10 of the Healthiest Service Station Snacks
By GMB Health Advisor, Nutritionist Melissa Fine
Remember when mammoth muffins, crisps and confectionary, slushies and the good old meat pie were pretty much your only snack options at the servo? Fast-forward to today and things are changing when it comes to healthy grab-and-go options. For those days when food prep just aint gonna happen, here are some wholesome snacks that you’ll find at your local servo or convenience store…yes, really!
1. Tom & Luke Zesty Lemon and Coconut Snackaballs
If you often find bliss balls taste too sweet, then you’ll be a fan of the fresh, clean flavour that lemon zest and lemon juice brings to these bite-sized babies. Tom & Luke’s Zesty Lemon and Coconut Snackaballs make a great on-the-go meal or pre-workout snack, high in energy thanks to the dates and healthy fats from the cashews and coconut; 6g of protein per serve too, mostly from vegan pea protein. After a less energy-dense snack? Share the packet with a work or gym buddy, or your bestie…because everything tastes better when eaten together ☺
2. Wallaby Forager Salty Crunch
Just vitamin E-rich almonds, creamy cashews, a little salt and olive oil…this one is the star of Wallaby’s Forager portion-controlled roasted nut range. You don’t often see commercial nuts roasted in good-for-you olive oil (usually they’re roasted in nasty vegetable oils like canola), so I was super excited when I found these the other day at the servo. #healthnerd
3. Plain Chobani Yoghurt
If you do dairy, Chobani is one of the few yoghurt brands that’s high in protein because it’s strained thick, the old-school way…it’s also popping up in the fridge at more and more servos. With 16.5g of protein per single serve tub, skip the highly processed protein bar with 20+ funny ingredients and have a Chobani instead, which contains just skim milk and live yoghurt cultures.
Note that we’re talking about the plain variety here; ‘fruit’ and dessert flavoured yoghurts are loaded with refined sugar, so we’d skip these and sweeten your plain Chobani yourself. I like mine with some sliced banana or strawbs, or with a handful or raw nuts for some crunch and filling fats.
4. The Chia Co Chia Pods
We included these high fibre pods of gluten free goodness in our Supermarket Breakfast roundup - so we’re stoked to see them at so many servos. Nutrition-wise, the Vanilla Bean Chia Pod is still our go-to, having zero added sugar but lotsa flavour thanks to coconut milk, vanilla bean paste and cinnamon. The Dark Cacao is my favourite though…tastes like a little pot of chocolate pudding, but the only ingredients are filtered water, chia seeds, almond milk, unrefined coconut sugar and cacao! (Don’t knock it till you try it!)
5. Blue Dinosaur Bars
Aussie-made, preservative free and with only five wholefood ingredients, Blue Dinosaur bars are one of the cleanest snack bars on the market - so we’re glad that they’re not only in health food stores, but also servos and the supermarket! One of the few bars that aren’t primarily made of dates, and several of the fun flavours are nut free - hello Sour Cherry and Lamington!
6. Emma & Tom’s Flavoured Milks
Health foodies rejoice, Emma & Tom’s milks are all-natural and have no sugar added, being sweetened with stevia, a plant-derived, sugar free sweetener. You’ll get 12g of protein per bottle, and from reduced fat milk from the renowned dairy region of Gippsland, Victoria. Now to pick a flavour: Salted Caramel, Strawberry, Espresso or Milk Choc? If you’re lactose intolerant, check out no. 8 on this list.
7. Fresh Fruit
A no-brainer we know, but thought we’d include this one as a little reminder to go for the fibre-rich banana or apple by the till instead of that bottled, highly processed fruit juice (which is pretty much just sugar), or that king size choc impulse buy.
8. Rokeby Farms Whole Protein Breakfast Smoothie
Sugar tends to be the first – i.e. the main – ingredient in ready-to-go smoothies, but this one is an exception, with the first two ingredients being filtered low fat milk and whole milk. There’s a little cane sugar in here, but it’s towards the end of the ingredients list, which means it doesn’t make up a large amount of the product; most of the sugar in this comes from naturally occurring milk sugar.
And good news if you’re lactose intolerant – this baby is lactose free thanks to the addition of lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose…so you can have your milk and drink it too! Comes in four yummy flavours: Banana, Iced Coffee (yes please!), Salted Caramel and Dutch Choc. Keep in mind that for the average person (i.e., not a hardcore athlete), this smoothie should be seen as a meal, so if you’re having it as a snack, stick to a third or half of the bottle (I like drinking this one from a glass).
9. Thinkfood Mini Munch
Dry-roasted almonds make up 76% of this single-serve snack, with no vegetable oils in sight - unlike most nut bars/nut clusters on the market. The nuts are mainly held together with a touch of house-made rice malt, our go-to sweetener because it’s low in undesirable fructose, unlike fruit juice concentrate or honey, which are common in commercial snack bars. Love the slightly tart flavours too: Almond Cranberry or Almond Blueberry.
10. Hard-boiled egg
Great to see the humble hard-boiled egg in the fridge at so many servos; you don’t get more natural than this in the way of a protein-rich snack. If you like your eggs hard-boiled but not so much the smell that comes with them, the trick is to leave the shells on until right before you eat them, so why not hard-boil a few eggs on Sunday night for the week ahead? You’ll save time, money, and no eggy smell!