When you’re go, go, going all the time, it’s difficult to avoid the convenience of the drugstore snack aisle or the drive-thru. Running late to an appointment? The convenience store around the corner makes a mean chili dog. Worked late? Frozen pizza bagels it is.
But there are other options, we promise. To make it a little easier to stay on that healthy-eating train, we asked top nutritionists to share the snacks they always keep in their purses, in their cars, or at the office. Take that, potato chips.
1. Homemade Trail Mix
“I combine nuts—like walnuts or almonds—with dried tart cherries and dark chocolate chips,” says Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., R.D., C.S.S.D., Director of Nutrition Graduate Program at Central Washington University. The dark chocolate takes care of a sweet tooth, while the combo of healthy fats, protein, and carbs keeps you satisfied, she says.
2. 100-Calorie Almond Packs
“When I need a quick pick-me-up, some almonds and an apple provide the energy I need,” says Jim White, R.D., owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. The 100-calorie pack guarantees portion control and the nut-fruit provides essential vitamins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein, he says.
“When I have a long day, especially if I’m traveling, I’ll keep an avocado in my purse,” says Tori Holthaus, R.D., founder of Yes! Nutrition, LLC. “It’s delicious with even just a sprinkle of salt.” One avocado offers about 24g of healthy fats, 13g of fiber, and 4g of protein to keep you full, she says.
4. Dry-Roasted Edamame
“This edamame snack is notably filling and satisfies my snack-time crunch cravings,” says culinary nutritionist Jackie Newgent, R.D.N. One serving packs 14g protein and 7g fiber! “I especially enjoy fun flavors, like wasabi,” she says.
5. Greek Yogurt
“If I have fridge access—like at work—I love having Greek yogurt , because it’s a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D,” says Pritchett. Top it with trail mix for a great post-workout snack, she adds.
6. Cookies and Cream Quest Bar
“If I’m stuck in a long meeting, driving around a lot, or just looking for a snack, this bar is my go-to,” says White. Few other bars offer 21g protein and 14g of fiber, he adds.
7. Smoothie Packs
“I keep single-serving packs of Vega One in my purse,” says sports nutrition specialist Kim McDevitt, M.P.H., R.D. “The chocolate powder makes an amazing afternoon pick-me-up mixed into cold brew coffee!” The powders offer protein, greens, and vitamins and minerals, she says.
8. Tuna Packets and an Apple
“On a busy day, a tuna packet is an easy, portable protein source,” says Pritchett. “Add an apple into the mix for extra fiber and you’re sure to feel satisfied.”
9. Nut Butter Packs
“I love keeping squeeze packets of Justin’s nut butter in my purse,” says Holthaus. Pair the nut butter with a piece of fruit—like a banana—for extra fiber, she says.