sushi Den ships in fresh fish from Japan daily, so the quality is very high. The menu is extensive and super creative, and I would eat there every day if I could! What to get: Japanese eggplant (seriously amazing), toro sashimi, shitake salad, miso soup, and miso black cod.
  • Acorn: This seasonal eatery is located in a more industrial part of town, inside the coolest building called The Source. The building houses cute shops and markets, as well as Acorn. The plates are small and meant to be shared. What to get: kale and apple salad, coal roasted beets, yams, and gnocchi. Also - ask for bread at the start of the meal. It was excellent.
  • True Food KitchenI was so excited to finally try True Food Kitchen! It did not disappoint, and we had a wonderful dinner here. What to get: Seasonal salad with salmon, fish tacos, the burger, the squash pie, and the flourless chocolate cake.
  • Shuga's: Shuga's is a casual diner in Colorado Springs with a Mediterranean flair. My sister loves to come here whenever she is in the area. It has a retro vibe, and the service is very friendly. What to get: spicy coconut shrimp soup, the nicoise salad, and the bruschettas.
  • Poke City: This was a fast, delicious, and healthy lunch stop! You can build your own poke bowl with a base of grains or salad, and the toppings are basically unlimited.

  • ZealWe ate at Zeal in Boulder before heading off to the airport. They have tons of salads, sandwiches, and bowl options, as well as fresh juices. What to get: Build your own bowl with toppings of choice and coconut curry sauce.

I hope these tips help eliminate any anxiety you face when traveling! I know staying healthy is a huge priority to a lot of you, and I understand that. Eating healthy and exercising gives me so much energy, happiness, and a positive outlook for the day. I love to extend this when I travel, but I also don’t forget to try new things. What are your favorite ways to find balance when you travel?