By Tanya Steel, Epicurious.com
Today is America's busiest travel day, with 30 million going over the river and through the woods, not to mention highways, skies, and rails. Whether you're cramped in the back seat of a car, plane or train, it's hard to eat to resist the donuts, fries, potato chips and other fattening snack foods, especially when you're stressed, tired, watching your pennies, or have no time. So in an effort not to go big when you go home, opt for smart snacks, unlike those pictured above. These five can be found in any rest stop or airport kiosk and will keep you feeling energized, focused, full, and satiated.
See also: Epicurious's Guide to Making Perfect Pies
1. Fresh Fruit: I know what you're saying..."duh." But this obvious choice is rarely made, which is crazy when you consider it provides few calories, lots of fiber, fills you up, and is inexpensive. Look for seasonal items like apples, pears, clementines, as well as bananas, red grapes, and figs.
2. Nut and Dried Fruit Mix: Again, you're thinking duh...but most choose this option when exercising rather than traveling. Those peanuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds, and the like are packed with vitamins and nutrients you might be deficient from due to lack of sleep and poor eating habits. They also fill you up for hours and the pleasing mix of sweet and naturally salty, crunchy with soft, will satisfy your cravings. (Be sure to choose the variety wisely, forgoing any with added salt, milk chocolate or carob pieces.)
3. Mini Cereals: Think beyond breakfast and munch on bran anytime of day; bran flakes or buds, Mini Wheats, Wheaties, and Raisin Bran will satisfy with its crunchy sweetness. If you can't chase mouthfuls with a mini skim milk, make sure to have plenty of water on hand.
See also: Blue-Ribbon Chicken Recipes
4. Energy Bars: A lot are really glorified candy bars, but there are some, like Larabar (look for Peanut Butter Cookie and Carrot Cake) and Clif Bar (see the high-protein Builder's bar and Kid Z bar), which are comprised of mainly organic dried fruit and nuts.
5. Healthy Chips & Dips: Sabra's Grab-Go Packs of hummus with pretzels is a portable bowl of fun. Likewise, single-serve guacamole and salsa enjoyed with pita or veggie chips (look for Stacy's and Terra respectively) will make you feel like although you're on the road, you're bringing the party with you.
More from Epicurious.com:
• Bobby Flay's Thanksgiving
• Thanksgiving on a Budget
• One-Dish Wonders: Our Favorite Casserole Recipes
• Easy Holiday Cocktail Party Bites
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