Portable Snacking for the On-The-Go Family

For many families, snacks are frequently eaten in transit,  making parents feel forced to decide between quality and convenience.  Often it seems easier to drive thru at a fast food chain or grab the single serving chips and juice box from the pantry.  However, with minimal planning and preparation, snacks can be nutrient dense to fuel your family’s active lifestyle, while still allowing you to get to soccer practice or that business meeting on time. Healthy options can be quick and easy, and they may just be already in your refrigerator or pantry.

Trail mix

Whether you buy a prepared mix or make your own, trail mix is an easy option that both adults and children will appreciate with its varied textures and flavors.  To save time create pre-portioned servings in either reusable or plastic snack bags to grab on your way out the door. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are full of nutrients and antioxidants for a boost of energy.  Children will love to decide what goes into their mix, so be creative with the options!  Peanuts, brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, raisins, cranberries, pineapple, and coconut are great options to consider.

spiced nuts recipes

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Granola Bars

These  are easy to make at home, enabling you to   control exactly what goes into the snacks you are feeding your family. Recipes can be found on the internet, and can vary in complexity.  Most basic recipes will include oats, nuts, dried fruit, an oil, and a sweetener.  To increase the fiber, protein, and healthy fat, consider using a nut butter in place of a portion of the oil.  Also, consider including seeds, such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Homemade granola bars can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

What has been a staple for lunch boxes for years can make a filling and nutritional snack as well.  To mix things up, try making your own nut butter at home and combine nuts, such as cinnamon cashew almond or peanut cashew.  Instead of bread, try spreading the nut butter onto one half of a whole wheat tortilla and add sliced bananas to the same side.  Fold it over to make a nut butter and banana pocket. You can also spread the nut butter on the entire tortilla and sprinkle with raisins and coconut.  Roll the tortilla up and wrap it in foil for easy carrying.

Whole Grain Muffins

Homemade muffins are a much better alternative to store bought sugar and fat-filled muffins.  By using bananas, pureed pumpkin, or applesauce you can lessen the oil.  Fiber and protein can once again be added by using walnuts or pecans.  Muffins can be frozen in freezer bags to be grabbed and defrosted for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.

When hunger is greatest and time is least having available healthy options on hand will equip you to make the best choices when your willpower seems low and your children need a snack immediately.  With some minor preparation ahead of time, healthy snacks can be easily ready for adults and children of all ages.

Lizzie Watters is a writer and cook.  She enjoys writing about recipes, cooking tips, dieting and kitchen safety.  Lizzie recently wrote about her favorite spiced nuts recipes.

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