(Family Features) - While many of us try to make healthy eating a priority, the reality is that our busy schedules can make it difficult to eat right while on the go. But, if you keep your fridge and pantry stocked with a few key ingredients, it becomes a whole lot easier to make snack choices that are both satisfying and nutritious.
Keep these four foods on hand as healthy, on-the-go snacks that will help you avoid the temptation of vending machine junk food.
Fruit. Whole fruits are a great way to enjoy a nutrient-dense snack when you're in a hurry. Apples, bananas, pears, grapes and oranges don't require any preparation - just grab and go. Frozen fruit is picked at the peak of ripeness and flash-frozen to preserve their nutrient value. Keep frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango and cherries on hand for a fast and nutritious smoothie.
Nuts. Tree nuts have no cholesterol and are a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fats, which fill you up and help you keep going. They're also a great source of vitamin E and B vitamins, and minerals like magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium, phosphorus and potassium. Buy unsalted nuts in bulk and portion them out by putting a handful into a snack-sized resealable bag.
Popcorn. Air-popped popcorn is a whole grain food that's low in calories and fat. It's also an energy-producing complex carbohydrate and a good source of fiber. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Make a satisfying snack by mixing one cup air-popped popcorn with a few peanuts and dark chocolate chips.
Whole soy. Whole soy is minimally processed to keep soy's naturally occurring nutrients intact. Soy in its whole form is packed full of isoflavones (plant-based compounds with antioxidant properties), vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and complete, high-quality protein. Plus, whole soy is low in saturated fat and cholesterol free. You can enjoy whole soy in edamame or dry-roasted soy nuts, but the easiest way to take advantage of the many nutrients whole soy has to offer while on the go is with a SOYJOY bar. SOYJOY is all-natural, minimally processed, and made with a mix of ground whole soybeans, real fruit, and a few other ingredients for an uncomplicated, nutritious snack. It is now delicately baked to be fruiter, moister and better than ever and there are new flavors, including banana and blueberry.
To get the nutritional benefits of many of these recommended foods at once, try this delicious trail mix recipe developed by Registered Dietitian David Grotto, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods. Get more ideas for incorporating whole soy into your diet at SOYJOY.com.