I was at Costco yesterday stocking up on greens and fruit (they finally have organic berries in stock!), and I noticed the carts around me. Lots of processed snacks. I get it, the kids are always hungry! And not just the kids, we need food that we can grab on our way out the door because we are busy and WE NEED ENERGY!
But there are so many easy, real food snacks to choose instead of packaged bars, crackers and chips. Avoiding the snacks packed with artificial ingredients, extra sugars, preservatives, sodium, and ‘who-knows-what-else that your body has such a hard time processing’ will make a world of difference in your energy, mood and weight.
Try these 10 ideas for on-the-go snacks:
- Ripe, whole fruit – apples, oranges, clementines, bananas, pears, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, pineapple, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, cherries, cantaloupe. . .what did I miss here? A lot! Pick out something new every week to keep it interesting and eat seasonally when you can.
- Raw nuts and seeds – almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. Or try roasted and unsalted peanuts.
- Trail mix – pick some raw nuts and seeds and mix with your favorites: raisins, unsweetened dried cherries, apricots, goji berries, freeze-dried fruit, coconut, chia seeds. While there are a lot of trail mixes in stores, many have added sugar and oil.
- Organic cheese sticks – I don’t eat dairy myself but my kids do, and string cheese and cheese sticks are easy to grab with some fruit.
- Homemade muffins – make them ahead, freeze, and take a few out at a time. Muffins don’t have to be unhealthy. Try these great recipes that my family loves: Chocolate Muffins and Banana Nut Muffins
- Homemade Granola Bars and Lara Bars– I promise these recipes are quick, easy and delicious! And so much healthier than any granola bar I have ever seen in the store. Even the organic varieties seem to be high in added sugar. Store-bought Lara Bars (classic flavors) are fine, but you can make them much cheaper, and they taste better. Try these Homemade Lara Bars and Granola Bars.
- Homemade Granola with or without plain yogurt . Try this recipe for a yummy version for summer!
- Smoothies – make batches ahead of time and freeze in mason jars so you can take them out as needed. Or make in the morning and store in the fridge for the day. My go-to ingredients are banana, berries, spinach, almond butter, medjool dates, coconut milk and chia seeds. Yummy!
- Veggies and Hummus – carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, any of your favorites! Use a little container for hummus and you have a great portable snack!
- Organic hard-boiled eggs – keep a couple peeled, hard-boiled eggs in the fridge for a fast protein snack.
Some of these require some planning ahead, but once you get in the habit of having snacks prepped, you will find that it is not that difficult or time-consuming. And you really will feel better!