A Healthy Holiday Snack Worth Traveling For

The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and health goals can take a hit. Between the temptations of airport food and road trip drive-thrus, it's hard to stay with your healthy lifestyle while traveling. Check out the tips below for a successful healthy holiday travel season.

Tip #1: Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water re-hydrates you, because traveling on planes, trains and cars can dehydrate us. That's what causes the classic "airport look." Unlike juice and soda, water does not have any additional calories. Therefore, choose water to avoid excess weight gain. Traveling by plane and don't want to spend extra cash in the airport? Try bringing an empty water bottle through airport security and fill it up at one of the popular hydration stations. If you're traveling by car, you can also fill up your water bottle at many highway rest stops.

Tip #2: Plan for Travel Fitness

Keep your healthy lifestyle on track with exercise this holiday season. Set a goal before you leave for your trip: Decide how many times you would like to exercise, and what would be practical with your holiday plans. If you are staying in a hotel, check out the hotel's website to see if there is a gym. If you are staying with friends or family, see if your host will be your walking buddy during your stay. Have a long travel day with several layovers? Airports such as the Dallas-Forth Worth and other large airports have added yoga rooms and walking tracks for their passengers. Or try taking some extra steps by exploring the airport. Remember walking 30 minutes equals 3,000 to 4,000 steps. Don't forget your sneakers!

Tip #3: Choose Healthy Fast Food Options

When you are traveling, it seems as though fast food restaurants are everywhere. Make smart choices and try to choose fast food restaurants with healthy options, such as a grilled chicken sandwich or grilled salmon salad with vinaigrette dressing. Add in your veggies by ordering a side salad or raw veggies instead of the chips and french fries. Want to find the healthiest nearby restaurant? Check out the Good Food Near You app! This app not only lists the healthiest restaurants near your location or in your airport, but it also features a list of healthy menu items complete with calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein information.

Tip #4: Pack Lots of Healthy Snacks

If you are driving, try bringing a mini-cooler to pack foods such as unsweetened applesauce, no sugar added fruit cups, raw vegetables (cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers celery), and low-fat yogurt. For lunch, try sandwiches like natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread, or a low-fat turkey sandwich. Traveling by plane? Skip the bag of potato chips and pack high-fiber granola bars, whole grain cereal, instant oatmeal, fruit, and a healthy trail mix like this one:

Roasted Edamame with Dried Cranberries and Honey Roasted Walnuts

Recipe created by Brittany Chin, RD, LD

2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. organic honey


  1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees.
  2. Arrange frozen edamame on an ungreased baking sheet.  Top with olive oil and salt.  Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add honey and warm until thin, about 1 minute. Add walnuts and toss in honey with a spatula. 
  4. Transfer honey walnuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  5. When the edamame has only 5 minutes left to roast, add walnut-covered sheet to oven. Remove edamame and walnuts from oven after 5 minutes, or when honey is bubbling. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once cooled, remove honey roasted walnuts from pan with a spatula and break into small pieces in a large mixing bowl. Add the roasted edamame and dried cranberries. Toss together and serve!

Preparation Note
Mixture can be kept in an air tight container up to five days.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season!

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Brittany Chin Jones
Brittany L. Chin Jones, MS, RD, LD, is the owner of Blush Nutrition, LLC and the Continuing Education Chair for the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SCAND). Over the years she has served as the Piedmont Dietetic Association president, SCAND PR-Media Chair, and the Communications Chair for the Thirty and Under in Nutrition Dietetics member interest group. Follow her at BrittanyJonesRD.com and on Twitter and Instagram.