21 Top Healthy Travel Snacks (Dietitian Approved)

Nutritious Snacks & Treats

Wondering what a registered dietitian brings to eat while traveling to stay healthy? I’m sharing my favorite dietitian approved healthy travel snacks that are nutrient dense and low in added sugar.

I love traveling but it quickly becomes no fun when I don’t feel my best (aka my digestion is off) or come home with a cold. These healthy travel snack ideas will help you fuel you up for any adventure, plus, they’re packed with the good nutrition you need to feel your best while traveling.

I’m sure there will be no shortage of delicious where ever you’re going, however it’s important to pack some strategic, nutrient dense snacks for planes, trains and all those other moments when you just need something in between meals.

I was also recently quoted with my picks for the best things for a quick travel breakfast in this Huffington Post article “Best Breakfast Foods To Eat When You’re Traveling, And Why It Matters.”

Healthy Airport Dining Options

Being hangry with a delayed flight and limited food options is no way to kick off a trip or vacation. While you can’t control what curveballs might come your way while traveling, you can control what snacks you pack to have on hand for any travel situation! A little planning a head of time to pack snacks is to key to fueling up and feeling your best while traveling.

Airports have definitely come a long way when it comes to food choices. At O’Hare airport there are a few different local Chicago restaurants and a couple of Cibo Express locations throughout the airport that stock many of the snacks on my list of healthy travel snacks below and I know a lot of other airports are expanding their options which is great.

4 Key things to Look For in a Healthy Travel Snack

1. Protein Content

Snacks with protein take longer for our body to digest vs. carbs. That’s the reason eating a snack that is all carbs doesn’t work to keep us full for that long. Packing high protein snacks will help ensure that the snack will keep you fuller for longer and fueled up for travel and activities.

2. Fiber Content

When you’re reading a nutrition label check the fiber content. Why? Fiber helps to keep us fuller for longer and is needed for healthy digestion. I would say it’s even more important while traveling because long flights and adjusting to new time zones can mess with our digestion and cause constipation.

To prevent constipation while traveling make it a point to incorporate fibrous foods like fruits, veggies and nuts and seeds. And for packaged snacks, anything above 3 grams of fiber is considered a good source of fiber, and 5 or more is considered “high in fiber”.

3. Sugar Content

Sugar content will vary from snack to snack. Fruit, veggies and dried fruits contain natural sugars, whereas some packaged snacks can contain a lot of added sugar. Bars are notorious for their sugar content, which is why you want to pick ones that are lower in sugar and contain protein and fiber.

4. Portability

Simple, mess free and easy to pull out of your bag when you’re running from gate to gate! This is a must for snacks which is why I like all of packaged items on the list below or packing fruits/veggies from home in a reusable stasher bag!

21 Dietitian Approved Healthy Travel Snacks

These 20 dietitian approved travel snacks include ones that are high in protein, low in sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly options. They’re easy to stash in your bag and take with you whenever your travels take you!

  1. Nut Butter Packets
  2. Purely Elizabeth Individual Oatmeal Cups or Plain Oatmeal Packets
  3. CHOMPS Meat Sticks
  4. KIND Zero Added Sugar Bars
  5. That’s It Fruit Bars
  6. Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers Snack Packs
  7. Nuts or Low-Sugar Trail Mix
  8. Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Portable Fruit & Veggie Slices
  10. Olive Pouches
  11. Dried Fruit
  12. Air Popped Popcorn
  13. Hard-Boiled Eggs
  14. Ella’s Flats
  15. Low Sugar Yogurt
  16. Homemade Wrap/Sandwich
  17. Low Sugar Granola
  18. Nut Butter Stuffed Dates
  19. Roasted Chickpeas
  20. Baked Cheese Crisps
  21. Tuna Pouches

1. Nut Butter Packets

A good source of plant-based protein and fat for staying power, I love stashing these in my bag for a quick snack. Pair with a piece of fruit or add to oatmeal to make it a bigger snack / smaller meal.

2. Purely Elizabeth individual oatmeal cups or plain oatmeal pouches

Great for breakfast or a snack in between flights, oatmeal will give you extra fiber (extra important for digestion when you’re off your routine!) Get plain pouches and add your own fruit and nut butter or opt for these from Purely Elizabeth that are low in sugar and high in fiber.

3. CHOMPS meat sticks

A great on-the-go source of protein that you can eat while walking, each stick has 9-10 grams of protein per stick, no added fillers and no added sugar — it doesn’t get much better than that! They’re also gluten free, dairy free, AIP friendly, whole30 approved and low carb.

4. KIND Zero Added Sugar Bars

With around 7 grams of fiber per bar and 5 grams of protein these are a no brainer to stash in your bag for any type of travel. I love the caramel almond sea salt flavor!

5. That’s It Fruit Bars

Made from fruit, these bars are a good option to pair with a snack that contains protein like nuts or a meat stick for a well rounded snack that’s bright and flavorful from the fruit bar.

6. Simple Mills almond flour crackers

These are my favorite crackers because they’re made with nutrient dense ingredients and nothing artificial. They’re gluten free and perfect for pairing with any kind of dip or hummus.

7. Nut packets or low-sugar trail mix

Think pistachios, almonds, or walnuts. You can find Wonderful Pistachios at most airports and I really like these pistachio snack packs that are easy to stash in any purse.

Trail mix is another great option, but be sure to check the ingredient label as many contain added sugars and extra oils. If you have the time, throw one together at home with nuts and seeds!

8. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber and magnesium. Magnesium also known as the calming mineral can help with calmness and relaxation which we could all use while traveling, you know?!

9. Portable Fruit & Veggie Slices

Think apple slices, berries, or a banana. Cut them up ahead of time and store in a stasher bag to snack on in flight or in any other on-the-go travel situation. Prepare some carrots, celery, or pepper slices in a bag ahead of time to snack on on-the-go.

10. Olive Pouches

If you love a salty snack these olive pouches are perfect plus they’re a good source of healthy fat. Pair with crackers and cheese for the start of an adult lunchable.

11. Dried Fruit

Think dried mango, apple rings, prunes, unsweetened banana chips. Here again it’s important to look at the label because there can be added sugar included. Dried fruit is sweet enough as is, so just make sure you see one ingredient (the fruit) only! Target has a great selection of dried fruit from their Good & Gather line.

12. Air Popped Popcorn

Popcorn contains about 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving depending on the type and is another easy one to pack to satisfy the taste for something a little salty. I like these individual bags from Pipcorn.

13. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Eating hard-boiled eggs on a plain might be controversial (!!) but if you’re in a travel situation where you feel like you can bust them out, go for it because they’re a great source of protein (around 7 grams per large egg) and other essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and B vitamins to help you feel your best.

14. Ella’s Flats

Getting enough fiber while traveling can be hard, plus it’s normal for our digestion to be off after a long flight, little sleep and time zone changes. These high fiber seed crackers are great to have on hand when travel constipation strikes. Dress them with hummus or avocado for a good high fiber snack.

15. Low Sugar Yogurt

Grab this on the other side of security (yogurt is not TSA approved) and opt for one that’s low in sugar and contains simple ingredients like siggi’s or fage.

16. Homemade Wrap/Sandwich

This is one of the best ways to make sure you have a snack/meal that is balanced and will keep you full for most of your travel. I recommend using a whole-grain bread, adding a source of protein like turkey, a veggie or two, and hummus.

17. Low Sugar Granola

Granola can make for a good snack but it’s important to be aware that many are packed with added sugar. I love Purely Elizabeth granola because it’s lower in sugar than most.

18. Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

Dates make for a great travel snack because they’re high in fiber and easy to take on-the-go. Opt for pitted dates, and fill with almond or peanut butter for a balanced snack with staying power.

19. Roasted Chickpeas

A good snack that contains plant-based protein and fiber if you’re sick of nuts are roasted chickpeas. They’re also easy to make at home, so you can make a big batch and share with your travel partner.

20. Baked Cheese Crisps

With 9 grams of protein per serving, these baked cheese crips are a fun snack with staying power. Perfect to pair with a meat stick for a savory snack situation or toss into a homemade trail mix for some flavor and texture diversity.

21. Tuna Pouches

I recently discovered these very inexpensive and convenient tuna pouches that make for a great pantry staple and travel snack. Pair with some crackers for a quick, protein packed snack (15 grams of protein per pouch!) and I didn’t find that these omitted a fishy smell when opened so that’s a plus!

High Protein Snacks for Travel

Out of all of these snacks, if you’re looking specifically for higher protein snacks for travel (or at least more than 5g per serving), I recommend the following:

More Healthy Snack Suggestions

Hydration Essentials for Healthy Travel

  • Electrolyte packets. For international travel, I recommend one packet per day plus a couple extra. I cannot stress enough how important it is to travel with these to help prevent dehydration and in case you start to not feel good while traveling. The European sun is no joke in the summer and when you’re walking around all day dehydration can definitely happen. I recommend this brand and this brand.

  • Empty Water Bottle. BYO bottle to refill at the airport to help with hydration. Sometimes it’s hard to drink enough water especially after a long flight and when your first adjusting to a new time zone so having a water bottle with you is a great way to help keep hydration up.

This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a commission if you click one of the links and end up buying something.

This article has been updated and edited. Originally Posted: June 20, 2019

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