Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

Glenda
Bento-ing from: New York › New York › USA
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 16 weeks ago.

I spend long hours at Uni every day (as many of us do!), and have to bring extra food so that late-afternoon sugar-craving doesn't send me down the hall to the vending machine.

Any suggestions for healthy snacks that people bring in to work in addition to their actual lunch? I tend to stick with the basics of fruit and granola bars, but they really aren't all that filling! :)

-g.

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julieone
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 24 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

My daughter works out 2x weekly at school (volleyball player) so on those workout days I send her a powdered protein drink in a shaker cup. She just adds water and ice and has a protein infusion which usually takes the hunger bite off. I also send little mayo cups with SF flavoring for her to add + one with flavored coffee creamer. She usually has a chocolate shake with cherry flavoring added.

Also cheese and crackers would be a good snack or peanut butter and crackers. A little extra rice serving (smaller than meal serving) with some flavorings or avocado, etc. My son loves cold fried rice and eats it as a snack often.

oendr
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 51 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

This is a big one for me. I am a full time college student and I generally have classes/extra curricular activities for 9 to 10 hours several days a week. The challenge is I'm hypoglycemic so if I don't eat often and maintain a healthy blood sugar level I loose consciousness! I bring a big bento every day (usually a 3 tiered one or the MR. Zojirushi). One of the most important things for me to pack is snackable foods that I can munch on during class. One of my favorites is No fat Greek yogurt and fruit. Not only is this healthy the Greek yogurt has helpful probiotics and a lot of lean protein. Another one of my favorites is hummus with wasa crackers or veggies for dipping. And my final favorite is almost like a small tapas menu: quail eggs, sprouts, fruit, sauted/steamed spinach or roasted peppers. YUM!

Smalerie
Bento-ing from: Boston › Massachusetts
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 48 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I've been known to also pack little afternoon snacks in addition to my bentos from time to time. I also know exactly what you mean about certain things not being very filling. I would like to suggest mixed nuts. Look for a lightly salted and healthier mix. Planters has this new Nut-trition line that I have been enjoying and I find that a little handful really helps make me feel more full. Another snack I love are the light Baby-bel cheeses. They are all wrapped up in their little packages and feel like something pretty substantial when you eat them.

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I have a blog about life and bento making in Boston: www.smalerie.com

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I'm terrible for sugar crashes in the middle of the school morning (we only have one lesson after lunch and four before), so I tend to fill the lower compartment of my bento with carrot sticks and raw pepper, and try to have a starchy breakfast. Bread rolls make good snacks for larger appetites. For sweeter snacks try grapes, pinaple, dried mango, or even carrot muffins (but make sure you use a healthy-ish recipie).

avlor
Bento-ing from: Sioux Falls › South Dakota › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 38 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, etc), nuts, dried fruit (lasts longer in the keeping away hunger dept than fresh fruit), kashi crackers with cheese (or something as healthy), mini muffins (I've been finding mini corn muffins hit the spot lately), tortilla with cream cheese, heavy cereals like Cracklin Oat Bran (my daughter eats it with out milk - not sure everyone would though), meats like mini burgers (if you keep them cold - ).

Hope those ideas help.

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stackeff
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 2 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

[edit] clearly I hadn't actually read through everyone's comments and so forgive some of the repeats! [edit]

I like a wide variety of things that I can snack on the whole day long, that will keep fresh in my bag or bento, and that aren't too unhealthy. Some of the usuals:

*Baby Carrots and grapes are my general fruit staples for putting in my bag and not having to worry too much about them. You can eat as many veggies as you want, particularly if you are starving and just "need to eat" without worrying about portion.

*I also keep a tea bag or two, and a crystal light single serve in my bag. Usually I'm just thirsty and want something other than water to keep me satiated. I find that most hot water taps actually get hot enough to "brew" tea if I'm desperate.

Higher Calorie:
The key with these snacks is to eat slowly and methodically. These are higher calorie items that shouldn't be eaten in quantity, but if you can take a little bit of time to portion out the snack, you will get the energy.

*A small handful of chocolate chips. Or, make your own trail mix! I like Chocolate chips, walnuts and cranberries. Any dried fruit for that matter.

*BabyBell Cheese wheels: Or really any type of cheese. Cubes of cheddar, parmesan. About an ounce of cheese is equal to 100 calories, so don't over do it, but they help keep me perked in the afternoon.

*Nuts (or dried legume): A small amount of nuts are good to pep you up as well. I'd be a little bit more creative- walnuts, almonds, etc. are great, but don't forget soynuts!

*Cereal: Particularly larger, crunchier varieties that you can eat with your hands. I like honey nut cheerios for this purpose, or frosted mini wheats, or [Cracklin' Oat Bran], one of the best cereals ever. Just make sure that you put them in their own separate baggie or tupperware, otherwise they might get a little damp.

____________________________________

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annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I'm going to jump on the nuts/legumes bandwagon here. Raw cashews and almonds mixed with dried fruit (raisins, diced apricots and dates) is a favorite pick-me-up snack of mine. Raw nuts can usually be purchased in bulk (um, at least in the US).

Rheanna
Joined: 11 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

When I started my new job this summer, I ran into the same problem - a vending machine on the floor below! My way around it is to keep a variety of health alternatives so I can't have the excuse of "I fancy something different today". So now my drawer at work contains some cereal bars, a little box of almonds and several varieties of fruit (at the moment it's apples and mandarines, but bananas or nectarines are often included too). I find that it works for me to have a lot of choice because then I feel like I'm eating something I really fancy rather than just something that I happened to pack that day.

Sassia
Bento-ing from: Colchester › UK
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 42 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

Today I knew I would be working until 7pm so brought an additional 1 tier 400ml bento box packed with blueberries and grapes. It was just enough to chase the hunger away at 5.30pm.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
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Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

A smallish onigiri comes in at around 200 calories or so, and is a very filling snack. I often make one or two if I know I'm going to have a very long day. (and The Guy loves them for snacks.)

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madame.kira
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
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Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I recommend nuts and seeds of all sorts, and also dried fruits. I am a huge fan of dried Turkish figs, not too sweet, very healthy, and low in cals/fat.. Also.. I have been using some lightly fried fruits and veggies in a bag I got from my local Asian market. 1oz is roughly 140cals or so, very little fat and a lot of fiber.. Sadly it goes very quickly cause it is so tasty! The combo I have has bananas, jackfruit, taro, sweet potato, and pineapple in it.. You might want to look into that!

Brit-chan
Bento-ing from: Lafayette › Louisiana › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 51 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I'm sure a lot of these have been suggested, but...this is what I've been doing. I've been really trying to avoid buy junk food at Uni and at work (mall food yuck!). I've been trying to bring packs of crackers (like the peanut butter ones, or the cheese and peanut butter ones) and I try to eat a yogurt (i get the really low fat/cal ones cause i'm trying to diet) too. I find that an apple can be very filling and is a healthier alternative to a candy bar. Even a small apple and a glass (or bottle) of water can fill me up for a while. Also bananas are good, but they can get mushed unless you could find something to carry it in. Crackers and cheese (duh). Goldfish crackers are great! I love goldfish and they are a nice snack to munch on while studying (just fill a little sandwhich baggie full of em). I also keep fruit snacks and granola bars instead of candied gummies. They might not be the healthiest things, but are way better than a bag of sour gummy worms and a snickers (which sometimes i would prefer).

Pretzels are also a good snack (if you have to buy from a vending machine, buy a bag of pretzels if they have them!). Trail mix can be good too, but you have to be careful from eating too much since a lot of trail mixes have M&Ms and are very salty (salt can make you bloat if you are going for the healthy/losing weight option). Those little boxes of raisins might be good if it's not too much more expensive than buying the big container.

Back to apples real quick, if you bring some apple slices or something, bring a little container of peanut butter (or caramel dip if you want to splurge with something super sweet). Peanut butter has protein and can be very filling and is yummy on apples. ^_^;

Last, sometimes I'll just have a PB&J sandwhich. If I am hungry, but not enough for a large meal, just that one sandwhich could do the trick. You can make it at home ahead of time before school and should be good all day if you keep it in a container so it doesn't get squished (i never do that so mine are always squishes, but i eat them anyway XD).

Hope that helped. ^^;

____________________________________

Yum yum bento yum yum!

mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 32 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

I second the pretzel idea! I particularly like them as a snack thus: I make up a portion in a little bowl with half mini-pretzels and half tamari almonds. For me, it's better than just straight pretzels because I'm getting some good fat & fewer carbs. Plus it's taaaaasty.

I heartily recommend making your own tamari almonds because it's easy peasy and, at least around these parts, lots cheaper. Put a cup or two of raw almonds in a bowl and drizzle on enough tamari or soy sauce to make all the almonds wet --2 or 4 tablespoons should do the trick. Set them aside for an hour, giving them an occasional shake.

Preheat your oven to 350f/180c. Drain the excess tamari, tip the almonds into a rimmed shallow pan (like a jelly roll pan) lined with a piece of baking parchment (silver foil also works) and roast for 10 to 20 minutes.

I find that I really need to keep an eye on the nuts as they'll go from being deliciously roasty to unpleasantly burnt rather quickly.. Boy are these yummy!

Once you've tried these, if you like 'em, there are lots more to try: cashews moistened with a bit of coconut milk and seasoned with some good curry, salt & a bit of chili heat are also super addictive.

Sky's the limit! Go nuts!

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http://mosaica.wordpress.com

Courtney
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

mosiaca~ Thanks for posting this! I am addicted to Trader Joe's Wasabi Tamari Almonds, but have had to carefully ration the small stash I have as I am in the UK. It never occurred to me to make them myself! Hee! A new project to try.

:)

arkonitebabe
Joined: 14 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 2 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?
maki wrote:

A smallish onigiri comes in at around 200 calories or so, and is a very filling snack. I often make one or two if I know I'm going to have a very long day. (and The Guy loves them for snacks.)

I second the onigiris! I usually have 2 in my bento when I make them and I only ever eat one at lunch as it's so filling. The second one gets munched as a mid afternoon snack to keep me going until my evening meal.

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www.arkonite.net
www.arkonitebento.net

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

Thanks, mosaica! I actually have some raw almonds sitting in my pantry right now!

Also delicious with pretzels - the spicy peanut dip that I posted in the bento recipes section! The PB has been thinned out, so it has fewer calories than just peanut butter. Salt and heat! I just ate and I'm getting hungry again ...

wisdom goddess born
Bento-ing from: B-more › Maryland › USA
Joined: 20 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 3 weeks ago.
Re: Suggestions for healthy snacks to put in bentos?

My reccommendation is this, use the plastic containers they make now which designate "100" calorie snack size. They make it easy for me to create the number of snacks I need (or the components for my meal), and they can be prefilled and snatched up on my way to work.

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