It's back to school time! The summer flew by, and suddenly here we are in September! One of the biggest challenges athletes have during the school year is continuing solid performance fueling during school hours. Challenges of no snacks in class, no nuts in snacks and other roadblocks can threaten to derail efforts to consistently fuel muscles during the day. However, with the right snacks and a little discreteness, there is no need to arrive at afternoon practice starving. These snacks are also great for work, in the car or walking across campus!
Before reading through the list of snack options, remember the cardinals of building a solid snack: a source of carbohydrate (fruit, grains, dairy) plus a source of protein (nuts, seeds, protein or animal meat). While some of those foods like deli meat or yogurt won't appear on this list because they are not shelf stable, it is good to remember that they can be a part of a great snack when available.
Beautiful Performance-Enhancing, Shelf-Stable Snacks
Peanut butter & jam/honey sandwich
Sunbutter or soy nut butter & jam/honey sandwich*
Trail mix of dried fruit, nuts and your favorite whole grain cereal
Trail mix of dried fruit, seeds and your favorite whole grain cereal*
Granola bars: my favorite are Clif bars, Picky Bars, Kind Bars and Luna Bars
Energy bites: there are many recipes available online, but look for great ones to include a nut butter or seed butter, whole grain oats, chia seeds or flaxseeds, honey and even chocolate chips!*
Piece of fruit with nuts or seeds*
Piece of fruit with lean turkey or beef jerky
Whole grain crackers, bagel or English muffin topped with peanut butter, sunflower seed or soy nut butter*
Dry cereal that is high in protein, such as Kashi cereals*
Whole grain cracker topped with tuna (buy in packets)*
A piece of fruit or dried fruit with a container of shelf-stable low-fat chocolate milk (like that pictured above*
This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, so get creative and find what works for you, your family or your athlete. If you have the challenge of no snacks in class, eat in passing period, choosing foods that are quick and easy to eat, such as trail mix (only about 1/2 cup is needed), energy bites or a granola bar.
Your Nutrition Coach,