How often do you find yourself grabbing a certain snack because it’s easy? How about the snacks you send to school with your children? One thing I’ve learned is that easy does not always equal healthy, especially if you failed to plan ahead.
This past weekend I found myself on a five hour round trip to Vermont, tired, hungry, and having failed to plan ahead. In my defense, I hadn’t planned on making this trip at all. However, a series of poor planning decisions meant that I hadn’t thought about the upcoming week when making my grocery list, didn’t have any easy snacks available, and hadn’t done any food preparations.
So I left the house thinking I could survive a four hour car trip without too much trouble, and then found myself at a store in Ludlow, Vermont thirsty and having to use the bathroom. I figured I’d do my business, grab a water, and be on my way. Except failure to plan always leads to poor choices and as I was leaving the store, my body registered thirst as hunger. Instead of buying a water, I walked out with a bag of gluten-free rice chips. Half an hour later I had eaten half the bag, and I was more thirsty than when I left home.
Does this scenario sound familiar, even if the exact situation might be a little different?
On-the-go eating requires a little planning, whether it be for travel, work, a day at the beach, or even just a long car ride. In my case, I needed a snack that could be eaten with one hand, wasn’t greasy, drippy, or otherwise messy. I also needed something that didn’t require me to cut, peel, or prepare. I was also in a rush to get back on the road and the store offered easy in the form of unhealthy. Not an ideal situation.
You can spend some time on the weekend preparing ready-to-go packages of healthy snack options that you can just grab and go whenever the need arises:
- A bunch of grapes washed and packaged into 1/2 cup to 1 cup servings in ziplock bags
- A container of berries packaged into 1/2 cup servings in either small jars or snack bags
- Nuts and/or seeds packaged into 1/4 or 1/2 cup servings in small jars or snack bags
- Cut up vegetables with small jars of your favorite dip (yogurt/ranch/hummus etc.)
- Cheese sticks (prepackaged) or cut up cubes packaged into recommended serving sizes
The possibilities are endless. Think about what you and your family like to snack on, and then prepare those items ahead of time so that when the need arises, they are ready to grab-and-go. Don’t rule out non-perishable snacks that can survive a day in a purse or backpack without a freezer pack. Sometimes you just need to have granola bars or crackers on hand for those times when fresh isn’t an option. Just make sure that your choices are healthier options than what you would find at the little store on the side of the road when hunger forces you into making poor choices.
And don’t forget to hydrate.
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