We are a mobile society, and dining while driving has become a normal part of life in our time-starved day. Studies show that more people eat in their cars more often than ever before, according to Stephen Bailey of Tufts University.
On the positive side, having good healthy snacks in our car can help us not overeat at the next meal, especially if you spend half your life in a car just trying to get from one place to another.
Well-chosen snacks can fit into the food groups we are looking to fill. Smart snacks, readily available in our cars, can help us bypass those ubiquitous fast food drive-thrus.
Consider these ideas for handy carbohydrates:
• Dehydrated berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries from Trader Joe’s. They are the next-best thing to fresh fruit.
• Dried fruit such as mango, coconut, raisins or craisins.
• Low-fat popcorn seasoned with herbs.
• Whole grain crackers hit the spot when you’re looking for something salty.
• Individual cereal boxes can be eaten out-of-hand.
• Energy bars are easy and satisfying.
For the foodie traveler, packets of green olives with chili peppers or herbs and garlic can be found at Metropolitan Market, World Market or online.
If protein is what you are hankering for, there are artisanal flavors of turkey, pork, beef and even tofu jerky. Nuts are the perfect snack to carry. They keep well when packaged, and are so good for us. Shelf-stable cheese and hummus make snacking fun when you’ve remembered the crackers.
You might consider a car tote to carry your favorite snacks. A car tote can hold glass containers if you prefer to offset concerns about carrying food in plastic containers that sit all day in hot temperatures.
Be sure to keep water in the car as well. If you are looking to treat yourself to spa water on the go, buy yourself some Hint Water online. The blackberry flavor is the best! For the kids, 100 percent juice boxes and water are readily welcomed.
Finally, remember to savor the snack even if you are multi-tasking, and as an adult, try to stay within 200 calories or less so that snacks remain a part of your healthy diet.Chelsey Lindahl, RD, CD, is a wellness dietitian at the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living. She can be reached at 253-301-5095 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.