Dear Amy, I work in a hospital and it is often hard to stop for a break. I find myself getting hungry but not knowing what is the best food to eat on the run. What are some small snacks I can carry with me during the day for a quick boost of energy?

Great question! I work in a hospital too…so I know exactly what you mean by “eating on the run”. You will want to pack snacks that will be considered nutrient dense. Snacks that are filled with complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats will give you the energy you need to make it through the day. Let’s begin with almonds. They are a very portable snack that would be easy to munch on while you are traveling around the hospital. They are filled with healthy protein and fiber which will help keep you fuller longer. Pumpkin seeds are also an easy to snack on food and contain heart healthy fats and fiber as well. Or, you could make your own trail mix and combine the almonds, pumpkin seeds, and add dried cranberries as another option! Fruit is another healthy snack idea. Better yet? Pair your favorite fruit (say and apple or banana) with healthy peanut butter (or any nut butter that you would like). This pairing is not only tasty but also very healthy and easy to grab and go. I personally snack on protein bars a lot. I like the fact that they can fit right in my lab coat and are not messy. But, not all protein bars are created equal, so check the label before buying one. Look for bars with high protein but not much added fat or sugar. Greek yogurt is another personal favorite of mine. Yes, you will need to be able to refrigerate it but this is very tasty and has a ton of protein and calcium. Another food that is a good source of calcium and protein is cheese. I get the low fat string cheese but you could also get the 2% cheese sticks which come in a variety of flavors. Finally we get to my all-time favorite snack…hummus. Several companies have come up with a convenient little container paired with crackers or pretzels. It is a convenient way to eat a delicious snack that has a lot of heart healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber!

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