Snacks are something that I’m often asked about on both Instagram and the blog so I figured I would take this Five for Friday post one step further and give you 20, that’s right, TWENTY packable snack options!
When I put together my snacks I usually aim to provide a source of carbohydrate (I’ll choose a whole grain if I know I have to go a little longer before my next meal) and a source of protein.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I always try to consider what I need my snack to do for me – is it just to take the edge off my hunger knowing I’ll have a full meal soon? Then I might just choose a piece of fruit or a cheese stick. If I know I’ll be going a while before my next meal, I’ll bulk up my snack a bit more or bring two.
1. Air-popped popcorn with peanuts – Popcorn is great not only because it’s super easy to pack, but it’s also a whole grain meaning you get some fiber along with it. Adding some peanuts adds a little bit more protein to the mix giving you a snack that should hold you over until your next meal! I love making air-popped popcorn with a little drizzle of olive oil and dry roasted, unsalted peanuts.
2. Serving of fruit & nut trail mix – Trail mix is my go-to snack, I get a little bit of healthy fat and protein from the nuts and at least 1/2 if not a full serving of fruit from the dried fruit. It’s super portable, it holds me over and it has a built-in mix of protein and carbohydrate! Try dried apples and almonds for an easy make-your-own!
3. Piece of fruit with nut butter – Choosing a piece of fruit is automatically going to provide you a good dose of micronutrients and fiber and pairing it with nut butter will give you some healthy fat and a little bit of protein. Try a pear with peanut butter – it’s a delicious combo and perfect for the Fall season.
4. Cheese stick with whole grain crackers – This one is a no-brainer. Cheese sticks are super easy to throw in your bag (just make sure it’s not a snack you pack on a day where it will be sitting around outside the fridge for a while!) and who doesn’t love cheese and crackers as a combo? You’ll get protein from the cheese and carbohydrate from the crackers. I love pairing a serving of Triscuits with a mozzarella cheese stick.
5. Greek yogurt and granola – This snack works double time – you get both protein and carbohydrate from the yogurt and the granola! But as with the cheese stick snack, make sure you’re not taking this one with you if your yogurt will sit out for a My tip? Bring a little lunchbox with an ice pack – keeps your yogurt perfectly cool and you can eat it any time! I love plain greek yogurt with peanut butter granola such as Kind or my own homemade Super Cluster Peanut Butter Granola!
6. Whole grain graham crackers with nut butter – For some reason this snack reminds me of my childhood and it remains to date, one of my favorites. Perhaps it brings me back to my Dunk-a-roos days (anyone remember those!?), but with this I’m not getting a huge dose of sugar along with my snack! Try Annie’s whole grain bunnies with a Justin’s nut butter packet for a truly portable snack pack!
7. Veggie sticks & hummus – Now that they make individually-sold hummus containers, this snack is a cinch. If you’re not into prepping your veggies ahead of time, you can even buy them pre-sliced. If you’re looking to be a little more economical, slice your own veggies and buy a big container of hummus scooping a little into a tupperware each time you bring this snack. Carrots, cucumbers and pepper strips all go great with hummus.
8. Whole grain cereal with milk – If you’re really crunched for space or going to be eating while in between classes or meetings, you can just throw the cereal in a baggie and bring an individual sized milk with you. It has the same effect (carbohydrate from the cereal and protein from the milk) even if you’re not eating it in the traditional way. My favorite is Quaker Oatmeal Squares.
9. 1/2 a whole grain PB&J sandwich – Grab a slice of whole grain bread and fill it with your favorite nut butter and jam or jelly. It’s an easy, affordable way to pack a snack that will hold you over!
10. 4-ingredient smoothie topped with granola (or mixed right in!) – You can whip this up the night before or right before leaving the house and store it in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to drink (just shake well before serving). This is giving you protein from the milk, fruits and veggies as well as grains from the granola! If you need even more staying power from this, add in some nut butter for a heart-healthy fat boost before blending.
11. Easy roasted chickpeas – This is a protein-packed snack that’s a great substitute if you usually reach for a bag of potato chips! Because they are part of the legume family, they offer both protein and carbohydrate making them an incredibly convenient little snack package. Toss them in a little baggie and munch on them whenever hunger strikes!
12. Fruit & Nut granola bar – Energy bars are tricky because while they’re super convenient, many of them have as much sugar as a candy bar! Check out this post for my Top 5 Energy Bar picks or try these homemade energy bites.
13. Edamame – Similar to chickpeas, edamame offer both protein and carbohydrate and are easy enough to steam up, throw in a tupperware and take with you. You can buy them shelled or unshelled (the choice is just a matter of preference). You’ll even notice that grocery stores and health food markets have begun to sell small containers of edamame that you can grab and go as well!
14. Dark chocolate with nuts – Sometimes nothing other than a little something sweet will do when 3pm strikes. Grabbing a chocolate bar with nuts (either right in the bar, separate or nuts coated with dark chocolate) is a perfectly acceptable snack. It may provide a little more sugar than other snacks listed on here, but ultimately you’re still getting a good mix of protein and carbohydrate. Try dark chocolate covered almonds.
15. Latte and a piece of fruit – This is a snack I often rely on while on-the-go because now a days you’re certain to find a coffee shop on just about every corner. A latte is simply espresso and milk so as long as you’re not loading it up with sugary syrups, it’s a good option for a snack. Milk, like chickpeas and edamame makes such a great snack because it provides both protein and carbohydrate. I like to add a piece of fruit to this snack as it’s an easy way to sneak in some more produce to my day and also gives me something to chew which helps satisfy my hunger better.
16. Baked tortilla chips and bean dip – It’s getting easier and easier to find bean dips in the store these days so if making your own is not in your wheel house, grab some from the grocery store along with a bag of chips and you’ve got yourself a balanced snack containing protein and carbohydrate! Try baked blue corn chips with black bean dip.
17. 1/2 Cheese Quesadilla – Take a small whole grain corn tortilla, throw some cheese in the middle and throw it in a tupperware. You can even pack a small container of salsa or plain greek yogurt to dip it in. Just reheat in the microwave quickly while at work or school when you’re ready to eat! Not everyone has a sweet tooth so this is a perfect mix of protein and carb that satisfies a more savory side of things. If you’re truly on the go however and you’re not into cold quesadillas, you might want to choose something different from this list!
18. Turkey and Cheese Rollups – Another savory option that’s an easy mix of protein and carbohydrate. You can make this the night before and bring with you wherever you’re going (you may want to make sure you can store in a fridge if you’re not going to be eating these for a while).
19. Fruit and Greek or Skyr Yogurt – It’s easy enough to take a mason jar and throw some fruit in, cap it and go. Both Greek and Skyr yogurt are packed with protein and also provide carbohydrate along with the fruit.
Not into packing your own snacks? There are a number of great companies out there like Graze, Naturebox (both of which I’ve tried and love!) and Urthbox which do all the work for you. All you need to do is sign up and you have individually packaged snacks delivered right to you.