Nutrition Articles

Portable Snacking Tips and Ideas

Remember the 'Healthy' with the 'To-Go'

Eating is no longer an activity only experienced around the table with friends and family. Quick, how many times this past week have you eaten on the run? No place is safe either – the car, your desk, maybe even the shower! Our time is strapped and we need food that’s easy to grab ‘n’ go. And during this mad-chaos of finding food on our way out the door, one detail is easy to forget – making sure that the choices we make are healthy.

Unfortunately, it’s mostly the bad stuff that falls into the "fast" and "easy" categories – chips, candy bars, sodas, etc. Well, what if we took some time and ingenuity to make our own healthy snacks portable and easy for on-the-go eating?

I’m talking about things that can fit into the top drawer at work (not jelly beans or Kisses!) or snacks prepared ahead of time that can be popped into a lunch bag. Yes, some of these items WILL require some thinking ahead. Some might even require refrigeration or special containers. But they are fast, simple, and easy. Most take less than 5 minutes to prepare. You’ll also be thankful that you’ve saved yourself the cash that normally goes to vending machines or convenience stores. Your body will be grateful as well. The benefits of health outweigh the costs.

Check out these suggestions.
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter and several raisins on top
  • Rice cakes with peanut butter (good for getting a protein punch)
  • Low-fat cheese cubes
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Deviled egg (wrapped in plastic wrap)
  • Fruit yogurt cup (add in some fresh fruits or nuts for a boost
  • Trail mix
  • Nuts or nut mix (stick to just a handful)
  • Vegetable sticks with a little packet of dip (lowfat salad dressing packets found in salad bars work as easy-to-pack dip)
  • Broccoli or cauliflower bites
  • Half of a turkey or tuna sandwich on whole-wheat bread
  • Cucumber slices (lightly salted or with nonfat Italian dressing)
  • Yogurt and granola
  • Leftover chicken or turkey slices (great to eat cold)
  • Healthy fiber-rich or grain cereal (great to eat dry from a baggie)
  • Pickles (wrapped in foil or plastic wrap)
  • Box of raisins or other dried fruit
  • Half a large whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese
  • Apples, bananas, strawberries (any fruit works, these are naturally portable)
  • Mixed berries (these freeze well in plastic bags)
  • Whole-wheat crackers and low-fat string cheese
  • Grapes in a baggie
  • Fruit smoothie in a thermos
  • Tuna and cottage cheese in mini-containers
The trick here is to be prepared and get creative! Get your fresh fruits and vegetables on the weekend in preparation for the week’s snacking. Keep small-sized plastic containers for packing up small portions. Take note of the healthy foods you need to keep stocked in the house for future quick and healthy snack preparation. These will become automatic items for your grocery list. You may find that you start to replace a few nonessential, calorie-wasting items with your new healthy snack list.

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Member Comments

  • My job has me in my car often and throughout the day. I pack my "lunch" box every morning with foods which are healthy AND easy to eat while driving plus a large insulated cup of ice water. I don't make stops at gas stations/convenie
    nce stores very often except for the gas and restroom. Many of the foods I take are included on the list. I also microwave pop popcorn in a paper bag, spray with butter spritzer, and sprinkle with popcorn seasoning and have that with me. Soothes my taste for salty/crunchy snacks.
    These kinds of ideas don't work well with me. I have good intentions, and buy all kinds of healthy items, and then, they go uneaten. I live in an assisted living community now. So, now my meals are healthier. Finally. I used to live off of mostly sugar, fat and salt.
    These kinds of ideas don't work well with me. I have good intentions, and buy all kinds of healthy items, and then, they go uneaten. I live in an assisted living community now. So, now my meals are healthier. Finally. I used to live off of mostly sugar, fat and salt.
  • I have saved this article in my favorites, because actually snacking is becoming a problem in this period (losing the last couple of pounds and maintaining). I could find plenty of useful ideas here, thanks for sharing!
    I make my own mountain trail mix and put a cup portion into small zip lock baggies. I travel a lot so I portion 2 for each day....

    Ingredients: Roasted Cashews, Roasted almonds, shelled pistacios, Dark Chocolate, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, craisins, golden raisins, raisins and no fat vanilla granola.

    Mix it all together in a 5 gal ziplok and portion from there.
    I make a non-dairy, non-sugar, non-gluten snack that is amazingly delicious. I sell them in a variety of all natural flavors, using apples as the sweetener only. They are sold at many of the green markets in NYC and on line as well, All the ingredients are healthy, natural and promote good health. My customers tell me they are addicting, and they must be as they sell like hot cakes!
    I would love sparkpeople to take a look at the newer research about the terrible impact of sugar in the body and acknowledge that Carbs often react with a higher glucose impact than even table sugar. That means that suggestions like flavored yogurt, rice cakes, and cereals are often as bad as candy bars -- and most granola bars are simply chewy candy bars. Also, people might want to consider healthy fats which keep you fuller much longer and do not mess with blood sugar -- love those nuts.
  • I make my own pre-portioned bags of nuts (with almonds, cashews and dried fruit. These are easy to stick in my purse and my kid's lunchboxes. I also always have an assortment of fruit in my house - traditionally what's in season so right now I have oranges, apples and pears.

    The trick is to do a little planning - then the vending machine doesn't seem so tempting
    Personally i think, snacks on the go should have a lot of protein so it will keep you full for a longer period. My favorite preferences are
    -Fruit yogurt cup (add in some fresh fruits or nuts for a boost
    -Trail mix
    -Nuts or nut mix
    -Beef jerky, but with this one you have to be careful- it contains a lot of sodium. My favorite one is Chomps (http://www.gocho
    ctions/all) - is super healthy as it's 100% grass fed beef, paleo friendly, gluten& sugar free
  • Good tips! Thanks.
  • great article on sugar reduction. there are plenty of information to help. thanks
    I am trying hard not to eat too much sugar and no flour and am not finding it too hard.The hardest thing is that I had gastric bypass 8 years ago and I can't eat as much as most so I have to eat small portions more often of the right things.

  • LBEMIS1308
    My dietician suggested that I pack portable snacks. I was delighted to see this article. I plan on implementing some of the ideas found here. I'm always finding myself on the road during mealtimes and eating on the run is one of the pitfalls I've been facing.
    really good info for me as it helps me pack more portable snacks

    all of this is about personal taste - you may like something someone else doesn't - no harm no foul - move on to something that you do like

  • I am addicted to sugar snap peas. I take them to work in a baggie and snack on them all the time. I also take cut up apple slices with lemon juice over them to keep them from turning brown. Easier to eat at work than a whole apple, although I do that sometimes too. It feels like two totally different snacks.

About The Author

Laura Bofinger Laura Bofinger
As a freelance writer, Laura uncovers some kind of inspiration every day when she writes about health and fitness.

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