Healthy Car Snacks

4 Car-stable Staples
Your errands are taking longer than expected; the doctor’s appointment ran late; there’s no time between piano lessons and karate. . . We often find ourselves in the car longer than expected. Our growling stomachs, as well as those of our kids can take us directly to the drive-thru of the nearest fast-food joint if we aren’t careful. Even if a gourmet, home-cooked meal isn’t awaiting you, still, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home is healthier than a kids meal. So what can you have on hand in your car that will take the edge off the hunger to buy you an extra 30-60 minutes to get home and get some real food? Here are some car-stable snack ideas to keep in the glove box for emergencies like these:

1. Dried Fruit: reduced-sugar craisins, apple slices, prunes (dried plums) and dried apricots deliver some quick energy plus some fiber to help fill you up. Pre-portion in advance so it is less messy, and harder to go overboard and end up with an unhappy tummy.

2. Nuts, or nut alternatives: Almonds, peanuts, mixed nuts, soynuts, or roasted chickpeas or cornnuts (for those with nut allergies) provide fiber, and protein – in the nuts and carbohydrates from the cornnuts. Again, proportion and store a few small, snack bags.

3. Dry Cereal: A small bag of dry cereal will provide a satisfying crunch along with complex carbohydrates and filling-fiber and can go a long way towards curbing the growling stomach. Crunchy Corn Bran, Wheat Chex, or Cheerios will last a long time in the car without going stale.

*Don’t hesitate to make your own car mix – with some cereal, some nuts and some dried fruit.

4. Water bottles: Keep at least one water bottle per family member in reachable spots in your car. Often we become dehydrate before we become truly hungry and we can easily mistake thirst for hunger. So regularly drink and refill those water bottles.

For a few dollars and a few minutes time, you can put together a few “emergency car snacks” and it will end up saving not only money as you steer clear of that tempting drive-thru, but can save your health as well.

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