For most people, summer inevitably means travel. Whether it’s a day trip to the coast, a two-week excursion into the back country, or a quick weekend trip to a family gathering, it is more likely than not that you will need to eat on the go at some point in the coming months. If you’re like me, this means a frustrating attempt to find something at a convenience store or airport to eat that is remotely healthy and satisfying (and, in my case, vegetarian). If you have a major food allergy or celiac disease, that effort is magnified and may result in nothing safe to eat at all and then what do you do?
I’m pretty good about packing some snacks, but have been looking for more ideas so I asked our Facebook friends what they liked to pack when they were planning a trip. They had some really good ideas that I’m including here, along with some of my own.
- Fresh Fruit: an easy, delicious snack that requires pretty much no preparation and comes with it’s own biodegradable container. For a real treat, slice apples before you leave and sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to keep ‘em crisp. Then, pack some peanut or almond butter in a small container for dipping.
- Mixed Nuts and Trail Mix: perfect high-protein snack that provides nutrition and satisfying crunch while delivering fuel to keep you full for hours.
- Cold Grain Salads: If you have a cooler with you, these salads will last even longer. Most, as long as they don’t use mayo, eggs or cheese, will last most of the day without causing any issues. This is my go-to (made with whole wheat couscous, of course) and we have many, many more on our website to inspire. What I love about these is that they’re usually enough to pull my mind from whatever junk food option is tantalizing me.
- Hummus and Vegetables: another high-protein, low fat snack that delivers on the flavor.
- Cheese: if you can do dairy, cheese is a great way to enjoy something decadent while on the go. You can go super simple with string cheese or buy a fancy brie to enjoy with sliced pears or crusty french bread.
- Dried Fruit: a great snack for when the sweet tooth attacks.
- Granola: love eating our new granola straight from the bag when I’m traveling. The whole grains keep you full and the sweetness feels utterly sinful!
Some extra tips for folks with severe food allergies or gluten intolerance:
- Make sandwiches to take along. Having a safe, gluten free sandwich might mean the difference between eating and going hungry. Plus, knowing where it was made and what was put on it will ease any fears about allergen cross contamination. Why make a trip any more stressful?
- Gluten free crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers make for great snacks. Bring along some sliced meat, cheese or spread to make them even more exciting.
- Visit a site like Gluten Free Registry or Allergy Eats to find places on your trip that will provide safe, delicious meals.
What other snacks or tips do you have for eating well on the go? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to have even more ideas for making this the best travel season yet!