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13 Healthy Shopping Snacks & Travel Treats

Protein bars, dried fruit, peanut butter bar, berries
On-the-go snack ideas for the holiday season

Importance of Nutrition During Busy Days

Whether you're going to the airport or marathoning your last-minute Christmas shopping at the mall, it's important to get your nutrition in even when you're busy.

This is especially true if you plan to let your healthy eating and exercise habits go over the holidays. Healthy snacks will help maintain your energy, boost your metabolism, and keep you in a positive mood.

Man dragging carry-on luggage through airport
It can be tempting to buy high-sugar, high-fat foods while traveling- especially during the holiday season.

Types of Carbs

Carbs are the primary source of energy for our cells, brain, and muscles. They keep us fueled and comforted. Carrying carbs that are lower in starch and higher in fiber are best to prevent sugar crashes.

Consider veggie chips, raw carrots and celery sticks, an apple, banana, or even a handful of dried fruit. These will not only keep you fueled, but also help manage your blood sugars. Whole grains like unbuttered popcorn and whole grain tortilla chips are heart healthy and diabetes-friendly options, too.

dried fruit, berries, granola, and peanut butter bar
Dried fruit, low-sugar granola bars, fresh fruit & veggies, and nut butters are excellent sources of fuel for stressful travels and shopping excursions.

Carbs + Protein Help Blood Sugar Levels

You may consider pairing your carb with a lean protein and fat like peanut butter, hummus, or almonds. These will help you feel satiated while also nourishing your body, healing wounds and illnesses, and contribute towards your good HDL cholesterol levels. Protein bars or shakes that are low in sugar, turkey jerky, and guacamole are easy to carry and combine all three macronutrient categories.

Woman holding shopping bags on escalator
Bring healthy snacks to fuel your holiday shopping at the mall.

13 Healthy Shopping Snacks & Travel Treats

Here are 13 healthy shopping snacks and travel treats to pack for the holiday season. You can stick them in your purse or travel bag on the way out. Combine snacks from each category to get a well balanced mini-meal.

Healthy Snacks for Traveling

I've got a bonus snack for you! This gingerbread recipe is healthy, protein-packed, and called Gingerbread Reindeer Bites.

pile of protein balls covered in coconut on clear plate
Gingerbread Snowballs are protein-packed and have no added sugar; a great source of fuel for traveling and shopping.

Gingerbread Snowballs Recipe


1 cup pitted medjool dates

1/8 tsp clove

1/2 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts work best)

3 Tbsp hemp seeds or 3/4 cup rolled oats

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

1 cup coconut flakes


Food process dates and cloves. Add nuts and process again. Scrape into a bowl and add remaining ingredients except coconut. Mix with a rubber spatula. Using your hands, roll into small bite-sized balls. Cover in coconut flakes. Refrigerate at least an hour. (Stays good in the refrigerator about 10 days.)

For more recipes and nutrition advice from a Registered Dietitian, visit ZEST Nutrition.


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