FROM READERS: Make healthful snacks to eat on your way to work

Monday, November 25, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:52 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ellen Schuster is a nutritionist at the MU Extension and contributes to the blog Mizzou Nutrition Mythbusters where this post was originally published Oct. 23.

Myth: It’s too hard to make something that's quick and easy to eat on the way to work.

Answer: BUSTED!

Put down the convenience store sandwich or hand-held breakfast food and make it at home. You’re not alone if you buy your early morning on-the-go food on your way to work. These quick-to-eat and portable foods are popular with those seeking early morning dashboard dining. And the flavors in these products are making use of more ethnic flavors than in the past.

There are at-home alternatives to frozen or heat-and-go stuffed sandwiches that are more nutritious. Why make them at home? You control the ingredients, meaning you can keep the calories, fat and sodium low. And you control the flavors. You can use a particular sauce, spice or herb to liven up your early morning feast.

Here are some ideas to make your grab-and-go breakfast a hit with your taste buds while also boosting nutrition:

  • Make a whole wheat pita pocket the ‘delivery vehicle’ for your filling. Whole wheat adds fiber, and other nutrients and it will fill you up. Whole wheat tortillas are another option.
  • Choose your protein. It can be lean, cooked or grilled chicken strips; low-fat shredded cheese; garbanzo beans; or nuts or seeds.
  • Add the crunch with foods like diced apples, shredded cabbage or peppers.
  • Now comes the flavor and your creativity. Vegetables such as roasted tomatoes add a smoky flavor. You can mix ethnic sauces with the filling ingredients to keep your taste buds interested: sweet orange sauce, teriyaki sauce or hoisin sauce. Some of these sauces may be high in sodium, so keep the amounts low. You can use herbs and spices such as black pepper or curry instead of these sauces for flavor without the calories or sodium.

So start making your at-home versions of hand-held breakfast foods. You’ll save some money while you’re at it!

For more information about healthy eating, visit

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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