Today I learned something wise that applies to people of all ages. When toddlers get hangry while you’re out and about, it’s useful to have a hangry kit full of snacks rich in protein, fat, and fiber, according to Jennifer Anderson, MSPH, RDN. Good to know, as I do act more or less like a toddler when I haven’t eaten during a busy day.
Sadly I am actually an employed, public-facing adult with dignity, so I have to keep those hunger-related temper tantrums a bit more contained. You, too, probably get a little bit agitated when you’re thrust into a busy day and your blood sugar levels are diving. A hangry kit can really come in handy when you need to stay satiated with long breaks between meals.
And so I wonder: what does the adult hangry kit look like, and how can I have that on hand? Below, we have recommendations on what foods to add to your hangry kit with the help of Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area.
What to keep in your hangry kit at all times
1. KIND MINIs
Almost guaranteed that your office has these in your kitchen snack basket (ours does, en masse) so make like First Month at Work Mary Grace and swipe a few for when you’re hangry.
“I love having a KIND Caramel Almond and Sea Salt Mini bar on hand because it tides me over for just 90 calories and 8 grams of carbs,” Gorin says. “The first ingredient is almonds, so you get protein and fiber to help keep you fuller for longer.”
2. Cheese Slices
There is nothing more adult than a cheese plate, as I tell myself whenever I need something to complement (justify?) downing a whole bottle of rosé. And with all due respect to Cheesasaurus Rex, we’re not talking about plastic wrapped Kraft singles.
“Add in slices of softer cheeses, which contain more water than hard cheeses—which means you can eat more of them,” says Gorin. “Think cheese like brie and camembert! To boot, an inch wedge of brie offers about 6 grams of satiating protein and 8 grams of fat.”
Listen, you don’t have to tell me to eat brie cheese twice.
“A few tablespoons of this mustard has so much flavor,” Gorin says. “It’s such a perfect topper for high-quality cheese!”
Because honestly, what’s a mini cheese plate without a handful of crackers? Gorin recommends about eight to 12 crackers. But choose crackers with whole-grain flour—think wheat, rice, or oat—as the first ingredient.
My eyebrows shot straight up, but I’m not complaining. Gorin says that she recommends this in small doses, because truly, sometimes you need a little sweetness in your day.
“Add a teaspoon or two to your hangry kit, and use the maple syrup to drizzle onto your cheese slices,” she says. “Maple syrup boasts 60-plus health-helping polyphenols, as well as the blood-sugar-helping mineral manganese and the B vitamin riboflavin.”
Basically, an apple travels extremely well and you get a sense of satisfaction at that first bite.
“Either pack it whole or slice it (with a drizzle of lemon to keep the skin from browning) and pair with your cheese slices,” Gorin says. “One medium apple offers 4 grams of fiber, making it a good source.”
Oh, nuts! Amazing.
“You get a trio of plant protein, better-for-you mono-and polyunsaturated fats, and fiber for a combination that’ll keep you fuller for longer—plus a tasty sweet chili flavor,” Gorin says. “What I also love about this snack pack is that the nuts are in the shell and take longer to eat; and a preliminary study shows that people eating in-shell pistachios took in 41 percent less calories than people snacking on the shelled version!”
And prying out the nuts in question should make your reward just as sweet… or salty.
Here’s everything you need to know about gluten:
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