You have 30 minutes to get from one appointment to the next meeting and your stomach begins to growl. You find yourself being pulled to the nearest fast-food restaurant for a quick bite. Don't do it! While the calorie-laden, greasy foods you may find at the local drive through seems quick and tempting, don't sabotage your health and your wallet – make your own easy finger foods for a meal or snack on the go.
Time, money, and health. These three factors drive our behavior, especially food choices. But in the rush of a busy day, all common sense often goes out the window and we make decisions based on convenience. Why do we let this happen? Why do we think it's a better use of our time to stand in line waiting for a dried up patty and a container full of greasy fries, rather than to prepare a snack or lunch of easy finger foods the night before, or even in the morning? Habit.
But changing habits simply requires conditioning. With the right tools and the right attitude, you can create some go-to lunches and snacks that will make you feel better in the long run. It takes less time to prepare easy finger foods and convenient snacks than you'd think, you just need to be ready.
What you'll need:
A plan: Develop a plan for the week of what you’ll buy and what you’ll prepare. Write it down.
The tools: Find a sturdy, lightweight lunch tote, ice packs, and containers for your easy finger foods.
Not the tote type? Then a good old-fashioned brown bag will do.
The supply: Use your next shopping trip to pick up ingredients that lend themselves to healthy, easy-to-eat items that satisfy your hunger without breaking the bank or tipping the scales.
While we all have our own tastes, here’s a suggested list of items to keep on hand. Remember, you want a variety of lean, healthy proteins, complex carbohydrates, and filling veggies and fruits.
Low-carb or whole wheat tortillas
100% whole wheat bread
Canned tuna, salmon, or chicken for sandwiches
Hard boiled eggs
Nuts (walnuts or almonds are best)
Vegetables like shredded carrots and broccoli slaw (great for putting in wrap sandwiches)
Apples, bananas, grapes and other easy to eat – not too juicy or messy – fruits.
Baked chips or crackers and small cheeses
All of these items are easy finger foods that will satisfy your hunger without much fuss. But you may be asking yourself, "what if I get bored with these things?" Choose some favorite spreads to put in your sandwiches and wraps to add some zest. Mix your fruit, granola, and yogurt into different combinations. Throw in some cold pizza or baked chicken wings on occasion.
The key is to make what you can ahead of time. Put together some snack bags you can grab on your way out. Grab a wrap sandwich you made the night before and toss it into your lunch bag with a piece of fruit and some nuts and cheeses for a snack and head out the door. It's easy to resist the pull of fast-food when you have easy finger foods on hand.