It happens all too often: You’re running late, you can’t find a matching pair of socks for your toddler who manages to go through a new pack of socks once a month, you realized you only put mascara on one eye, and just as you’re getting ready to finally pack everyone up into the car… your stomach starts growling, reminding you that you haven’t eaten since breakfast (if two cups of coffee and a handful of cheerios counts as breakfast). With the nearest lunch opportunity still hours away, you open the fridge searching for something, anything that is quick…only to realize that all you’ve got to work with is some cold pasta leftovers and frozen waffles that you have no time to cook. You hop in the car, and as you pull out of the driveway, the chorus of “I’m hungry’s” begins. Before you know it, everyone (mostly your husband) is hangry, and the outing is off to a rough start.
Luckily, this situation can so easily be avoided with some helpful tips for the next time you’re stocking up at the grocery store!
Each bar comes with it’s own pros and cons. Many are too high in sugar, while others are too high in calories. Figure out what it is that is most important to you, and go from there. Our favorite for our son is the Fruit Cereal bars at Trader Joes, while our favorite for ourselves is the Kind bar (which is available almost everywhere, including Starbucks and gas stations). We always keep a pile of these in the glove box and they are perfect for keeping us satisfied between meals.
2. No-prep fruit.
We absolutely always have a bundle of bananas and a bag of cleaned apples around the house. While they are enjoyable just about any time of the day, we consume them most often while on the go. They are filling, provide you with energy, and seem to be a hit with the whole family. Keeping fruit pre-washed is the easiest way of making sure that when the time comes, it’s readily available to just grab and go.
If nobody in your house has nut allergies, nuts are a great way to feed the older members of your family (it is recommended that children do not consume most nuts until over the age of 7 due to choking hazards). We like to buy the 50% less salt nuts from Trader Joes (our favorite are the cashews and almonds). Filled with protein, fiber, and all kinds of vitamins/minerals, a handful of nuts makes for the perfect healthy snack…the key is sticking to serving size and purchasing reduced salt nuts. Like cereal/snack bars, nuts are a really easy snack to keep around because they don’t have a whole lot of storage requirements. You can keep them in your car year round for an always accessible snack. Have children that are too young for nuts? Try dried fruit or some whole grain crackers!
4. Pre-prepped Veggies.
The problem people typically run into with veggies is that the way we often store them, they are not readily available for on the go situations. Try this: As soon as you bring veggies home from the store, wash and prep them. Split them up into individual containers. Celery, peppers, and carrots are all tasty options that are super easy to keep in individual storage containers, prepped and ready to go. If you’re really feeling inspired, take it a step further and pre-prepare small containers of peanut butter, hummus, or ranch to dip them in for added tastiness.
5. String cheese + Crackers.
This has been a long time favorite around our house. Buy some string cheese mozzarella sticks and your favorite crackers (we prefer thin wheats). Keep the crackers prepared in small snack size bags so that you can quickly grab what you need and go.