Between running errands, going to the office, and your at-home workout, it’s easy to reach for a sugary or salty prepackaged snack when your stomach starts to rumble. But real food is always better, and these easy healthy snacks will keep you full and energized so you can get everything you need out of a busy day.
Aside from being a much healthier option than store-bought items, these simple healthy snacks also produce less waste because they can be carried around in reusable containers. No matter who you are, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the taste and ease of the following natural snacks at home and on the road.
My all-time favorite snack to make for a busy day of errands is a strawberry banana smoothie. It’s sweet, healthy, and has the feel of a milkshake with a fraction of the fat and calories. I like to add spinach to the mix for added energy, so this drink ends up being a fun green color. If you’re making this for kids (who are always resistant to green foods), simply swap the strawberries for blueberries and your smoothie will take on a welcoming purple hue. Here’s what you’ll need to make two large smoothies:
- 2 bananas, chopped and frozen
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup almond milk
Place all of your ingredients in a blender. You can even do this the evening before and place your blender cup in the fridge overnight. Blend until smooth, pour into a travel cup, and enjoy.
There are a lot of options for fresh fruits and veggies on the go. The key is to choose something that won’t make a mess as you tackle your busy day. When you buy produce, separate some to put in ready-to-go containers you can grab on your way out the door. Grapes are sweet, delicious, and a perfect bite-size for easy eating. To ensure you get your recommended daily serving of veggies, put a cup of grape tomatoes in a reusable container and enjoy the juicy goodness just about anywhere.
Nuts and Trail Mix
Nuts are a fantastic snack because they’re high in protein and will fill you up so you’re not tempted to make a fast food pit stop. According to BBC Good Food, almonds are calcium-rich and high in vitamin E, so your bones and skin will receive residual benefits from this yummy treat. Omega-3-rich walnuts and magnesium-filled cashews are great choices for easy healthy snacks, as well. You can also mix all three nut varieties together and add some dried fruit for a tasty, personalized trail mix.
If I know I’m going to be out for a long time, I like to pack something more substantial. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a comforting classic that combines salty and sweet for a satisfying snack. I make my PB&J on whole wheat bread and cut it into four sections so I can eat a small portion when I have a spare minute without having to commit to the full meal. A bonus of this divided sandwich is that you can easily share it with your kids. You can also slice a banana into it for added potassium.
With 15 grams of protein in each cup, chickpeas are another fantastic snack to bring along on a busy day. For a little extra crunch, bake the chickpeas with your favorite seasonings to get the familiar enjoyment of snacking on a crispy, prepackaged treat without any of the preservatives. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them on a baking sheet. Toss the chickpeas in the oil and place in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes. Add the seasonings, toss, and rotate the pan before placing it back in the oven. Bake for an additional five to 10 minutes.
With a minimal amount of planning, snacking can be a delicious and fulfilling part of your family’s everyday diet. Try some of these nutritious options above to fuel your healthy lifestyle. Tell us your favorite on the go snacks at @TomsofMaine.
Image source: Laurie Fanelli
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