Maybe you are a busy college student with limited access to a kitchen. Perhaps you are a teenager, hanging with friends when you are not in school or doing homework or running to an after school job or sports practice. Or you are a busy professional traveling for work, and you need to grab your meals out of sandwich shops or convenience stores to save time. Whatever your circumstances, know you are not alone. Many of us need portable plans at least some of the time. Here’s some encouraging news: Eating on the run doesn’t necessarily mean compromising your healthy eating goals. In-transit fare can be natural, wholesome, and satisfying.
Here’s a list of some ideas (and a recipe) for on-the-go food that won’t compromise your health, happiness, or budget.
Sure, you can purchase pre-made trail mix, but the only thing certain about it will be a steep price tag and ingredients of iffy quality. Making your own is cheaper and in all ways better, since you get to control what goes in it. Use this recipe for Super Trail Mix as inspiration.
Cook a batch of Kashi® 7 Whole Grain Pilaf the night before and take it with you to work to reheat for breakfast. Note that Kashi® cold cereals are great portable snacks as well. Eat them dry, like trail mix, or keep a box at work along with a carton of cow’s milk or soy milk, if you have space for it.
Fresh fruit is the best option for on-the-go eating in the world. Buy apples, pear, oranges, or clementines in the fall and winter; peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, and berries in the summer.
Kashi® bars of all kinds are easy to find, affordable to buy, and designed to be taken anywhere. They taste like dessert, but are packed with nutrition to keep you going.
Most supermarkets have salad bars. They add up, price-wise, but earn their keep when you select wisely. Load up on vegetables and protein, but go light on the croutons and dressing.
Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect on-the-go hit of pure protein. Peel them at home, rinse off any peel that might have stuck, and pack them to go in a neat little plastic container with a fitted top.
You can buy miso soup in individual serving packets (there are some very respectable brands, like Kikkoman® and Mishima) and keep them at your desk. Just add boiling water and stir. It's as easy as brewing a cup of tea.
Most kinds of Greek yogurt come in individual, single-serving containers. Make a point of buying these often! This very firm yogurt is concentrated nutrition (protein, calcium, probiotics) with a great tart flavor. Add a touch of honey if you like, and perhaps a sprinkling of dried fruit. For a filling, highly nutritious snack.
Nuts are delivery systems for natural monounsaturated fats, and walnuts are rich in ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in every sense of the word. Don’t forget that “good” fats, like those found in walnuts, are as necessary to a healthy diet as protein and carbohydrates!
Peanut butter is one of the best snack foods in the world, and not just for children. Just a spoonful of all natural peanut butter can go a long way, whether spread on a cracker or apple slices. Keep a jar at your desk, and enjoy up to a tablespoon a day.
Hummus, bean dips, and salsas are great with whole-grain crackers (try Kashi® Crackers), whole-wheat pita bread or organic tortilla chips. Most grocery stores stock all of these items, so they are easy to find.
Go beyond baby carrots (although they are a great snack!). Make extra vegetables for dinner and take them with you, zipped into a sealed plastic bag, to work the next day for lunch or a snack. Combine cooked vegetables with raw ones for variety. Add some cherry tomatoes to the mix. Have these with the hard-boiled egg, peanut butter, hummus, bean dip, or salsa. You get a lot of “mouth feel” for the cost and effort.