This post was written by Harmons Nutrition Intern, Hannah Langley. Hannah is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Staying socially distant during quarantine doesn’t have to be boring, especially while living in a state known for its outdoor recreation opportunities. Luckily, most outdoor activities can be done while staying six feet apart from others, making now a great opportunity to break up with your couch and get outside! Staying fueled for physical activity is important for everyone, whether you’re biking paved city paths or hiking dirt trails to conquer a peak. Here are some simple and easy snacks to slip into your backpack if you’re spending a day outdoors.
Fruits are a great way to get some quick energy because they’re rich in carbohydrates, which are metabolized easily by our bodies. My favorites to bring along are bananas, strawberries, and apples. Fruit isn’t always the easiest to transport because it can be bulky or bruise easily. An easy and sustainable way to bring fruit with you is to pre-slice it and put it in a reusable Stasher bag, which will lay flat in your backpack.
Nuts are full of healthy fats and protein, which make them a satisfying and energy-dense snack. Some even come in individual serving size packets, like Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, making them easier to take with you. They’re yummy enough to eat straight out of the package, but they also pair great with sliced apples and bananas.
This savory, garlicy dip is packed with chickpeas for a great blend of carbohydrates, fat, and protein ideal for refueling along the trail. Hummus is fun because you can get creative with what you choose to dip into it, but vegetables and crackers seem to be most common.
Whole and Sliced Vegetables
Vegetables such as sliced carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers, or whole snow peas and cherry tomatoes are great dipped in hummus or eaten on their own! Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals but aren’t particularly energy dense, so make sure you bring along a higher calorie option on this list (nuts, hummus, Larabars, or string cheese) if you’re planning a long afternoon of strenuous physical activity.
The purpose of most energy bars is to provide a decent amount of calories in a small amount of food, which makes for a quick snack when you’re on the go. Larabars have a short ingredient list with dates as the main component and cater to dietary restrictions since most are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and kosher.
String cheese is easy to pack, easy to eat, and full of protein which is important for muscle recovery. You can even choose options from local brands, like Cache Valley Creamery.
Most of the calories from string cheese come from fat, so be sure to pair this with an additional snack rich in carbohydrates. Fat is broken down by our body more slowly than carbohydrates, so pairing food with a little bit of both results in more sustained energy throughout your activity.
These fast, simple snacks will help keep you going on your outdoor pursuits, and all meet our Dietitians Choice criteria. Need more snack inspiration or have further nutrition questions? Check out our Sports Nutrition eShop collection or reach out to your Harmons dietitian at firstname.lastname@example.org.