Modern day busy lifestyles often mean we spend so much time rushing from one place to the next that we often make poor food choices because of convenience and hunger.
There have been times I have found myself waiting in line to pay for fuel and scanning the shelves to see what I can eat that's reasonably healthy to get me through to dinner.
A yogurt coated muesli bar, that's healthy isn't it?
The fact is most packaged snack products are either high in sugar or low in nutrients and often both of these things. They may fill a gap but it will be temporary and leave you craving more sugar.
The best way to avoid poor snack choices is to carry your own with you (at all times!).
Here are my top 10 snacks that are healthy and portable:
Hard Boiled Eggs Whilst these are not something you can leave lying around in your handbag for hours, keeping some hard boiled eggs in the fridge for a quick grab and go on the way to work or an after school activity will keep you satisfied until the next meal time.
Almonds Raw nuts such as almonds, walnuts & brazil nuts are a great source of dietary fibre, B vitamins and essential minerals. A serving is approximately 30g, buy a large bag and portion into snap lock bags for a compact easy option.
Canned Tuna or Salmon with whole grain crackers A small can of tuna in a vinaigrette with some whole grain crackers makes a filling, nutritious snack. Whole-grain products have more fibre and nutrients than products made with refined flour and Salmon is a great source of Omega 3 and calcium (if you eat the bones).
Fruit such as a Mandarin or Banana. Best to stick to fruit that doesn't bruise easily and can be peeled to avoid having to wash before eating. Fruit is high in vitamin C and dietary fibre. Banana's can be low to medium GI providing they are not too ripe and are a great source of potassium, magnesium and manganese.
Lightly Salted Popcorn Popcorn is a whole grain that is high in dietary fibre, magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants. The snack size bags are a convenient and satisfying healthy alternative to potato chips.
Pumpkin Seeds Pumpkin seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, containing a wide variety of nutrients including magnesium, manganese, copper, protein and zinc. A handful is enough to provide you with a satisfying crunchy snack.
Raw veggie's Carrots, capsicum or cherry tomatoes can be kept at room temperature for several hours and make a great healthy snack. They are low in kilojoules and high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Muesli bars Ideally make your own as they are simple and quick to bake and can be stored for several days. See my favourite recipe here. If you really don't have time and need to buy a packaged variety choose one that low in sugar. This means fruit free with no yogurt or chocolate coating.
Dark Chocolate If you're really craving chocolate or just feel like a sweet treat a few squares of 70% or higher dark chocolate should hit the spot and provide you with a hit of magnesium and antioxidants too.
Bottle of Water Many of us don't drink nearly enough water and often thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Try having a long drink of water before snacking and see if you still feel hungry.
Healthy snack foods between meals keep your energy levels going throughout the day. A healthy snack is one that leaves you feeling full and satisified. It will also help you to avoid weight gain as you are choosing a nutritious food instead of a high sugar/high fat processed alternative.