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Getting your nutrition from a convenience store: Ideas for meals and snacks in a pinch

Let’s face it, sometimes our meal and snack choices are severely limited by what’s accessible. Most folks have taken a trip at some point and been in complete awe of the lack of grocery stores or quality restaurants nearby, or have experienced the difficulty in finding balanced choices during a long road adventure.

There is almost always a convenience store or gas station, though. As a popular ad once stated, I wouldn’t recommend getting your sushi from a gas station; however, there are certainly ways to get creative with nutritious meals and snacks in a pinch. So I decided to research the options at the omnipresent CVS and show you some creative examples.

And for those athletes in the crowd, I’ve included some lifesaving, convenience store fueling ideas when carried foods and fluids are completely eaten up.


  • Amy’s frozen dinners – great for a hotel room with a microwave – which include vegetables and whole grain ingredients. Add yogurt or string cheese on the side if you need to up the protein intake.

  • Vegetable-based soups. Again, warm in the microwave (maybe buy a bowl at CVS, too) and maybe pair with some microwaveable rice.

  • Salads! Some come with protein, some don’t. If not, include a tuna packet on top.

  • Single-serving oatmeal containers which would go great with a yogurt and mixed fruit.

  • Frozen berries. If you are in a hotel for an extended period you could store these in the mini-mini-freezer of the mini-fridge and add to yogurt or cereal for breakfast. They add crunch frozen.

  • Individual milks (soy, regular, chocolate). Great for a snack. Other great snacks included popcorn with olive oil, string cheese, and turkey jerky.

  • Peanut butter for the old standby peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or top spread on the apple you took from the morning buffet).


  • Applesauce in squeezable packets which can double as gu.

  • Sports drinks, of course – or if you are daring try V8 on a very salty sweaty day.

  • Dried fruit, breakfast biscuits, or crackers to provide some carbohydrates.

  • Peanut butter pretzels provide not only carbs and salt but that satisfying feeling sometimes only peanut butter can give.

  • Fig Newtons and granola bars – “regular” foods which can double as sports bars.

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