Wholesome Snacks on The Go
By Ginger Hultin, MS, RDN, CSO, integrative nutrition expert, cookbook author, and consultant dietician who works with Clif Bar & Company.
The ideas and suggestions written below are provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or care. The contents of this article are not intended to make health or nutrition claims about our products. Always seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professional before beginning any physical fitness or health- and nutrition-related activity.
Whether it’s a busy day of errands, a commute to school or work, or hanging out with friends or family, daily routines get busy. It’s easy for the day to get away from you if you aren’t prepared with wholesome snacks to keep you energized along the way. Having simple, easy options that travel well but also help you meet your health goals is something everyone needs to consider.
What Makes a Wholesome Snack?
A wholesome snack doesn't need to look the same every day. It depends on what you need. Carbohydrates like whole grains fuel a busy day and activity, whereas protein and fat will help tide you over between meals.
Snacks that pack well and don’t require refrigeration for long days are another important aspect. Whether you’re commuting by bike, car, or public transport, convenient, shelf-stable options that keep their flavour and texture are key. Be sure to think about how you pack your snacks. Consider sustainable options like compostable and reusable bags and containers. When you’re on the go, pack portable snacks so that they can be easily carried in a lunch box, knapsack, or purse.
It’s important to consider what kind of snack you need when you’re on the go. Should it be a lighter 100-calorie bite or a more substantial 250-calorie option?
100-Calorie Wholesome Snack Ideas
If you need an easy-to-eat bite while you’re on the go, often around 100 calories will do the trick. These wholesome snacks can be eaten before light activity, between meetings, or with one hand when you’re stuck in traffic and don’t want to make a mess.
- CLIF BAR® Minis: with 100-110 calories and a blend of wholesome, plant-based ingredients, this delicious snack can be enjoyed before or during a bicycle commute to work, a morning yoga session or an afternoon walk.
- 1 cup (160g) of blueberries or strawberries
- One piece (25g) of cheese
- A palmful (30g) of nuts (e.g., almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans)
- 1/8 cup (25g) popcorn, lightly salted and drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil
- A handful of dill pickles and 12 almonds
- 2-3 slices (85g) of sliced turkey wrapped in a large lettuce leaf
- 20 olives
- 5 sweet baby peppers dipped in a quarter of a smashed avocado
- 1/8 cup (15g) of sunflower seeds
250-Calorie Wholesome Snack Ideas
Sometimes you need a larger, more substantial snack to satisfy your needs and taste buds. Choose a simple option that’s about 250 calories with protein if you’re between meals or having a very busy day and need a satisfying snack.
- CLIF® Nut Butter Bar, made delicious nut butter filling and 9-11g whole grains, this bar is designed to satisfy your taste buds.
- A simple smoothie of 175ml semi-skimmed milk or non-dairy milk, 1 small banana, 60g low-fat yogurt
- An apple with a palmful (30g) of almonds
- 3 whole grain crackers dipped in 4oz (115g) hummus
- A palmful (30g) of walnuts combined with a handful of raisins
- ¾ cup (180g) low fat yogurt and with 4 dried apricots, chopped
- 1 slice of whole wheat toast with ½ a small avocado sliced on top (spritz with lime to help keep it green as you travel!)
- 2 homemade protein balls (tablespoon-sized) made with 1/3 cup (80g) peanut butter or almond butter, 2/3 cup (60g) rolled oats, ¼ cup (25g) unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons (30ml) honey, 2 tablespoons (30ml) milk, and pinch of ground cinnamon (makes 8 balls)
- 1 cup (200g) chia seed pudding made with 2 tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) of chia seeds, ½ cup (120ml) almond milk, 1 teaspoon (7 grams) honey, and a splash of vanilla extract
- A sandwich made with two pieces of thin-sliced whole wheat bread, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 3-4 sliced strawberries
On busy days, make sure you prepare yourself with wholesome options that match your snacking needs!