By Jessica Cording
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN is a registered dietitian and writer based in New York. To learn more about Jessica, visit her website: jessicacordingnutrition.com/website/
Whether you’re hitting the road, taking to the sky, or simply running around town, these convenient snacks are easy to stash in your purse or find in a convenience store to make healthy eating on the go a snap. An added bonus: When you’re well-fueled, angry meltdowns and morning-after food guilt-trips are far less likely. Happy trails.
- Nuts or seeds: The mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fats with give a long-lasting energy boost. Try almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Just be sure to stick to a small serving (~1/4 cup). Split a larger bag with a friend or seal it up and put it out of reach after serving yourself.
- Yogurt: Look for plain instead of flavored. You can add fruit or a sprinkle of cinnamon. If Greek yogurt is an option, go for it. Most brands have twice the protein, which will help keep you full and energized.
- Cheese sticks: Instant portion control. The protein will help you stay focused, and the calcium will help calm your nerves—and maybe even that headache.
- Cottage cheese: Another great source of protein, cottage cheese is another great snack. It often comes with a sweet dip on the side, but save yourself some extra sugar—and calories—and have some berries or half a sliced banana on top instead. You can also dip veggies in if savory’s more your style.
- Hard-boiled eggs: Two eggs will set you back 150 calories and give you 10 grams of protein plus satisfying fat. Watching your cholesterol and saturated fat intake? Skip one of the yolks
- Fruit: Fruits with peels, such as bananas and oranges will travel best, but apples are also an easy snack to bring along with you—just be sure to wash before eating. A few other options: grapes, berries, and cut up melon.
- Veggies: Veggies and dip are becoming more of a convenient store staple. However, since most dips don’t provide much nutritional value, swap in a piece of cheese or a serving of nuts instead.
- Hummus and crackers: A decent source of fiber, hummus and whole grain crackers will keep you full longer than a bag of chips. Hummus also makes a great dip for veggies.
- Turkey or beef jerky: This convenient source of protein packs easily. Just keep in mind that most varieties are pretty high in sodium, so be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Single-serving packs of peanut butter or other nut butter: Nut butter is a satisfying, tasty way to add satisfying protein and fat to fruit, crackers, or oatmeal. A one-use pack keeps you from polishing off the whole jar.
- Popcorn: Popcorn is a satisfying whole grain option for when you need something to munch on. It takes a long time to eat, making it perfect for warding off highway hypnosis.
- Instant oatmeal: Not just for breakfast. Instant oatmeal is easy to make with water, and makes a satisfying snack. Just steer clear of super-sugary varieties. Need to make it a meal? Add a piece of fruit or some nuts.
- Protein or granola bars: Not all bars are created equal. Look for a brand with less than 5 grams sugar and at least 4 grams of fiber and protein.
- A sandwich: Though not the most conventional snack, half of a simple sandwich (think turkey & cheese with lettuce and tomato) on whole wheat bread can get you through a long trek.
- Chia shots: A no-brainer portion-controlled way to add fiber to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or even soups and savory grain dishes, these single-serve packs of chia seeds are easy to stash in your bag.