As registered dietitians and personal trainers, we encourage our clients to contact us when they’re in a bind and need support and guidance. So we weren’t surprised when our client Melissa, who was away with her family in Palm Springs, contacted us. She was panicked; she claimed she was reverting to her old ways, snacking on Cheez Its and Combos and allowing her family to do the same. Her plan while she was away was to snack on unprocessed, wholesome snacks since her goal was for the entire family to eat more healthfully.
So when Melissa reached out while on vacation, she was hoping for some encouragement and a reminder of some quick and easy snack ideas that she could bring to the pool and to outings that the entire family would enjoy.
Many of our clients ask us about this frequently. And we always tell them to go back to basics. Think of the foods that require very little to no processing at all, just like they exist in nature. Focus on those foods that you can see nearly all of the ingredients.
Here’s a list of some foods that are healthy and nourishing, satiating and minimally processed– and that work well when you’re on the road or at home and just want a healthy snack. Keep a mini-cooler with you when you’re on the road or at the pool for items that require refrigeration:
- Fruits—all are good! Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, cherries, strawberries… (try making fruit kebobs for kids by using skewers). Even canned fruits that are canned in their own juices with no added sugar can work well, so no excuses that the fruit will go bad!
- Vegetables—carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, snow peas, etc.—they are all fabulous!
- Nuts—pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. (watch portions, stick to a couple tablespoons to keep calories in check.) Try portioning nuts into zip-loc baggies. Then grab a bag and eat the nuts with a piece of fruit.
- Non-fat or low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt (Greek yogurt is very satiating because it’s higher in protein. Oikos makes a good organic variety)
- Hummus and salsa for dipping vegetables
- Low-fat string cheese (Organic Valley makes a good one)
- Air-popped popcorn (look for those with less than 3 grams of fat perserving and low in sodium)
- Whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese
- Whole grain crackers and natural peanut butter (Tammy uses Santa Cruz Lightly Roasted Organic Crunchy)