Its just about summer time and if you are like me you like to travel but don’t always know what to snack on along the way. With some simple guidelines it can be easier to choose healthy and still pick quick. Below is a list of ideas for choosing healthy snack foods when on the go.
Snacking isn’t necessarily a problem. It all depends on what you choose, how often you eat it, and how much you eat. Vacation does not have to equal unhealthy eating. Follow the 80/20 rule on vacation and choose wisely so you’ll feel better and have more energy to enjoy your time away.
Juice – look for 100% juices and less additives. Notice if they have enhanced color, sugar, flavor, sodium, water etc.
Milk, Coffees, Teas, Meal Replacements Drinks – Look for low fat and purer products. Stay away from lots of additives – which includes what you may add yourself – and other unnecessary calories. Flavored Waters – Although a good alternative to plain water for some, check the label. Do the vitamins and minerals outweigh sugar, sodium, artificial flavors, colors, etc. Some brands do, some brands don’t.
Sandwiches, Salads, Burritos, etc – As is the theme – what has been added. Is it something you would’ve have added if you made it yourself? Did they dump in extra sugar, salt, artificial flavors, preserving chemicals, or other stuff you can’t name or don’t want to know what it really is?
Beef Jerky – Again look at portion sizes and additives, but this can be a great low fat high protein choice.
Fruit & Vegetables– Fresh, dried, canned in its own juice, or frozen. You must consider portion sizes and what else has been added. Dried fruit can be sweeter, so be leery if sugar is added.
Pretzels, Trail Mixes, Chips, etc – sometimes its what you crave. Look for 0 trans fats and how they were cooked. Baked are typically more healthy than fried. Also, what is added? Colors, flavors, artificial stuffs, I don’t consider cheese flavor and yellow no. 5 really dairy. So it comes down to knowing what you are choosing and being ok with putting that choice in your mouth.
Nuts, Seeds, Cereal/Energy Bars, etc – Can be great choices or not. Again, what is added, how much is a portion size, what are the benefits (i.e. vitamins, nutrients, minerals of the food choice) and do the benefits outweigh the costs (fat, calories, fillers, sugars, etc) – sometimes the addition of protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats are worth it, sometimes a Snickers Bar is a better choice!
Cookies, Candies, Pop, Energy Drinks, Juice Type Drinks, Donuts, etc – Bottom line on these – do the benefits of eating outweigh the costs. Rarely, but if its your last resort try and make better choices – i.e. peanut/almond M&Ms rather than plain or the donut without all the extra filling, frosting, sprinkles, and choose the drink with less calories and sugars.
80/20 rule means 80% of the time you eat healthy and get daily exercise. 20% of the time do you chuck those habits out the window in favor of less healthy eating or activities. This is a quick way to reference your behavior and create a healthy lifestyle.
I am not a nutritionist. If you are looking for specific information or have a condition, take medication, or need more than a general overview you should see a registered dietitian or nutritionist.