Snacking on the go: Healthy foods for the car
I remember a co-worker from Argentina explaining her astonishment when she first came to Los Angeles and spied someone eating in his car. She called home to exclaim, "You’ll never guess what these people do!"
That was about 15 years ago. Today, we're even more a nation of meals on wheels, according to recent studies. We have become a very mobile society, and dining while driving is just something we do in our time-starved day.
On the positive side, people who spend a lot of time driving from one place to another can use the opportunity to eat well-chosen snacks that fit the food groups they want to consume. Healthy car snacking also helps us avoid overeating and bypass those ubiquitous, fast-food drive-throughs.
Consider keeping these foods handy if you desire carbohydrates:
- Dehydrated berries, such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, which taste next-best to fresh;
- Dried fruit, such as mango, coconut, raisins and craisins
- Low-fat popcorn seasoned with herbs and wholegrain crackers to satisfy salt cravings
- Individual cereal packages, which can be eaten straight from the box
- Your favorite energy bars
- Packets of green olives with chili peppers or herbs and garlic, which can be found online and at area markets.
If protein is what you hanker for, try:
- Artisanal turkey, pork, beef and even tofu jerky
- Nuts, which keep particularly well when packaged properly
- Shelf-stable cheese and hummus, which make snacking extra fun and tasty when you remember to bring crackers.
Be sure to keep water in the car as well. For the kids, water and 100 percent juice in individual boxes are good choices.
A car tote is great for storing your favorite on-the-go snacks. You may prefer to use individual glass containers to offset concerns about carrying food in plastic containers that could sit all day in hot temperatures.
Remember to savor the snack, even if you are multitasking. And, as an adult, try to to keep your snacks within 200 calories or less, so they remain a part of your healthy diet.
About The Author
Bev Utt, MS, MPH, RD, is a wellness nutritionist and health educator with MultiCare's Center for Healthy Living. More stories by this author