New year, new you, right? If you’re one of the many of us who are determined to make 2019 our healthiest year yet, then you’ll want to be set up for success. We may be busy, but we can still eat healthily — including on the go. We asked nutritionist and registered dietitian Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, to guide us through better snacking selections. She’s sharing her wisdom and expertise with us, so we can keep cravings — and junk food — at bay.
When it comes to healthy grab-and-go snacks, Marisa says planning ahead is key. “Friends don’t let friends shop hungry. It’s the perfect recipe for ‘hanger,'” she says. We couldn’t agree more. Instead of zipping through your day and snacking on what’s in the office kitchen or what’s leftover in your child’s lunchbox, keep portable foods in your purse. Marisa suggests fiber-filled selections like pears, grapes or nuts, and choosing fresh whenever possible. “When it comes to fresh fruit, go with what’s in season for the best flavor and quality.”
We asked Marisa to share her favorite readily available snacks that we can grab quickly and still feel good about eating. Here’s what she offered up!
5 Healthy Grab-and-Go (and Nutritionist-Recommended!) Snacks
Grapes with almonds
Grapes are a sweet treat and natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, while the nuts provide protein and heart-healthy fats. Toss them into small snack containers for an easy grab-and-go snack during the week.
Mandarin oranges (like clementines and tangerines) are the ultimate grab-and-go snack. They are in their own tidy package and can go days unrefrigerated. Mandarin oranges are also high in water, packed with vitamin C to keep the immune system in tip-top shape, and two small tangerines provide more than 10% of the daily fiber recommendation for women.
Vegetable dippers with hummus (or prepared guacamole)
Sliced cucumbers, jicama sticks and raw broccoli are all delicious dipped into hummus or guacamole. The crunchy vegetables are a welcome contrast to creamy hummus or hearty guacamole. This is a healthy fat and fiber combination that’s sure to satisfy.
Walnuts provide many nutrients that help support a healthy heart, and high-quality cocoa powder has been shown to help lower blood pressure levels. Nuts are a source of magnesium, which may help with irritability too, so lots of wins with this one! The satisfying crunch and the sweet flavor may also crush a craving for something more indulgent.
Nuts or seeds in the shell
If quantity or portion control is an issue, try nuts or seeds in the shell. Shelling will help slow down the eating process, so you might end up eating a bit less.
As with anything, balance is key, and according to Marisa, that means allowing ourselves grace to enjoy a goody from time to time without the guilt. “I’m a firm believer that the only food you should feel guilty about is food you’ve stolen. Let go of the guilt, and enjoy your favorite treats, but be mindful about it. For example, savor every bite of your grandmother’s prized pie that she only makes at the holidays, but skip the questionable brownies in the work break room.”
BONUS PICKS: SB Staff Share Their Favorite Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks
“My favorite grab and go will always be an apple.” — Ginny Staggs, SB Director of Sales
“APPLES! Always.” — Jesse Gillenwalters, SB Digital Marketing Analyst
“My favorite healthy grab-and-go snack is the ONE brand’s Birthday Cake flavored protein bar. I have developed quite the sweet tooth in my late 20s, and this baby satisfies my cravings. I usually h-a-t-e the texture of protein bars, but this one isn’t gritty and dry like most. With only 210 calories and 7 grams of fat per bar, these fit right into my macros plan and take place of that real piece of birthday cake that I want so badly. Reaching my protein intake goal each day has been an issue for me, and these provide a great jump start with 20 grams of protein per bar. They’re so tasty, and they literally melt in your mouth! YUM!” — Lauren Cummings, SB Business Coordinator
“Mandarin oranges! Little, portable, sweet and delicious!” — Lauren Helmer, SB Regional Editor
“Sweet? Apples and peanut butter. Savory? Popcorn or almonds.” — Lacy Green, SB Traffic Manager
“I make bomb (if I do say so myself) peanut butter energy bites. I got them from this Pinterest recipe.” — Katelyn Caughron, SB Memphis Client Success Rep
“My favorite healthy snacks include pistachios, almonds, raisins/dried fruit, low-fat cheese (or just cheese) and Triscuits.” — Cindy Acuff, SB Nashville Account Executive
“My favorite healthy grab-and-go snack is pomegranate seeds from Trader Joe’s. They satisfy my sweet tooth without being overly indulgent and come in conveniently sized packages for taking to the office with me.” — Bailey Torkelson, SB Birmingham Client Success Rep
“I always have sliced cucumbers and bell peppers in my fridge for easy snacking. As long as something is prepped and ready to consume, I’m much more likely to grab it than root around the pantry for crackers or something processed. For on the go, I love the Justin’s almond butter single serve packets. I’m not a big fan of protein bars because I feel like they have so many processed ingredients. The almond butter is just almond butter, so it seems better — I’m not sure if it actually is though.” — Megan Casey, SB Director of Marketing
“I love raw pepitas and raw cashews. They’re super healthy and have so many nutrients. I pretty much eat both every day!” — Wesley Ware, SB Louisville Client Success Rep
“I have a banana every single day as I leave my house!” — Peyton Haecker, SB Nashville Client Success Rep
“I usually have some type of low sugar protein bar with me since I don’t stop and each lunch. A healthier favorite of mine is a bag of almonds.” — Connie Prince, SB Nashville Account Executive
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