As someone who has found forgotten squished bananas and pulverized muffins in her carry-on luggage and purse at the end of a trip, I (now) know that it is essential to combine good intentions with practicality when it comes to packing healthy food.
Take it from me: non-perishable options are the way to go. They’ll satisfy and power you along, for all of the following, and more:
*Bag-lunching (for yourself or others)
*Sitting someplace for long periods of time, anywhere, without access to food (jury duty, hospitals, you name it)
*Trying to lose weight and/or eat more healthfully at work or play
*Getting some high energy eats for a hike/bike ride/picnic
*Re-fueling pre- or post-workout
*Healthy snacking in general
*Feeding/fueling hungry children (and/or husbands)
I also found non-perishables especially useful when I was living solo since my eating plans changed so often.
I made this list for myself, as I need constrant reminders of my good intentions, but I am happy to share it with MORE readers. This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but I do hope it provides a starting point. I have lots of options for all types of eaters (i.e., vegan, raw food, omnivores, carnivores, celiac, nut-allergic, etc.) If you have other suggestions or favorites, please add a comment!
It’s time to branch out beyond raisins. Take a look at the list below—options abound! I got particularly addicted to dried fruit when I was single because it keeps so well (it’s hard to keep up with fresh produce in a household of one).
You can really save A LOT by buying dried fruit from the bulk food section or at superstores (e.g., Costco, Sam’s). Trader Joes and Wegmans (regional options) are great, too, as is (and I know this will sound bizarre) Wal-Greens. I found this out by accident when I was looking for something else. They have their own brand of tart dried cherries and dried blueberries which are very good and much less than the supermarket (which sometimes does not have either).
Sultanas (golden raisins)
Dried Pineapple (get the unsweetened kind; it is already really sweet)
Dried Mangoes (Unbelievably good; they sell big bags of them Costco.)
Dried Papaya (chunks or spears)
Dried Fruit Bits
Dried Tropical Fruit Bits
Peanuts (I like the old-fashioned kind in the shells)
Pistachios (I like the shelled ones—they slow down my chomping)
Soy Nuts (really good, and a lot less expensive than other nuts)
NUT, SEED & SOY BUTTERS
My sister is allergic to peanuts, so I’m thrilled that there are some (very tasty!) non-peanut options available.
Cheaper than nuts, but still high in flavor and protein, seeds are great snacking plain or mixed into your own trail mixes.