Whether you are always on the go, have shift work, or someone who finds themselves short on time and always rushing from one place to the next, it’s still important to make sure you are staying nourished! Making sure you get enough food during the day can help sustain energy levels and prevent you from experiencing blood sugar crashes! If you are someone who is really busy and has a hard time finding a chance to eat, convenience foods are a quick and easy option for meals and snacks.
While many packaged and processed convenience foods get a bad rep for being “bad for you” or having little nutritional value, convenience foods offer many advantages, including less time spent planning meals, grocery shopping, and preparing food, as well as fewer leftovers (with single-portion foods) and easier cleanup.
But with so many options on the market, which are the best to choose? In this blog, I highlight some of my top favorite convenience foods that can be found in almost all grocery stores!
Nut Butter (Packets)
These individual packets are an excellent option for travel, work on-the-go, or even an easy option at your desk! They can be easily stored and last months! Pair with fruit, crackers, or even your morning oatmeal!
Individual hummus packets are small and great to keep in your break room or office fridge! Pair them with chopped vegetables, crackers, or add them to a wrap or salad for extra flavor and yummy fats!
Pre-cut Fruit and Vegetables (Individual Bags or Trays)
Purchasing pre-cut fruits and veggies can save you time and keep you from throwing out food that was opened and never finished (guilty- looking at you spinach)! Having fruit and veggies that are already cut up and ready to eat also makes you much more likely to reach for them- and we love adding more fruits and veggies in our diets! Try picking up some of your favorites on your next grocery trip and notice if you reach for them more.
Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Nuts and trail mix are some of my favorite snacks! They are nutrient-dense snacks that provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. If you can’t find a mix you like at the grocery store, I recommend grabbing a few of your favorite items and putting them together to make your own! You can then portion them out into ready-to-go containers. Trail mix and nuts are great to keep in the office, in your purse/backpack, and even in the car since it’s shelf stable!
Cheese Sticks & Jerky
I love to buy pre-cut cheese and pair it with a jerky! This is a great well balanced snack that will satisfy and give you good energy! You can even opt for turkey jerky if beef isn’t your thing. If you add some fruit or veg, this could even be part of a well balanced lunch for work!
Frozen fruit or smoothie packs are a great option if you find yourself with a low appetite or low on time. If you have frozen fruit on hand you can add it to a blender with liquid (water or milk), nut butter, chia seeds, protein powder and any other ingredient of choice (I like cinnamon), and you have a well balanced breakfast or snack!
Frozen Cooked Rice or Quinoa
One of my favorites- especially for when I know I won’t be home for lunch or want a 5 minute dinner. Some ideas for using microwave rice or quinoa: add it to a salad, make a burrito bowl, top with protein and a sauce. Are you team rice or quinoa?
Individual Oatmeal Packets
Individual oatmeal packets/cups are a great option for on the go, in between or before meetings, or just when you’re short on time and need a good breakfast! I recommend adding to your oatmeal to make a more balanced meal. A few topping options: chia seeds for fiber, fruit for added vitamins and minerals, nut butter for added protein. Try keeping a few packs in the office for when you don’t have time for breakfast at home.
Pre-Made Salad Kits
Salad kits are great for an easy lunch or dinner! There are so many options to choose from and ways to build them into a full meal. I recommend adding a protein source on top or on the side (like chicken or turkey), or having it as a side to a larger meal. (Salad kits are also a great option if you’re going to be entertaining and want to put more energy into the main dish).
Tuna packs are a great option for an on-the-go snack or lunch. They are also high in Omega-3s and come in a variety of flavors to keep things fun. If you’re going to have tuna as a part of a larger meal you can put it on bread, eat with crackers, and pair with a side like fruit or veggies with dip.
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