With the chaos that inevitably comes with the transition from summer to the start of the school year, it’s always a good idea to have some portable, easy-to-make, healthy snacks to keep your energy up. Here are a few of our favorites:
10 Healthy Snacks to Eat for Energy When You’re on the Road Back to Campus!
Grab a handful of fresh berries, or for an even more refreshing treat, try some frozen blueberries!
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Eggs pack a protein punch, with 6g in a single hardboiled egg.
- Eggs are also a good source of other important vitamins and minerals, including iron, choline, and anti-oxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin (which are responsible for the yellow color of egg yolks).
For the simplest preparation, eat your hard-boiled egg with just a light sprinkle of salt or pepper, or try adding it to a piece of toast or a salad for an easy protein boost!
- Dark Chocolate
- Many of the health benefits associated with consuming dark chocolate are a result of flavanols, plant compounds that may beneficially impact vascular health and reduce blood pressure. Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate (choose 70% dark chocolate or higher to obtain the most flavonols).
- Dark chocolate also contains some caffeine and sugar, which can provide a temporary boost in energy.
Eat a square or two of dark chocolate on its own, or melt and drizzle over oatmeal, yogurt, or fresh fruit for an easy, healthy snack!
- Protein and Energy Bars
- Protein and energy bars can be a convenient source of shelf-stable calories, but not all bars are created equal. Look for a bar without a lot of filler ingredients and added sugars.
- Bars with primary ingredients like nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are typically your best bet and will provide you with the mix of protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates you need to keep going.
- Smoothies (with greens included)
- Whether you’re about to hit the road, or you’ve just moved in, whipping up a green smoothie can be a great (and portable) way to meet your daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies
- Greens like spinach have a mild flavor, blend easily, and provide important nutrients like Vitamins A, C, and K, along with antioxidants like lutein.
Check out these recommendations for whipping up the perfect green smoothie!
- Hummus and Veggie Sticks
- Hummus is another nutrient-dense, portable source of protein and dietary fiber, and adding veggies as your dipping tool of choice is a great way to add an extra nutritional boost.
Use your hummus as a dip, or try it as a topping for your next salad to add protein and flavor!
- Nut butter and fruit
- Another classic combination, nut butters and fruits provide a blend of protein and carbohydrates, ideal for maintaining energy.
- As with protein bars, look for a nut butter without added sugar and filler ingredients, and consume in moderation.
Some of our nut butter-fruit favorite combinations include peanut butter and bananas or apples (classic) and almond butter and berries. Or, skip the nut butter altogether and go for a handful of nuts and berries for an even more portable treat!
- Pumpkin seeds (or other nuts)
- Nuts are easy to pack when you’re on the go, and a great source of unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and Vitamin E.
- While nuts have many health benefits, given their caloric density and high fat content, snack on them in moderation.
Reach for a handful of nuts, or try them over oatmeal, yogurt, or salads!
- Yogurt with fruit and nuts or seeds
- Yogurt (and other cultured dairy) are an important source of health-promoting bacterial cultures which can positively impact the health of our gut microflora. Yogurt is also a great source of protein.
- To keep your sugar intake in check, try plain or unsweetened yogurts without any added sugars (keep in mind that even plain yogurt will contain some naturally occurring sugar in the form of lactose).
If you’re looking for a sweeter treat, sweeten up your plain yogurt with a bit of honey, jam, or dark chocolate!
- Overnight oats
- An easy make-ahead breakfast or snack, overnight oats provide complex carbohydrates and plenty of dietary fiber along with B-vitamins and antioxidants.
- Oats also contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber which may help reduce blood sugar, increase satiety, and reduce LDL cholesterol.
Try this foolproof formula for the perfect overnight oats, and create your own favorite flavor combinations!