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When it comes to meal planning, you likely have your meals at home or lunches nailed down. The problem comes when you want a snack and nothing is readily available. This can lead to eating the wrong things, reaching for the wrong snacks, and derailing your entire meal plan. Before you start down that path, consider these methods of having healthy snacks ready to go when you or your family want them.
Plan out Equal Snacks
One of the key steps to having healthy snacks ready to go is to plan them out. The trick to this is planning out equal amounts of healthy salty and sweet snacks. You may have days when either would be great, so having equal amounts on hand will cover that without having you run out of one or the other. This means if you are planning for the month, you will need a month’s worth of the snacks. This may sound like common sense, but when you start the planning process it may be forgotten easily. Remember some snacks can be dual, like granola or trail mix. If a month sounds like a lot to do all at once, do a week’s worth to get a better idea first of how long it will take you to accomplish it as well as cost involved. If you have several people you are doing this for it can be very helpful to know what you have. Enlist family members to help you so you are not alone in this prep phase.
Make To-Go Snack Options
When you plan your snacks, you likely plan to be at home to have them. For example, you may pre-make your popcorn for the week with the flavorings that you love. However, you may keep it in a container that is not travel friendly. I am sure I am not the only one that ends up running an extra errand or two or even be out longer than originally planned to the get hungry. Instead of putting all of the snack in one larger container, consider making single serve bags of the snack. You can grab it, toss it in your bag, and go. That way you have it ready to grab if you want it, but if you don’t, you can toss it back into the snack drawer with the other snacks. Single serve portions also help you not overeat and run out of snacks too soon.
Snack Drawer Set-Up
Consider creating a snack drawer or bin with all your single serve pre-made snacks. This allows you to grab what you want, or grab a few different snacks, and go. It also gives you a place to keep multiple types of snacks for the different snack moods you may have. By preparing them ahead of time you can make sure you always have something on hand and that it is healthy. Have a space in your pantry and refrigerator so you can keep fruits and veggies at ready as well.
Consider Your Lifestyle
When you plan on having snacks on hand and ready to go, you may be thinking about the ability to sit and eat the snack easily. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible. Make sure if you are going to be driving or on the go that the snacks fit that lifestyle. This means paying attention to how you package them. Also remember, there are packages that can be reused to cut down on waste. These may work for you, if you prefer reusable containers.
These ideas can help you have healthy sweet, salty, or mixed snacks ready to go. No matter what your cravings, you will have something you can grab and snack or take with you. When you pre-package your snacks, you get control over what you have and how much.
What will you prep for your snacks this week?