Ever find yourself standing in the aisles of a convenience store, teetering on the edge of hangry? Don’t let poor planning ruin your day! Check out our list of easy and nutritious snacks to toss in your bag this summer, and stop hunger in its tracks.
Ants on a Log. Throw it back to childhood summers with this easy snack. Wash and slice a few stalks of celery, and fill with a nut butter like peanut, almond or cashew. Top with a few raisins for sweetness, and secure in a plastic container. While we can’t guarantee clean fingers post-snack, you’ll definitely enjoy eating this treat. Make sure to stash napkins or hand wipes in your bag for easy cleanup.
Trail Mix. This road trip favorite can be an excellent choice, especially if you make it yourself. First, include some high protein choices like dry roasted edamame, chickpeas, or seeds. Limit how many higher-fat foods, like nuts, you include. While nuts are a good source of protein and fiber, they contribute a hefty amount of calories from fat. Lastly, watch the sugar content of additions like dried fruit, chocolate, and cereals. On hot days, consuming high sugar foods can contribute to an energy crash (and in the case of chocolate, leave your bag a melty mess!). Instead, choose unsweetened dried fruits and whole grain cereals with little to no added sugars.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. These little nutrient powerhouses contain a surprising amount of protein, fiber, and hard-to-find nutrients like zinc and magnesium. You can purchase roasted pumpkin seeds in most food stores,or make them yourself. Season raw seeds with salt, pepper, curry powder, or ground turmeric, and roast at 300 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes.
Fruit. Seems too simple, but the high fiber content of nature’s candy can be just enough to get you through to your next meal. Stick with less delicate fruit like apples or oranges, which hold up well when you’re on-the-go. Or, if you prefer fruits like peaches, plums and bananas, make sure to secure these easily bruised fruits in a hard-sided container before popping them in your bag.
Bringing a cooler, or insulated lunch bag? Now we’re talking! Fill it up with easy, high protein snacks like low-fat string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, sliced veggies and hummus, or deli roll-ups (don’t be afraid to layer some greens, shaved carrots, or tomato in with your meats and cheeses). These filling and nutrient-dense finger foods will fend off that rumbly tummy, and keep the good times rolling. Now get going, day-tripper!