Meal Planning for Your Trip: Healthy Travel-Ready Meals

Dec 22, 2023
Dr. Kimberly's family on a Disney holiday.

Managing meals while travelling doesn’t have to be a challenge; it’s about strategic travel meal planning and creating options on vacation days.

Planning your travel meals, especially when airborne, requires understanding the limitations of liquids. However, a lesser-known but incredibly convenient option, whether journeying within the US or abroad, is the ability to bring carefully prepared homemade meals stored in secure, travel-friendly containers.

This approach ensures dietary control and provides a comforting and familiar taste of home amidst the hustle of travel. Whether hopping on a domestic flight or embarking on an international journey, having your travel meals packed can be a game-changer. It saves time and potentially money by bypassing airport food options and allows you to tailor your meals precisely to your nutritional needs and taste preferences.

This practice has often been overlooked or unknown to many travelers, yet it is a powerful tool for maintaining wellness on the go. With a little pre-planning and thoughtful packing, you can enjoy wholesome, nourishing meals while en route, enhancing your overall travel experience.

Meal prep veggies for traveling with kids.

What Can You Bring on a Plane: Travel Meal Planning

When flying within the US or travelling internationally from the US, consider packing the following:

  1. Freeze your favorite smoothies overnight and pack them for short-distance flights. Since the smoothie will be frozen before boarding, it will not be considered a liquid but a solid. When you land, you can enjoy sipping your smoothie for added glucose and minerals in a pinch! Ensure you have a great travel cup for packing smoothies on the go. As an added tip – thawed frozen blueberries can change consistency and almost turn pudding-like – if you don’t mind this texture, keep them in; if you prefer not, opt for a banana, mango, greens base, or other berries instead!
  2. Simplify travel meal planning by packing snacks, wraps, bowls, and chopped fruits or veggies with dips. These options allow easy mixing and matching of ingredients, catering even to picky eaters. Think of individually packed snacks like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, dates, berries, pumpkin seeds, and steamed potatoes.
  3. Wraps are a hassle-free option for travel days, avoiding liquids. Load up on raw or cooked veggies—broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, sweet potatoes—and greens like spinach or sprouts. Use versatile bases such as potato tortillas, collard greens, lettuce, Siete tortillas, nori paper, or coconut wraps (code DRKIMBERLY15 for 15% off). Consider carrying low-liquid options like hummus or mashed avocado for a dressing substitute to prevent sogginess. Make packing easy with a few helpful travel container options in our shop!
  4. Bowls offer a creative mix-and-match solution; combine rice (if grain-free, consider cauliflower or cassava rice), beans, or gluten-free pasta with your preferred veggies and optional add-ons. For example, a mix of tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, peas, and chickpea pasta seasoned with basil and thyme is simple, satisfying, and nourishing.
Dr. Kimberly with her baby at Dinseyland.

Easy Snacks – No Meal Prep Needed

Additional prepared options like Simple Mills crackers, dried fruit including mango, figs, apricots, raisins, cranberries, and dates, Simple Kneads bread (use code “reclaimersofhealth15” for 15% off), Jovial pasta, Lara Bars, That’s It bars, or Siete chips and tortillas expand your choices.
Instant oatmeal with coconut or maple sugar to sweeten and added packed fruit makes for a quick meal on the go; similarly, granola is kid-friendly.
Individual single-serve apple sauce, seed and nut butter, and olive oil are also helpful to pair with other items.
Purchase a large bottle of Fiji water at the airport as a spring water option. Flying can be extremely dehydrating, so drink lots of fluid before and after landing.

If you’re looking for candy alternatives or sweet treats, consider maple candies, maple cotton candy, and Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels.

How to Communicate with Airport Security

It can be a bit tricky regarding liquids at airport security. Kids’ bottles and baby bottles are permitted. Even if your toddler is still nursing, you can use this option. However, if you inform the security personnel that you’re carrying liquids like juices, lemon honey water, maple syrup, or honey for medical reasons, there’s a good chance they’ll allow it. They might conduct a quick test using a strip to verify the contents. Stay positive and communicate with them, as it’s often possible to bring necessary liquids like these through with their assistance.

Dr. Kimberly and her family at Disneyland.

Recently, my family and I took a trip to Disney. If you would like to learn more about how I navigate airport radiation, see my blog here. When visiting the parks at Disney, you can pack and bring your own food and snacks. Epcot also had food options to meet most dietary needs including some organic!

Discover the joy of keeping travel meals straightforward and enjoyable with a diverse range of delicious and healing foods. If you decide to stay at a rental with a kitchen, keep meals simple! Big batches of lentil dahls, soups, and chilis are all helpful for warming comfort, while steaming a big batch of potatoes can be a great way to use over a few days and turn into a variety of other meals. Steamed potatoes can be cut into potato wedges and made into fast fries. The whole family will enjoy them with a side salad and a good dip. Encourage creativity in kids by letting them create their own plates from the variety of snacks available.

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