Be prepared and pack a snack

Today is Election Day and you don’t want to get hangry at the ballot box. Prepare for the lines and pack yourself a healthy snack. During times when you may not have access to healthy meals, it’s best to come ready so you aren’t succeptiable to easy junk food.

Here are a few snack ideas that work well for lines, waiting rooms, road trips or in the office:

  • Baked chickpeas. They’re nutty, full of protein and pretty easy to make. Preheat your oven for 400°. Drain, rinse and thoroughly dry a can of chickpeas, then spread on a tin foil-covered cookie sheet. Spray or pour a small amount of olive oil on the chickpeas and mix in whatever smoky seasonings you like. Salt, pepper and paprika or a taco seasoning work well, but get creative. Roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes, checking and stirring every ten minutes, until they’re crunchy but not burnt. Cool before eating.

  • Roll your own energy balls. This recipe is tasty, full of real food ingredients, economical and one batch will last for a few weeks. They also make great gifts.

  • Blaze your own trail mix. Store bought mix is overpriced and usually has too much of what you don’t want and too little of what you do. In a large container, combine nuts, dried fruit, seeds, high fiber cereal, dark chocolate bits and other dry snacks. Just beware of any ingredients with tons of added sugar and watch portion size on calorie-dense mixes. Also be sure you aren’t bringing nuts into a nut-free school or area.

  • Cut up your veggies. You’re more likely to eat vegetables if you chop them up in advance. That way snacking is as easy as reaching into that bag of chips. Celery, carrots, broccoli, green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes (the last few aren’t technically vegetables) work great. If you need a dip, a small cup of hummus or Greek yogurt dressing will add some protein and flavor.

  • If you do end up buying a snack at a store, these are some healthy options I’ve found: Veggie Straws, Rx Bars, seaweed packs (it may sound weird but they are crispy, super light and satisfy that salty flavor), an individual-sized chocolate milk (or almond milk) or hummus and cracker packs.

And if you end up with extra snacks, share with someone in line. Food is a great way to make friends!

What’s your go-to healthy munchie?