It's the holiday season and with it brings very busy schedules. It also brings many opportunities to eat. I don't know about you, but we are BIG snackers around here at ASG. There is always a package of cookies or a pizza lying around and it's so hard to avoid those temptations and stay on a healthy course. The struggle is real, y'all! I like to eat small meals every few hours to keep me feeling my best and when I'm in a hurry and hungry, convenience is key. I'm a busy girl and if I can't pick it up and head out the door, it's probably not going to work.
So, in light of the snacking season, I am sharing what's in my "emergency snack kit" that you can grab and go whether you have a full day of shopping ahead or if you are running out the door for a holiday party. A few minutes each week is all it takes to wash, portion and package these goodies so you can toss a few selections in your bag and munch on the go.
I love fruit and think it is the easiest thing to pick up on your way out the door. You can keep a bowl of washed apples and pears or a basket of oranges and bananas on the kitchen counter or load a drawer in the fridge with baggies of washed grapes or berries. Eating fruit is a great way to kick a sugar craving and add fiber for your diet, so stock up on lots of it when you do your grocery shopping.
Eating plenty of vegetables is essential for staying healthy during the holidays, which, coincidentally, is also cold and flu season. Veggies are chock full of nutrients that help ward off illness and they fill you up so you aren't tempted by less healthy options such as my favorite, french fries. Mmm, french fries...
I like to keep bags of pre-washed, pre-sliced carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower in the fridge so I can pop them in my bag on my way out. If you are a dipper and must have your ranch dressing, you can pick up portioned servings of many salad dressings at your local grocery store.
Adding a variety of nuts to your diet is a great way to stay healthy during the busy holiday season. Not only are they packed with protein and other nutrients, but many contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats that have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. Give yourself a high five!
When I buy a container of nuts, I go ahead and portion them out into little bags and toss them in a basket in my kitchen. If you want to skip this step, you can buy pre-packaged portioned varieties in the store. Because I eat so many of these healthy little gold nuggets, I like to buy them in bulk to save money.
Pretzels or Healthy Crackers
I love to carry pretzel sticks or crackers in my purse when I'm out. They are a good crunchy snack that fills my salt craving and keeps me from grabbing a bag of potato chips from the convenience store. Pretzels or healthy crackers are also great to give kids that might be getting a little HANGRY between school and basketball practice, Pair them with a low-fat cheese stick and your problem is solved!
I think we all crave both sweet and salty from time to time. I know I do. My solution for this is some good, old-fashioned trail mix. I prefer to make my own, but you can purchase the pre-mixed kind from many grocers. I like to toss together a variety of nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, pumpkin or sunflower seeds and a little hint of chocolate with a handful of 60% or higher cocoa chocolate chips. You can really add whatever you want to trail mix, but I try to keep mine as healthy as possible.
Some other great ideas for quick and healthy snacks are beef (or turkey) jerky, dried fruit, or protein cookies. Your options are limitless.
What do you like to snack on when you are on-the-run during the busy holiday season? I hope I've given you lots of ideas!
The post Healthy Snacks for a Busy Holiday Season first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!