Whether it’s during the hectic work week or a jam-packed weekend, finding healthy, convenient snacks can be tough. Many snacks are either full of salt and saturated fat, or might appear healthy but are actually stuffed with sugar. It’s always your best bet to pack your own snacks, but if you’re running out the door, there are a few things you can pick up at the grocery store, or make ahead of time, that will keep you healthy and satisfied.
Fruit: This is a no-brainer. Fruit comes in its own packaging and is available virtually everywhere you go. Fruit provides healthy carbs that are perfect for that 3PM pick-me-up you always need. Go for citrus fruit like oranges or grapefruit if you’re not too hungry but are craving something sweet. Bananas or pears are more filling if you need a more substantial fix.
Greek yogurt: Full of protein and low in calories, Greek yogurt is a great snack. Go for the no-fat option if you don’t mind the taste, and instead of grabbing those “fruit on the bottom” types (which are full of unnecessary sugar), add your own sweetener like honey or natural jam.
Nuts: These are a classic snack option. All nuts provide healthy fats and protein, and are great for keeping your brain going. Choose roasted nuts for maximum crunch, and try not to go too heavy on the salt. Trail mix with nuts is also a great option. Just remember that nuts are a red food, so watch your portion size!
Hummus: Chickpeas are full of iron to keep up your energy and fiber to keep your colon healthy. This dip comes in a huge variety of flavors to satisfy any craving. Hummus can be enjoyed with virtually any veggie (carrots, bell peppers, cucumber) or whole-grain pita chips. Happy dipping!
Hard-Boiled Eggs: Though you’ll probably have to prep these ahead of time, hard-boiled eggs are super portable and filling. Shell them once they’ve cooled and throw them in a Tupperware for later. Add some flavor with a sprinkling of salt, or even a bit of mustard.
Protein Bar: True, many bars are full of sugar and unpronounceable ingredients, but there are also many that are made from ten ingredients or fewer. And on days when time seems to disappear, they’re an easy alternative to chips. Brands like Larabar, Quest, and KIND all use understandable, clean ingredients. Check labels for added sugar to see just how healthy a bar is.
Edamame: This green soybean is a great source of protein and can curb any salty craving. Simply boil a handful or two, sprinkle on some salt, and pack it to go.
Nut Butter Packets: Little packets of almond or peanut butter (made by companies like Justin’s or Peanut Butter & Co.) are super convenient AND kid-friendly. Most have a 2-tablespoon serving, which is just enough to re-energize on a busy day. Try to stay away from brands with added sugar. Eat plain or spread on some whole-wheat toast.
Turkey Roll-ups: A kid favorite, turkey is super portable and high in protein. It happens to be full of vitamins, too. Go organic if you can to avoid added chemicals.
Rice Cakes: Some might think rice cakes are bland, but nowadays they come in more flavors than you’d believe. They’re tasty and super low-calorie – so slather on some hummus or nut butter and enjoy!