When you’re an athlete on the go and need a quick snack, it can be challenging to find healthy and satisfying options. So it’s essential to have a few grab and go snacks that you can take with you wherever you go.
Often busy schedules lead you to reach for convenient, but unhealthy snack options.
So, you should have a stash of grab and go snacks at home, in the car and in your gear bag for an after school snack on the way to practice or when you’re heading out the door for an early morning practice.
Since carbohydrates power your body’s performance, they should be the focus of your healthy snacks.
Read on for some ideas for healthy, convenient snacks that are perfect for athletes who are always on the move.
Shelf-stable grab and go snacks
Shelf-stable snacks make an easy and packable option for those who need snacks that can be stored for extended time. You can pack these in your car, locker, desk and gear bag.
Some popular shelf stable grab and go options include fig bars, pretzels, dried fruit, animal crackers, apple chips, pudding cups (shelf stable variety), beef or plant based jerky, trail mix, applesauce packs, whole grain crackers, rice cakes, graham crackers, almond butter or peanut butter packets and protein bars.
Look for options that contain whole food ingredients, such as nuts, seeds and dried fruits and whole grains which provide a good source of fiber and healthy fats.
Chilled grab and go snacks
Chilled snacks, such as yogurt, cheese, string cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, pudding cup and hard-boiled eggs, are a great option for those who have access to a fridge, cooler or lunch bag with ice packs.
Pair these with carbohydrates like crackers, pretzels, fruit.
A balanced snack with protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Homemade grab and go snacks
When you have some spare time, homemade grab-and-go snacks can be a great option. You can manage the ingredients and include what you really like.
Some popular homemade options include energy balls, healthy baked goods like whole wheat blueberry muffins, granola bars and homemade trail mix with sunflower seeds.
You can make these in advance and store in the fridge or freezer for later use. When making homemade snacks, choose ingredients that provide fiber such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Meal prep for grab and go snacks
Another strategy for choosing healthy grab-and-go snacks is to prepare them in advance.
By taking the time to prepare healthy snacks such as cut up fruits and vegetables, energy balls or homemade trail mix, you can ensure that you always have a nutritious option on the go.
Include your snack prep in your weekly meal prep and buy the ingredients you need on your weekly grocery store trip.
It’s also important to be mindful of portion sizes when it comes to grab-and-go snacks. While it can be tempting to reach for a large bag of chips or a candy bar, these options are often high in calories and can lead to overeating. Instead, choose pre-portioned options or portion out snacks into smaller containers to help you stay on track with your sports nutrition goals.
Grab and go snack shopping list
We’ve got a list of some easy grab and go snack items to stock up on next time you’re at the grocery store:
And for more ideas check out some of our other posts on snacks including:
With so many grab-and-go snack options , there’s no reason to feel hungry or to reach for unhealthy food on the go. Prioritize nutrient-dense options that will keep you feeling satisfied and energized throughout the day.
Look for snacks that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. These nutrients will help keep you full and provide sustained energy.
By choosing shelf-stable, chilled and homemade options, you can stay on track with your sports nutrition performance plan.
And reach your goals for optimal health goals and fuel your body with the nutrients it needs.
Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 20 years in public health and nutrition experience. As a performance nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.