HOUSTON – You may be staying at home more these days but there are a lot of essential workers who are still going to work.
From healthcare professionals to first responders, it’s important these workers keep their energy up with snacks.
While on the job, staying virus-free is a top priority, especially for those in the healthcare field or others who have to be out in the community. That’s why grabbing snacks that you don’t have to “touch” is so important.
“The healthcare workers and other essential workers are out on the go and so this is where these snacks that you don’t have to use your hands come in really handy,” said licensed dietitian Catherine Kruppa with Advice for Eating, LLC.
1. Fruit squeeze packs
Individual packets of fruit like applesauce are not just for kids! There are squeeze packs that have extra protein, yogurt and even chia seeds. With these snacks, you can just twist off the top and squirt it right in your mouth.
2. Oatmeal to-go cups
The individual cups of oatmeal that you add hot water too is very easy to eat and go. You can eat these with a spoon. In the same section where you find oatmeal cups you will also find “overnight oats” in a cup. These are simple to eat cold.
3. Nut packs
Individual packets of nuts are easy to rip open the top and put into your mouth. These types of snacks come in countless varieties, like almonds, peanuts or cashews. You can also find the individual trail mix packs that include dried fruit.
4. Soup in a cup
Individual servings of soup or broth in a cup is a simple way to get added protein into your diet and it’s super easy to heat and drink! You can even find “bone broth” varieties of soups. You’ll notice these even come with lids that have a hole where you can just sip out from the lid.
5. Nut butter packs
Individual packets of peanut butter and other nut butters are huge right now! You’ll find a variety of nut butters and some with added flavors. These are a great source of protein and it’s easy to just rip the top off and squeeze it into your mouth.
6. Nutrition bars
The bar game at the grocery store is strong right now!! If you go into the “health” food section of the grocery store there is likely an entire section devoted just to bars. When looking for the best option, Kruppa suggested aiming for 5-10 grams of protein in each bar. Kruppa said the added protein will make it last longer and you should be able to go 3-4 hours without getting hungry again. Also, look for bars that have the most nuts, these will last you longer.
7. Dried fruit
The small boxes of dried fruit is another great way to add a healthy snack into your rotation. Long ago, you could only find raisins in the small boxes. Now, you can grab other varieties including cranberries and yogurt covered raisins. You can even look for the small packets of dried fruits like apples, banana and strawberries.
8. Protein drinks
Protein drinks are quick and easy and are loaded with nutrients. These can be substituted for meals or for a quick snack. Kruppa suggested looking for drinks low in sugar and with at least 10 grams of protein.
9. Meat sticks
From grass-fed beef to turkey jerky, you can find “meat sticks” in the nut section of the grocery store. These are easy to unwrap and eat. Most will contain at least 5 grams of protein.
10. Individual cheese
Mozzarella cheese sticks are a great option for added protein and it’s easy to peel off the wrapping and eat it. These days you can also find Colby jack, pepper jack and other varieties of cheese in individual serving sizes.
“For people on the go these are easy nutrition,” Kruppa said. “They need to be eating regularly and not skipping meals because they are out there in stressful situations.”
You may be looking for creative ways to show first responders and healthcare workers you care! Use these suggestions for a “thank you” basket full of snacks.
You can also give a shout out to essential workers with our community thank you effort.