9 Healthy On-The-Go Snack Options That Don’t Require Any Meal Prep
We’re all about finding healthy ways to handle a sneak attack of the munchies. However, when even something as simple as snacking requires additional meal prep time in the kitchen, we can’t help but groan.
Instead of giving you a bunch of bite-sized meal recipes that will consume the majority of your free time this weekend, we sifted through the options found in most conventional convenience stores across the country and unearthed the best snacks for both your mind and body. That way, when your mid-afternoon hunger pangs come out of nowhere and you’re caught empty-handed, you can make a smart decision at the corner deli counter during your moment of weakness.
1. Fruit And Nut Trail Mix
Curb both salty and sweet cravings with this super accessible snack option. We aren’t partial to any particular brand here; instead, focus on the ingredient label. Nuts are naturally packed with good-for-you fats and protein, and dried fruit tastes indulgent without adding extra sugar, but make sure the only ingredients in the mix you choose are the nuts and fruits you see through the little window in the bag. Avoid added salt, added sugar, preservatives and anything you can’t pronounce.
This natural energy bar brand is one of our favorites because of its simplicity. The foundation of each bar is literally dates and almonds, which are both health powerhouses, and the vast majority of the flavors only contain a few additional ingredients — all of which are natural and unsweetened. Larabars satisfy any sweet tooth without going overboard and provide enough nutritional value to be a truly guiltless snack.
Popcorn tends to have a bad reputation since we typically douse it in butter and fake cheese, but there are so many pre-packaged popcorn products in the market these days that avoid these nutritional no-nos and still taste amazing. SkinnyPop and Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop are just two options that have three simple, natural ingredients, lower calorie counts and the perfect crispy crunch that will remind you of the movie theater.
Even gas stations these days keep their refrigerators stocked with snack-size cheeses. Whether you’re into classic string cheese or chunks of sharp cheddar, these yummy dairy favorites do a solid job of curbing hunger thanks to their balance of fat and protein. Plus, because they come pre-portioned, the likelihood that you’ll overindulge and down far too many calories at snack time is pretty minimal.
5. KIND Bars
Another brand we love in the bar category is KIND due to its commitment to keeping ingredient labels short and simple, and clearly limiting how much sugar is consumed via their products in one sitting. Many of the flavors have no more than 5 grams of sugar, and a lot of the nut-heavy ones boast up to 8 grams of protein in a single bar, keeping you full for longer. Plus, they taste really freaking good.
6. Fresh Fruit
It may come as a surprise to you, but even shabby roadside pit stops often have fresh fruit for sale at their checkout counters. The selection may be limited to apples, oranges and bananas, but each of these produce options is a much better pick than a greasy bag of potato chips. Grab one of these when you’re in a hurry for an added energy and vitamin boost.
7. Snapea Crisps
When you’re really craving something salty and crunchy, give these wonderful little pea snaps a try. One serving has three times the amount of fiber and almost half the amount of fat as the equivalent amount of regular potato chips, and even the lightly salted ones are surprisingly low in sodium. It’s never been so fun to eat your green vegetables, guys.
8. Raw Unsalted Nuts And Seeds
When trail mix isn’t quite rocking your boat, give plain ‘ol nuts and seeds a try. Both are nutritional gold mines, fill you up nicely and don’t result in an uncomfortable blood sugar spike. Just make sure that you grab a pack that is raw and unsalted (since most of us already overdo it with sodium). You want that ingredient label to only include the nuts and seeds you see in the bag.
9. Greek Yogurt
And here’s one more win for the refrigerator section. Luckily, most shops carry a brand of Greek yogurt in both plain and fruit-flavored varieties, which means there is always a cold, creamy and healthy snack within your grasp. Greek yogurt is preferable over other styles due to its high protein content, which keeps your hunger curbed for longer. It also has less lactose in it for the dairy-sensitive folks out there.