Healthy eating on a long train ride
April 10, 2013 8:47 AM   Subscribe

There will be a 12-14 hour train ride tomorrow, during daylight hours in America, for two adults. What should we pack to take with us to eat that is small and healthy?No cooler will be taken. We can visit a grocery store today. There is no local Trader Joe's.
posted by sock, the puppet to Travel & Transportation (24 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
My friend The Nutritional Therapist says that a combination of fruit (dried is ok but fresh is better) and nuts makes the perfect snack. It includes a little sugar, lots of fibre, and protein in the nuts to balance stuff out and keep you sated for longer :)

My favourite is an apple and a handful of walnuts (lovely omega oils in them too).
posted by greenish at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

-String cheese
-hard-boiled eggs (my local store sells them in packs of two)
-Luna bars
posted by bluecore at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2013

Dried fruit and granola bars got us through a similar trip... though I have an extremely high tolerance for both.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2013

*Fruit. Lots and lots of fruit.
*Water. Lots and lots of water.
*Some type of bread
*Hard cheeses will keep well that long (so bring a butter knife or plasticwear to cut it)
*Yogurt will keep that long unopened as well
*Granola bars
*Fig Newtons --- not healthy, sure, but DELICIOUS
*And if this is Amtrak -- a bottle of wine (yup, allowed!)
posted by zizzle at 8:52 AM on April 10, 2013 [6 favorites]

Kind of depends on what you mean by "healthy": vegetarian? low-fat? paleo? real food?

But in general: Apples. Cheese. Nuts (preferably not the super-salted and fried in a can kind). Salami. Crackers.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 8:53 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Dried fruit/nuts/seeds mixed together
Flatbread wrap (meat, salad, avoid anything too wet)
Cubed cheese, pineapple and salami in a container (retro!)
Brown rice salad
Japanese rice crackers
Mini yoghurt (freeze overnight and they'll defrost on the trip)
Carrot, celery and zucchini stocks with hummus
posted by Salamander at 8:55 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Frozen juice boxes, not because juice is wonderful, but so you'll have something to keep the other things cold. I would take sandwiches, possibly with sliced tomato in a separate baggie, and tetra-pak single-serving wine, since even the worst wine in the store will probably be better than the best wine on Amtrak (unless things have changed there; even so it will still be cheaper), and hummus and things to dip into the hummus. Gazpacho would probably have a long shelf life next to the frozen juice boxes and would feel more like "meal" than hummus etc; throw in feta or tzatziki for protein.
posted by kmennie at 8:57 AM on April 10, 2013

Most grocery stores (and even a lot of gas stations) nowadays carry KIND bars. They save my life on a daily basis.
posted by mykescipark at 9:00 AM on April 10, 2013

PB&Js travel well.
posted by something something at 9:04 AM on April 10, 2013

pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, pesto, cheese, arugula, etc in a gallon sized ziploc bag so it packs flat and you can toss it after you eat. real forks so you feel a little better about eating out of a plastic bag (:
posted by justjess at 9:06 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Many grocery stores have prepared veggie sushi rolls. When combined with a chocolate protein bar it makes a great meal. Sushi can be eaten with your fingers! Just make sure to get veggie sushi due to lack of refrigeration for a few hours.

An orange or apple and some nuts make a healthy snack.

If you are a nervous/bored eater when traveling, bring gum and mints as well, or hard candy that you like that doesn't have a lot of calories but takes a while to eat.

Also, special beverages! Come packing hot coffee or tea, and have a couple bottles of water and unsweetened iced tea.
posted by shortyJBot at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2013

Trail mix
string cheese
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:34 AM on April 10, 2013

*And if this is Amtrak -- a bottle of wine (yup, allowed!)

Only in your room in the sleeper car - not allowed in any public spaces on the train.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2013

For 12-14 hours I'd be planning three "meals" properly both to break up the trip and because personally I feel sort of ill if I graze on a bunch of trail mix and protein bars and such over the course of a long boring day or flight. That sort of thing always has me sprinting for a McDonalds after arriving too. So for "breakfast" I'd bring along some sort of omelette on a bagel or peanut butter sandwich on really nice bread - presumably you'd be eating them soon after making them so they won't get soggy. "Lunch" could be fruit and salami and cheese - it could all be ziplocced separately, doesn't need to take up much room. And "dinner" could be justjess' pasta salad. Then you can throw the almonds and apples and things for snacks in your bag, and I always include a guilty pleasure like jaffa cakes. And yeah, loooots of water if you can carry it!
posted by jamesonandwater at 10:16 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you have 15 mins, and have kale and tahini handy, bake some sweet and spicy kale chips. They can hit a gamut of cravings.
posted by mayurasana at 10:20 AM on April 10, 2013

If this were me I would go to the supermarket and grab
  • a box of triscuits,
  • a block of cheese (bring a pocket knife or get presliced cheese),
  • a bag of baby carrots, maybe a bag of cut-up broccoli,
  • two pieces of fruit per person,
  • some salami or pepperoni,
  • a bag of almonds.
Also probably some cookies and/or candy, because they're going to be available to buy on the train and I wouldn't be able to resist buying them for 12 full hours, so I might as well pay less and get my favorites at the grocery store.

(I'm the opposite of jamesonandwater and I don't mind grazing all day.)
posted by mskyle at 10:29 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm surprised at the lack of suggestions containing bread! I'd bring homemade sandwiches and some fruit.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:43 AM on April 10, 2013

Only in your room in the sleeper car - not allowed in any public spaces on the train.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:13 PM on April 10 [+] [!]

That might be a rule on a train with sleeper cars, but all the Amtraks I have taken from Boston to Baltimore and back with no sleeper cars, there was wine and beer available for purchase in the snack car that you could then take back to your very public seat. Or, you could bring your own with you in the very public seats because there were no-not-public seats.

Wines and beer abound!
posted by zizzle at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2013

Amanda Hesser has you covered.
posted by bunderful at 11:29 AM on April 10, 2013

If it were me, I'd bring:

smoked salmon
cream cheese
Carr's table water crackers
jar of Nutella
Marcona almonds
dried figs and dates
cartons of blueberries

...or I might skip the whole thing and take the opportunity to do a 12-hour fast.
posted by doreur at 11:31 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Amtrak will have a dining car (it's not actual food mind you, but a near approximation.)

Here's what I'd bring:

For breakfast:

Individual portions/boxes of your favorite cereal
Small cartons of shelf stabile milk (Horizon has 'em)
Bananas or other fruit

Mid-Morning Snack:

Yogurt (should hold up just fine)


Sandwiches (Most grocery stores will make them in the deli, and they're going to be okay until lunch time.)
Carrot sticks, lite chips, fruit, salads, etc.

Tea: (late afternoon snack, presumes something more filling when you reach your destination)

Pita Chips/Pretzels other dipping things

That should hold you and it's all pretty refrig neutral.

You can buy tuna salad kits, pouches of tuna, sachets of mayo, etc.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:17 PM on April 10, 2013

Bruschetta and bread
Hard boiled eggs
posted by cestmoi15 at 6:22 PM on April 10, 2013

I like bagels for travel. I am weird and will happily eat them plain, but because of the chewiness they somehow don't get soggy like other sandwiches do even if you fill them with jam or pb or cream cheese hours in advance.

Another easy snack when travelling is those little packets of pre-sliced cheese and a small pack of crackers. Because the cheese is sealed until opened, you can keep it at room temperature for a few hours without worrying.

Single-serve yogurts are good if you don't mind eating them at room temperature. It's not a health issue (if you get the yogurt that has actual bacteria), because warm yogurt just gets more yogurty - i.e. the yogurt bacteria will keep nasty bacteria at bay for a while. Certainly if you are eating it within half a day or so of taking it out of the fridge, it will be fine.
posted by lollusc at 8:14 PM on April 10, 2013

Lots of ideas at The Kitchn. Start here, many ideas in the comments, too.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:31 PM on April 10, 2013

« Older Tweak my study habits.   |   iOS Games and User Authentication Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.