Meal prep is likely much lower on the list of pre-travel priorities than, say, doing laundry so you can pack clean clothes or locating your long-lost passport from the last jet-setting adventure. But there is a reason you’re reading this, and it’s because a healthy lifestyle is important to you.
Airport food court options leave a lot to be desired, but eating smart while traveling is key to arriving at your destination feeling energized and refreshed. In an attempt to find that reasonable middle ground, this list of six healthy travel snacks are not only quick to make and simple to pack, but they’re also easy to eat in a tiny seat and won’t offend fellow travelers with their scent.
Chai Chia Pudding Cup
If you have enough time to brew a cup of tea the night before your departure, then this is a viable option for you. Bring 1 cup of vanilla almond milk (or coconut milk) to a simmer, then add one or two chai tea bags. Steep for five minutes. Remove the pot from heat, then pour in about ¼ cup of chia seeds. The seeds will start to absorb the chai mixture and expand. Pour the mixture into a glass jar with a lid, and place in the fridge overnight. You can grab a disposable spoon from the food court at the airport the next day and enjoy a healthy, light omegas- and protein-packed snack.
Cucumbers and Cayenne
Staying hydrated when traveling helps to avoid sluggishness, jetlag and headaches. Cucumbers are mainly water, and with a little cayenne sprinkled on top, transform into a snack that provides a metabolism boost. The capsaicin in cayenne is also great for improving blood circulation, making it the perfect travel companion. Slice or dice the cucumbers in a small plastic container, add a dash of cayenne, and you’re good to go.
Hard-Boiled Egg with Mustard
Hard-boiled eggs make a lot of sense when a long travel time is ahead. There are rarely healthy choices along the way, and the high protein content in eggs will keep you feeling full and help you steer clear of the always-alluring push cart Doritos. Peel and slice the eggs in half ahead of time so they’re easy to eat, and bring a tiny TSA-friendly healthy mustard packet for dipping. It’s tasty and full of antioxidants.
Throw a handful of frozen edamames into a pot of boiling water for about five minutes until their color brightens. Add sea salt to the water while boiling, or sprinkle table salt on the edamames once they’re cooked and dry. These pack nicely into a sandwich bag, which can then be used for storing the shells as you snack.
Apples and Cinnamon
This is an excellent snack for the traveler with a sweet tooth. Cut a whole apple into four sections, so it can be held together to keep the inner flesh from browning. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and pack in a zippered bag that can easily be discarded after eating and won’t take up valuable space in your travel bag.
Fresh Spinach Salad
When looking for something that feels more like a meal than a snack, opt for a fresh salad with healthy ingredients. Spinach provides your dose of greens (and some protein, too), and a simple dressing like lemon, ground black pepper and olive oil will keep it feeling light but still a little fancy. If you’re up for the challenge, bake a chicken breast for dinner the night before and keep a little extra to top off the travel-day salad.