Healthy Choices On the Go


Need Healthy Snack Ideas?

If you have healthy snacks ready to go it will be easier to skip the vending machine or corner store. You’ll save money and calories! Make sure your snack includes a balance of protein and carbohydrates. The next time a craving hits, try one of these:

  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Veggies and hummus 
  • Peanut butter and crackers 
  • Popcorn 
  • Frozen grapes 
  • Bananas
  • Apple slices
  • Raw almonds or walnuts
  • Garbanzo beans, drained and eaten straight from the can
  • Baked plantain chips
  • Fruit or veggie slices with chili powder and lime
  • Bell pepper or jicama sticks with salsa
  • Turkey cubes 
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Got a Sweet Tooth? 

Everyone needs a sweet treat every now and then. Try these options without the extra sugar or fat.

  • Fruit smoothie made with nonfat plain yogurt or milk
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit cobbler with no added sugar and a light crust
  • Banana pudding made with fat-free pudding and milk 
  • Sweet potato pie with no added sugar
  • Plain dark chocolate
  • Fresh, canned, and frozen fruit dipped in vanilla yogurt

Dessert Swaps

Choose:Instead of:

Lemon in water (or other fruit) or low-sugar aguas frescasSoda

Fruit ice or popsiclesIce cream

Strawberries or mangosPastries

Vanilla yogurtWhipped cream

Skim milk in coffeeLattes or frozen blended coffee drinks

Eating Out

Try these tips when eating out.

  • Look at the menu online before you go to make sure they serve healthy options.
  • Drink water with lemon. It is free, has no calories, and can help you feel full. 
  • Order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
  • Ask for whole wheat bread or skip the bread. 
  • Start your meal with a salad to control hunger and help you feel full sooner.
  • Ask for salad dressing on the side. Just dip your fork in instead of pouring it on.
  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables such as stir fries or kebobs.
  • Not sure what to get? Look for these:
    • A salad with grilled chicken and low-fat salad dressing (on the side)
    • Grilled fish or steak tacos on corn tortillas (no cheese or sour cream)
    • Whole beans and brown rice
  • Watch how much you eat. Control the amount by:
    • Sharing a meal
    • Ordering an appetizer for your main dish
    • Ordering from the kid’s menu
    • Asking for a to-go box as soon as your meal comes so you can take half home

Mom Tip

“When we eat out, we do our best to order things that are not too bad. I get a hamburger without the bun and wrap it in lettuce. Or I order it without cheese. And we don’t order fries, which also saves money.” –Carol

Healthy Restaurant Choices

Find healthy menu choices and nutrition information at restaurants near you with Healthy Dining Finder or SparkPeople Dining Out Guide.


Restaurant Swaps

Choose:Instead of:

Steamed, grilled, or broiledFried or sautéed

Small or medium-size portions and drinksLarge portions and drinks

Side salad or fruitFrench fries

Healthy appetizerRegular entrée

Brown riceWhite rice

Veggie side dishBread or starchy side dish

Whole beansRefried beans

One dish from the menuThe all-you-can-eat buffet

Small hamburgerDouble cheeseburger

Grilled chicken sandwich (no mayo)Fried chicken sandwich

Hot sauce on potatoes and saladsButter or salad dressing

Hold it!

Watch out for high-calorie additions on salads and meals. It’s better to skip them, or order these items on the side so you can control how much you eat:

  • Butter
  • Salad dressing
  • Bacon or bacon bits
  • Croutons
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Creamy sauces or gravies
  • Mayonnaise

Mom Tip

“When my husband and I go out to dinner, we usually split an appetizer and an entrée. It helps us save money and eat less.” –Kate

Eating out the Healthy Way

Tips and tricks for choosing healthy restaurant meals.