What Nutritionists Eat When They Travel

We asked nutritionists how they stay satisfied while on the go.

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June 24, 2019

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What Nutritionists Eat When They Travel

Plane ride packing and car ride chaos can stump even the healthiest eaters, including nutrition pros. Yes, even dietitians get caught in the grab-a-bag-of-chips trap at the airport every now and again. That’s why we asked them how they handle (on their best days, of course) eating on-the-go for all kinds of travel from summer vacation to business trips. Here are their best tips for eating more healthfully on the road.

Travel-Friendly Fruit

I love fruit but have learned from experience that some items just can’t stand up to the demands of travel. Whether I’m traveling for work or a family vacay, I pack up sturdy fresh fruit like oranges and apples that can withstand getting tossed around in my bag.

Protein Bars

Long trips and unexpected travel delays call for a snack that fights my looming hanger. I stock up on KIND PROTEIN Bars; they are super satisfying, provide 12 grams of protein (made from real food) and they actually taste good!

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There’s nothing worse than tummy woes on the road, but foods can help. “As someone who travels around the world pretty regularly, I need portable foods that fuel me for maximum performance” says Christopher R. Mohr, PhD, RD, co-owner of Mohr Results, Inc and nutrition partner with California prunes. “Because regular travel can wreak havoc on my gut, I am always sure to pack foods that help keep things, errrrr, regular.” Prunes have proven GI benefits a single serving of 4 to 5 prunes per day can help support good digestive health. They're also portable, which makes them a travel friendly snack.

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Mohr also relies on snack packs of walnuts. “One recent trial published in the Journal of Nutrition found walnut consumption helped colon health and reduced risk for GI disease, among others.”

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Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition and Sabra Hummus nutrition partner opts for Sabra Breakfast Everything Hummus Toast. “This is an amazingly delicious and travel-friendly snack or breakfast on the go! You get all the makings for nutritious hummus toast: hummus, everything bagel seasoning, and whole-grain toast. Each pack is a good source of protein and an excellent source of fiber — to help you stay fuller for longer. If I’m eating this for breakfast, I’ll usually pair it with a piece of fruit like an apple or orange.”

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Whole Grain Chips

My kids love chips, but I try not to let them have them too often. Kathy Siegel, MS, RDN, CDN Nutrition Consultant at Triad to Wellness and Ka-Pop snack brand partner may have found a healthier solution. “My family is a big fan of chips. As a dietitian I’ve never been a fan, but finally I found a chip packed with nutrient-dense ingredients! Ka-Pop popped chips are a favorite choice to keep on hand while traveling.” These chips are made from sorghum, which is packed with protein, fiber and B vitamins.

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Pumpkin Seeds

These protein rich seeds aren’t just for jack-o-lantern leftovers. “My carry-on bag is always stashed with pumpkin seeds” adds Siegel. “Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of iron, zinc, and magnesium, important minerals to promote a healthy immune system, and magnesium may help promote better sleep.”

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It’s not just a kids’ lunchbox favorite. “When I travel I frequently by plane and pack a peanut butter or sunflower butter and jelly sandwich on rye bread,” shares Toby Amidor, MS RD CDN, award winning nutrition expert and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. I’ll also pack grape tomatoes and clementines or fresh blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries on the side in a resealable plastic bag.

Trail Mix

Amidor also makes her own portion-controlled snack mix. “For a snack, I’ll make a homemade trail mix, but only bring 1 or 2 servings to keep my portions in check (and have a little extra in case I’m hungry or there is no food available where I land).”