Don’t Ditch Dairy When You Travel

Traveling this summer and don’t want to unravel your healthy diet? Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or car, quick-stop dining can be healthy and economical. Save your splurges for your destination and make healthy choices on travel days by deciding ahead of time what snacks you can take on the go. Adding protein to meals and snacks keeps you full longer. For staying power, pair fruits and whole grains with cheese, yogurt, or meat to reach your recommended daily protein intake.

Easy newsstand options

  • Low-fat milk – plain or flavored
  • Tomato/vegetable juice
  • Sparkling water
  • Single-serving flavor packets for water
  • Almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews
  • Beef and turkey jerky
  • Popcorn, “naked” style
  • Apples, bananas, or oranges
  • Bars greater than 200 calories a serving and more protein than grams of carbohydrate

Grab-and-Go mini meals

  • Turkey and cheese sandwich
  • Mixed fruit bowls
  • Pre-made salads
  • Snack cup with pretzels, sliced or cubed cheese
  • String cheese or individual cheese rounds
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Veggies with ranch dressing
  • Hummus with pretzels
  • Dry roasted edamame
  • Dried fruit like mango or apples
  • Greek or Icelandic-style yogurts and parfaits

Carry-on snacks for departure and arrival

  • Fruit that travels well: apple, orange, plums, bag of grapes
  • Homemade trail mix
  • String cheese
  • Pre-portioned 1/4 servings of nuts
  • Snack bags of chopped veggies with hummus
  • Applesauce and shelf-stable yogurt pouches
  • Tuna fish packets (to add to primarily-veggie based salads)
  • Your favorite cereal in baggies – just pour milk and slice some fruit over it
  • Empty water bottle to fill up at the water station

With a little effort and willingness to look in the right places, you can piece together snacks for a well-balanced meal high in protein, fiber, and the nutrients you need to keep you healthy and satisfied while you travel. Don’t forget dairy foods make a great addition to snacks and meals providing the health benefits of dairy such as protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Nina Crowley, Ph.D., RD, LD

Southeast Dairy Association - Nina CrowleyNina Crowley is a bariatric surgery dietitian turned program coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C. Nina holds a bachelor of science degree in nutrition science from Cornell University and a master of science degree in healthcare policy and management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Nina has served the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as its past president and currently leads public policy efforts as its public policy coordinator. She enjoys balancing her clinical practice with research and volunteerism.