Planning ahead is so important in order to honor intuitive signs of hunger. It’s easy to get caught without a snack and by the time you are able to eat, all ideas of how much or what go out the window. It’s much easier to stay level-headed about food choices (not to mention support physical and mental health) with regular, balanced meals and snacks.
We’ve made lists of meal and snack ideas in the past, but many of you want snack ideas that don’t require ANY amount of refrigeration or food prep. Here are some ideas:
1. Vacuum packed chicken, tuna and salmon packets: These are packed with protein and pair nicely with vegetables and/or whole grain crackers. You could keep individual packets of mustard or mayo in your desk drawer to dress them up if you wish or some may come already seasoned.
2. Bars: My top picks would be Larabars, Pure Bars, Kind Bars and Pure Bars. If you are wanting a meal replacement bar that is a bit higher in calories, ProBar MEAL could be a good choice.
3. Trail mix: By a nice mix or make your own with your favorite dried fruits and nuts. Even add a bit of dark chocolate for a nice treat. Here is our favorite!
4. Fruit with nut butter: My personal favorite would be a banana with peanut butter. An orange with almond butter is also a great treat. Many stores now sell “100 calorie pack” natural nut butters (Justin’s brand is the one I see most often) which can be convenient for packing.
5. Shelf stable milks: If you tolerate dairy well, Horizon brand sales small cartons of shelf stable cow’s milk. Otherwise, you can find shelf-stable soy or almond milks too. You could pack one of these, some whole grain cereal (Cheerios, Chex, Life, Ezekiel, Nature’s Path, granola, etc) and some fruit for an easy on the go breakfast.
6. Lean Jerky: Look for good quality lean beef or turkey jerky and pair it with a small package of applesauce or dried fruit. Sweet and salty…doesn’t get better than that!
7. Popcorn: There are a lot of pre-popped bags now days, or you could pop your own. Pair with some nuts or seeds for a bit of fat and protein.
8. Roasted Edamame: Edamame are soybeans and can be found roasted. They are crunchy, slightly salty and a perfect balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
9. Pistachios: Any nut is great but pistachios require a bit more mindfulness as you eat them since you have to get them out of their shell. Pair this with some fruit and you are set!
10. Dry oatmeal packets: These could be really quick breakfasts at the office. You can by lower sugar or plain varieties, pairing them with the shelf-stable milks listed above, fruit and nuts.
You will notice that none of these are perishable or need refrigeration. This makes them great options not just for every day life but also for traveling.
What are your favorite on the go meals and snacks?
Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD