Many creative, healthy snacks do not spoil quickly and are long-lasting. These are good choices for travel, camping or anytime you do not have regular access to refrigeration. Try to include different food groups in your snack choices; for example, pair a carbohydrate with a protein source.
Some fresh fruits, such as oranges, tangerines and apples, can be stored for several days at room temperature. Dried fruits are an excellent alternative and require no refrigeration; shop for varieties that have little or no added sugar, and experiment with different flavors such as apricots, mango, apples, cranberries and pineapple. Unopened applesauce, fruit cups and canned fruit are stable at room temperature and can be found in convenient, single-serving sizes. Choose fruit canned in juice or light syrup to avoid excessive added sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Snack foods made with whole grains can boost your intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends keeping added sugars to less than 35 percent by weight and limiting saturated fats to less than 1 gram per serving. You can snack on whole-grain crackers and whole-wheat flatbread alone or with toppings. Plain popcorn, rice cakes and whole-grain cereals are other healthy options. To prevent overeating, pack these foods as individual servings in small plastic bags.
Nuts, a good source of protein, are high in calories and fat, so keep portion sizes small; a handful is just right. For variety, try different types such as peanuts, cashews, almonds and pecans. Look for unsalted or low-salt versions. Most peanut butter is stable at room temperature and can serve as a spread for crackers or as a dip for fruit such as apples or vegetables such as celery.
Convenient and long-lasting, many varieties of granola bars and cereal bars are available in stores. Read the nutrition labels carefully, as some brands are high in sugar and fat. You can make homemade granola or granola cereal as a trail mix, and include pieces of your favorite dried fruit, raisins, sunflower seeds and nuts.