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Dietitian’s Top 10 Convenience Foods At Target

Dietitian's Top 10 Convenience Foods At Target

Food LabelsIngredient LabelsSports NutritionTravel NutritionWellness

Whether you are always on the go, a traveling athlete, or someone who finds themselves short on time, convenience foods are a quick and easy option for meals and snacks. Many packaged, highly processed convenience foods offer little nutritional value and do not support performance and recovery. Choosing nutritious convenience foods can support your performance and nutrition goals. But with so many options on the market, what are the best to choose? In this blog, I highlight some of our top favorite convenience foods found in most grocery stores. In this case, these were all found at our local Super Target.

Pre-cut Fruit and Vegetables

While purchasing pre-cut fruits or vegetables may be a little more expensive, it can also be a huge timesaver. And if you’ve ever found yourself waiting too long to cut up that refrigerator drawer full of veggies, it could help prevent you from wasting food. They’re also so convenient for travel. Having pre-cut fruits and vegetables ready to go makes it more likely that they will be included in your meals and snacks when you’re quickly putting them together. 

Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix

Nuts and trail mix are nutrient-dense snacks that provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Most grocery stores carry individual servings of nuts and trail mixes that can be easily stored and transported in a lunchbox, backpack, or car. Keeping these on hand makes it easy to grab and go or have a quick snack between classes or meetings.

Nut Butter Packets

These individual packets are an excellent option for travel, or athletes on the go. They can be easily stored in a locker, backpack, or car. Pair with fruit, whole-grain bread, or add to your oatmeal and smoothies.

Dried Fruit

Unsweetened dried fruit is easy to transport and makes a great grab & go pre-workout snack. Pair with a handful of nuts, hard-boiled eggs, or string cheese to create a well-balanced snack. 

Smoothie Packs and Frozen Fruit

While smoothie packs require preparation, all you have to do is add the bag and some liquid to a blender, and you have a smoothie! Combine a smoothie pack like this one with a protein-rich liquid such as milk, Ripple, or soy milk. You could also make it with water and add a scoop of protein powder post-workout for a nutrient-dense post-workout option.

Individual Hummus and Guacamole Packets

Individual hummus and guacamole packets are easy to transport and can be a great way to add more flavor to a meal or snack. Pair them with chopped vegetables, crackers, or add them to a wrap or salad.

Cooked Whole Grains

Whole grains like quinoa and brown rice can take anywhere from 15-40 minutes to prepare. Grain packets like the one shown here can be prepared in less than 5 minutes and used in a burrito bowl, added to the top of a salad, or mixed into a soup. 

Individual Oatmeal Packets

Individual oatmeal packets/cups are a great option for traveling athletes since they do not require any cooking utensils (other than a spoon). When choosing an oatmeal pack, look for whole-grain oats on the ingredient list. We recommend selecting the classic or unflavored option and adding your own toppings like fruit and nuts, as the flavored options can be high in added sugar. 

Salad Dressings & Sauces

While we love making our own dressings and sauces from scratch, it’s so convenient and a big timesaver to have some ready to grab from the fridge. We have an article on our top 7 favorite salad dressing brands here.

Article written by Dana Norris, MS, RD

Angie Asche

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