Many of our clients are busy – some of them are moms, many of them are working, and all of them have a full life. Sometimes, that means running out of time to properly fuel their body. We’ve created a list of smart snacks that are easy to pack and eat on the go (even though we would prefer that you took your time to eat!).
We ran across an email the other day with “healthy snack” suggestions. While most of the suggestions were sound, we felt that our clients (and their families!) needed a more thorough and applicable list.
1. Single serving yogurts (don’t forget the spoon!)
Grab and go yogurts are a wonderful choice – they’re full of protein, vitamins, and very portable. There are a few things you do need to be cautious of when choosing yogurts:
- Sugar content: Sugar is a big additive in fruit-filled yogurts. Check the ingredients label and look for the key words that indicate sugar: syrup, words ending in -ose or -ol, cane juice, beet juice, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Be especially sure that the first ingredient is NOT sugar – remember, the ingredients are listed in order of highest to lowest content.
- Additives: Try and find yogurts with less preservatives and chemical additives. Your yogurt should contain milk, active cultures, and possibly fruit. That’s really it. If there is fruit added, their may be sugar, but try to keep that to a minimum. The first ingredient in your yogurt should be milk.
We are a huge fan of Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt. Staci likes the fruit ones and Marissa goes for the plain. Greek yogurt has a higher protein content, and a thicker texture (which also makes plain Greek Yogurt a wonderful sour cream substitute!). Other great Greek yogurt options are Voskos, Greek Gods, Chobani, Fage, or Zoi. Some non-greek yogurt options are Stonyfield or Clover. There are also dairy free options for those with a dairy allergy – look for coconut milk or soy yogurt. Goat milk yogurt is another option for those sensitive to cow’s milk. (Please note this is NOT a complete list, but rather a list of suggested brands.)
2. Almond butter and vegetables or fruit
Almond butter is a great peanut butter substitute with a healthier fat content and typically has less sugar added. Dip your celery, baby carrots, apples or strawberries for a yummy treat. Play with the different varieties: crunchy, smooth, salted, unsalted… just watch out for the sweetened ones like maple almond butter.
3. Hard boiled Eggs
SUPER portable, delicious and easy to prepare. With 6 grams of protein and only 70 calories per egg, they’re a great snack to tide you over until the next meal. For fool-proof instructions on how to make perfect hard boiled eggs, click here.
4. Think Thin protein bars
These just happen to be our favorite protein bars, but there are others out there. With lower sugar, high protein and great taste they are a cheaper option for a higher quality protein bar. Quest Bars are also a great option, but much more expensive. Sometimes you can find Think Thin bars on sale at Safeway or Target. Buy them in bulk boxes to save money per bar.
5. Cottage Cheese, String cheese
Another great option that is high in protein and super portable. Pretty foolproof! Try eating your cottage cheese with avocado or fresh fruit. String cheese pairs great with apples or lunchmeat.
6. Guacamole and veggies
Avocados are packed full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Make your guacamole feel more indulgent by adding plain greek yogurt and dip those veggies! Bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, and baby carrots are a few that pair deliciously with guacamole.
You cook delicious meals – why not continue to enjoy them after the first night? Some great portable leftovers include meatballs, chicken breast or thighs, meatloaf “muffins” (make your meatloaf in a muffin tin – portable and single serving size!), frittata, or quiche.
8. Nuts/Trail Mix
There’s almost nothing easier and more portable than nuts or trail mix when you need a quick snack. However, be cautious when choosing nuts or trail mixes. First, the calories in nuts add up quickly – be sure to either separate them into serving size packs when you buy them or buy the single size packs. Second, trail mixes can be filled with sugar and candies which makes that once healthy snack an indulgent treat. Avoid trail mixes with chocolate candies in them (darn!) and sesame crackers, but rather steer towards the trail mixes with a variety of nuts and dried fruits.
Having these snacks on hand will make it easier for you to make a healthier choice when you’re hungry and in a hurry. No more grabbing a handful of potato chips and candies! You can be prepared and ready for anything, even when you’re short on time.
What snacks are your go-to snacks when you’re in a hurry? What do you struggle with most when it comes to snacking healthfully and your busy life?