March 4, 2019
Every morning, whether you're headed to work, the gym, or class, it's always a mad dash to make sure you have all of your belongings before heading out the door (*sorta*) on time. And while it's easy to just grab a bag of chips or hit the drive-through on your way home, it is just as easy to grab some healthier choices.
On-the-Go Snacks: What to Look For
While convenience is the main factor, there are a few other things to keep in mind when picking a grab-and-go snack. There are plenty of unhealthy options out there, so try to focus on whole foods or those that are minimally processed. Not sure what constitutes minimally processed? When it comes to packaged snacks, look for five or fewer ingredients and ingredient names you can pronounce. The number itself doesn't really matter, but oftentimes, the more ingredients, the more processed the food item is. And, if you're going to be running around all day long, opt for foods that won't need refrigeration.
The Easiest Portable Snack: Fruit
C'mon, nothing is easier than grabbing a piece of whole fruit when you're on the way out the door. Bananas, apples, and clementines are easy, portable, and don't require refrigeration. As a bonus, they don't require any chopping or prep work – and they're chock-full of vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
MedExpress Pro Tip: Bring a single-serve cup or pouch of nut butter and a plastic knife for an added touch of protein (and flavor!) for your banana or apple.
Not Just for Hikes: Healthy Trail Mix
This one is addicting. We're talking trail mix. While you may be most familiar with the traditional kind filled with chocolate candies, raisins, and peanuts, we're giving our trail mix a wholesome makeover. Make your own trail mix with pistachios, almonds, dark chocolate chips, and raisins. Why no peanuts? Pistachios and almonds are higher in protein, which will keep you fuller longer when you're on the go.
MedExpress Pro Tip: If you're pressed for time or just don't want to make your own, look for a minimally processed fruit and nut bar like the ones made by KIND®. They can be found in most major grocery stores and gas stations.
An Easy Snack to Pack: PB and J
Okay, hear us out. While this may have been a lunchbox staple years ago, we're all for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and stashing it in your gym bag or purse – just in case you need a little boost. Use all-natural PB and whole wheat bread for a healthier spin on this classic.
MedExpress Pro Tip: Don't sweat it if you have a nut allergy! Alternative spreads like sunflower seed butter are allergy-friendly, pack the same nutritional punch, and taste just as great!
The Perfect Portable Snack Pair: Pretzels and Cheese
Here's another staple from days spent on the playground. Few combos are better than crunchy and salty pretzels paired with string cheese. While it's still up for debate whether you should peel or bite, this combo is tried and true. Oh, and one last thing, if you toss this into your bag in the morning, the cheese will be fine if you eat it by mid-afternoon.
A Simple, Classic Treat: Air-Popped Popcorn
Who says you need a good movie to enjoy some popcorn? While this variety takes a healthier approach, we promise that it's just as good. Air-popped popcorn is one of those "high-volume" snacks that are essentially foods that are filled with a lot of air and make you feel like you're eating more than you really are. That's our kind of magic trick. Sprinkle your popcorn with fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt for a sophisticated twist.
MedExpress Pro Tip: Add some air-popped popcorn to your homemade trail mix for even more bang for your buck.
Warm and Cozy: Easy Instant Oatmeal
What could be simpler than some hot water and an instant oatmeal packet? While this one does require a little more leg work to nosh on, hot water is relatively easy to find no matter where you are. And if you don't have a bowl nearby, a coffee mug or disposable coffee cup will work just fine.
MedExpress Pro Tip: Most grocery stores sell instant oatmeal cups in the same aisle, making it even more convenient. Just don't forget your spoon!
A High-Protein Choice: Jerky
You don't have to be a jerk to enjoy some jerky. All jokes aside, this grab-and-go snack is packed with protein. Depending on what brand you choose, you could be consuming anywhere from seven to 11 grams of protein per ounce which will keep you full for hours. Grab a whole bag or portion out individual servings for a quick grab.
MedExpress Pro Tip: While it can be a great source of protein, jerky can also be hiding a lot of sodium and sugar. Look for varieties that contain less than 500 mg of sodium and five grams of sugar per serving.
Oh, and one more tip to make this easier than ever. Dedicate a section of your pantry to healthy, easy-to-grab snacks that are front and center at eye level so you don't forget you have 'em.
There you have it! Grab any one (or two!) of these seven snacks the next time you're on your way out the door and fuel your day the right way. And of course, always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.