|Fast food has spent decades earning its bad name. But fast in terms of grab-and-go can be nutritious if you do it right. Even if you love spending time in the kitchen and working magic with your favorite nutritious foods, it can be hard to make time every day. Use these ideas and have nourishing snacks and meals at your fingertips in no time at all:
Keep fruit and veggies at the ready. Wash and chop berries, kiwis, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and celery — and store them in easy-to-grab batches. Also keep some zero-prep produce: peel-and-eat bananas, oranges, tangerines and clementines, as well as apples and pop-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes.
Go nuts. Mix your favorite nuts with unsweetened dried fruit and dark chocolate bits, and store in an airtight jar for a filling and nutritious snack. You can also measure out quarter-cup portions of trail mix in advance for the perfect snack. This is a project that children love to do with you!
Turn the freezer and pantry into your friend. A can of chickpeas or pinto beans, frozen edamame or broccoli, and whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice (easy to cook and freeze) offer fiber and nutrients galore — in the same amount of time it takes to heat a can of SpaghettiOs.
Seek out real-food power packs. Individual packs of guacamole and hummus are nutritious choices for when you have an early morning meeting to get to and only a minute to fill your lunch box.
Invest in the right “stuff.” Reuseable containers of various sizes — for salads, sandwiches, dressings, dips, and snacks — can keep nutritious food fresh, organized and tasty.