“I need Healthy Food to Be More Convenient!!”
While I was folding laundry yesterday, I was listening to a bunch of women on TV talk about child obesity. They were discussing why healthy eating is all wonderful and beautiful but in reality can be very difficult. One of the women said flat out: between carpooling to soccer practice, baseball practice, piano lessons, school activities, appointments – when you’re sitting in the van and pass the “Golden Arches” – it’s really difficult to say no. She admitted that healthy foods need to be more convenient for her!
I understand what she means… when you have a full busy schedule – and you come home from work/ school, it’s difficult to drag out the cutting board, knives and peelers and start prepping and oh-so healthy salad. It is much easier to go to the cabinet and munch on something that is pre-packaged.
So, I decided to make a list of healthy “go-to” snack foods that you can nibble on whenever you’re hungry, in between meals, and are CAR APPROVED! Easily transportable these snacks are great for the little campers in the mini-van between errands.
Fruit is the OBVIOUS choice – but peeling an orange can still be annoying and tedious. So here are some easy ideas in the fruit category.
– Berries – berries are fun to eat, heavenly delicious and you can put them in a little plastic cup and go to town (if you want to send them with kids to school you’ll need a container)
– Clementine(s)- (easy to peel, perfect for little hands!)
– Bananas – very filling! To me, a banana is nature’s super food. Amazing health benefits and they come in perfect serving sizes!
B) Cut Veggies (packaged) – Broccoli, Carrots – these are probably more pricey but they are a pretty good idea. They come packaged and ready to eat! (pictured to the right) We love eating them with salsa (or you can pair it with a yummy Ranch dressing) and voila – a snack that’s good to go!
C) Grape Tomatoes – perfect to just pop in your mouth! (my all-time favorite brand is “Santa Sweets”)
D) Granola Bars – Granola bars are a sticky situation. I was reading the label on one of the popular brands and lo and behold it had about 12 grams of sugar!!! You could have chips and pretzels with less sugar! Not worth it in my book. However, there are lots of new companies out there – lots of power bars, snack bars –and some are definitely worth looking into to munch on ONCE IN A WHILE.
E) Raisin Boxes – key to remember – raisins have higher sugar content because they are denser. In other words, you can have twice as many grapes as raisins and get the same amount of sugar. But, raisins are definitely a healthier option than other salty snack foods.
G) Yogurt. Yogurt is healthy, wonderful and awesome. Difficult if it needs to be in the car for a long period of time, but it’s a good food to have in the house. (PS – Greek Yogurt is the best. Try to stick with the low sugar or low carb yogurts – the regular brands are so loaded with sugar, its really not worth it)
H) Applesauce – perfect size for a snack. Can sit in the car for hours. And they have great new flavors, no added sugar, organic … its definitely a go-to food in my book!
I) Baby Carrots – these are the classic veggie snack. Personally they were never my thing, but my hubby can eat a whole bag. So try ‘em out.
J) String Cheese – cheese on a stick. Need I say more?
K) Hard Boiled Eggs – when I was a hard core Atkins dieter, I would always have in my bag 2 hard boiled eggs wrapped in foil. My friends would laugh at me when I would pull them out of my purse and announce “snack time!” The Hard boiled egg is the perfect food in the perfect size. (I find 2 eggs are more filling than one)
L) Dried Fruit – I didn’t put this in the fresh fruit category, because they’re not the same. Dried fruit has a higher sugar content, but still healthier than eating a chocolate bar. There is a whole section in the supermarket of dried fruits – my favorite was always apricots. A word to the wise – too much dried fruit will give you a mad tummy ache so don’t eat too much. If you are a die-hard dried fruit fan, I would recommend investing in a dehydrator. I considered purchasing one, but not really quite there yet
M) Nuts – I am absolutely NUTS about NUTS! These are probably the best idea for cars – on the go – in the office – literally anywhere. They look pretty in a glass bowl, and are healthy!! There are many different kinds of nuts, so if you want to go for flavor, peanuts, pistachios, or cashews is ok. However, if you want to go for the health factor – I would stick with almonds, pecans, walnuts – (and others) etc. I love how that you can now purchase nuts in snack size bags or containers.
N) Trail Mix – trail mix is a combination of fruit and nuts, sometimes with some granola added in. It is a great pick – me up snack. If you like the Trail Mix idea you should MAKE YOUR OWN – store bought has added sugars and crap that you don’t need. I’ve never made my own – so I can’t offer any recipes, but hey, that’s what Google is for (that’s why we pay them the big bucks). My aunt has in her car trail mix – ALWAYS. This way she’s never stuck somewhere in traffic etc. without something to eat if she needs. (Such a Jewish mom)
O) Granola – I mentioned Granola with the Trail Mix idea… but these are different. Granola recipes can be added to yogurt or had with milk as a cereal… its really funky. Once again – this is something better if you make it yourself than buy it. And if you do buy it, READ the labels!)
P) Popcorn – I know I know, its not as “kosher” as a clementine or a carrot stick – but hot air popped popcorn is very low in calories and a great substitute for the microwave kind. And your kids will feel like they’re getting a noshing snack and not a boring healthy one (PS – to make hot air popcorn more fun and flavorful: after its finished popped and in the bowl, spray cooking spray all over, then add regular salt, garlic powder, and onion powder and mix with large salad spoons. YUMMMMMMM …… (P.S number 2: Popcorn kernels are WAY cheaper than microwavable bags….)
Q) Seeds: eating like a bird was never so fun! Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds – these are great to snack on. These are also great to eat when you’re not really hungry even but you want a bissle nosh
R) Crackers – These are very difficult to buy. Just because the package claims that it is a healthy food, does not mean it really is. More often than not the “healthy” or “multi grain” crackers aren’t that much better than the regular. So if you chance going to your health food store, do some serious research before picking a go-to cracker . Some of the crackers that I’ll “allow” are the Kemach Stoneground (pictured) or the Shibolim crackers (pictured). WASA crackers are also pretty good. The truth is, we try not to “snack” too much on crackers… but for the little ones there are some companies out there that aren’t too bad. Like I said – do your research!
S) Chummus – is an EXCELLENT go-to food. Amazing if you’re on the run somewhere. You can eat Chummus with ANYTHING. With baby carrots, cucumbers, a slice of bread, a cracker (if you do find one that you like )
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Well, my friends – I hope this list helps you somewhat…. I could go for a snack right about now!!
I would love to hear what snack ideas you use when you’re on the run. This list is far from complete, so feel free to comment and add your own suggestions!!!!