When you’re running around all day, it’s easy to get stuck away from home without access to healthy snacks when the hunger hits. To avoid having to resort to processed vending machine or convenience store food, try keeping a couple healthier options on hand– in your car, purse or backpack, desk, or wherever else you have access to! A couple minutes to grab food before leaving the house makes you much less susceptible to impulse-buying junk food later in the day when you’re out. Fruits and veggies tend to be the “go-to” healthy snacks, but there is plenty of variety in what can be made convenient and portable!
Fruits: Apples, oranges, and bananas are nature’s most convenient foods, as they don’t need packaging or preparation. You can also keep a small tupperware with more fragile fruits, such as grapes, strawberries, or cut up mixtures of fruit chunks. Also try throwing in some less traditional “fruit salad” fruits, such as papaya, guava, plums, peaches, or pineapples.
Veggies: If you have that same go-to tupperware container, you can store endless varieties of veggie sticks, such as carrots, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower. Try to mix it up a bit and add some less common vegetables to the mix– bell peppers, cucumber, radishes, baby pickles, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans all make great veggie snacks! You can even chop up a big, colorful batch of veggies and have them ready to grab-and-go throughout the week to make having a delicious variety more convenient.
Nuts: They aren’t the lowest-calorie food, but are very filling and can be eaten in small quantities. Try a handful of almonds, peanuts, cashews, or pistachios for a quick pick me up that doesn’t require refrigeration and has a long shelf-life.
Unsweetened dried fruits: You can find a variety of dried fruits, ranging from chewy mango fruit leather, raisins, craisins, to crunchy apple or banana chips. They are a good fix if you’re craving something sweet– just be sure to check the nutrition label to make sure that the manufacturers didn’t add any additional sugar and eat in moderation as even the natural sugars in unsweetened dried fruit can add up quickly.
Eggs/dairy: Foods such as low-fat cheese sticks, or string cheese, hard boiled eggs, individual Greek yogurt or cottage cheese are great sources of protein.
Drinks: Now that we got the food covered, we can’t forget about drinks! It seems that most drinks that are easily available when you’re out on the go are sugary and high in calories– but sometimes you’re craving a healthy alternative to water. To keep your body hydrated and taste buds happy, try keeping a reusable water bottle on you at all times and using it for unsweetened iced tea or fruit-infused water to mix it up. There are “cold-brew” tea bags available that allow you to make iced tea right in your water bottle in minutes, skipping the boiling and icing processes. Try keeping a couple tea bags accessible, or make a large pitcher of iced tea to keep in your refrigerator so you can fill your bottle before leaving the house. If you have extra fruit laying around, throw a couple pieces into your cold water bottle to infuse the sweet flavor. Many flavored bottled waters are simple sugar and artificial sweeteners– however throwing a couple berries or lemon slices into your bottle costs only pennies, and comes without the extra sugar.