Many cancer patients spend much of their time traveling to and from appointments, whether by car or by air, and eating healthy often isn’t always top of mind. Plus, when you travel, nutritious options aren’t as easy to come by as when you’re home, especially when it comes to snacking. So when it’s mid-afternoon and you’re looking for a quick energy boost but you’re stuck in an airport or your car, you may be limited to whatever fast food you can find. But healthy snacking on the go doesn’t have to be such a challenge. “Even if you have to go through a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant, there are usually grilled choices or side salads or fruit you can buy instead of French fries,” says Crystal Langlois, Director of Clinical Nutrition at our hospital near Atlanta. “You also may choose water or unsweetened tea instead of soda.”
Langlois recommends planning ahead when possible before you go out of town—or just across town—to help you make smarter choices on the road. Try cutting vegetables into small pieces and dipping them in guacamole, hummus, almond butter or salsa, for example. You can also make a healthy vegetable dip by mixing plain nonfat Greek yogurt with dried seasonings such as dill, minced onion, garlic and onion powder, chives, parsley, salt and pepper. Or, dip bite-sized pieces of fruit in cottage cheese or fruit-flavored Greek yogurt. If you like trail mix, Langlois says using almonds, pecans, walnuts, dried berries and fruits are healthy options. “Nuts are a go-to for me,” she says. “I also bring fresh pieces of fruit with me, like an apple or a banana. Those are old-school staples, but they really do travel well.”
But be careful not to just toss an unmeasured amount of dip or nuts into a plastic bag. Instead, Langlois recommends using portion-controlled containers so you don’t end up eating an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting.
For more healthy snack recipes and tips, watch this great video.
Individual needs may vary. Always discuss your diet with your care team.