By Dr. Monica Hunsberger, PhD, MPH, RD

Summer may be coming to an end but it is not too late to pack a picnic and visit a favorite park.   Many places have snack bars, but often choices are limited and perhaps not as healthy.  Wraps are one of my favorite healthy on-the-go meals; they are fun to make and look beautiful. I tend to reach for La Tortilla Factory offers Low Carb, High Fiber Tortillas instead of the bread loaf because they do the same thing but with fewer calories and more fiber. One tortilla delivers 7 grams of fiber at just 50 calories.

Last week, I made a simple tuna salad out of tuna steak in brine, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, one teaspoon of prepared mustard, a chopped shallot, one teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste (makes enough filling for two wraps).  Prepared, this wrap is under 200 calories (wrap + 100 calorie filling), packed with fiber (7 grams in the wrap I selected) and lean protein (18 grams from the wrap (5g) and the tuna (13g), and approximately 5 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fat plus a serving of vegetables when you add your favorites.  I added arugula and chopped red pepper and served with carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes on the side.

The options are endless.  Just select your favorite La Tortilla Factory wrap or tortilla, then decide your filling.  If something vegetarian is more your speed, try a Mediterranean inspired wrap. Fill your tortilla with quinoa, roasted vegetables (zucchini, red pepper, and eggplant), olives and season with a olive oil and balsamic to taste. If you are not familiar with quinoa it is a complete protein grain that needs rinsing but then cooks in a manner similar to rice.  Or a Mexican wrap with black beans, brown rice, tomato and avocado seasoned with cumin, chili, jalapeño, and salsa or guacamole if you are an avocado lover like me.

 However, nothing beats the basics.  Quick and easy options include your favorite meat and cheese slices with condiments of choice such as turkey and provolone with mustard and mayo; tuna salad (shown above); or herbed cream cheese with lax and avocado… healthy fat and sinfully delicious.  If you like the simple, satisfying taste of peanut butter and jelly or almond butter and honey these selections also taste great in a wrap.  A personal favorite is almond butter with honey and banana.   No time for a picnic, consider this breakfast on the go.

If you opt for simple, vegetable free wraps consider vegetable sticks on the side.  Cut carrots, celery, fennel bulb, zucchini and or cucumber into sticks and place in a plastic bag for light travel.  Or shop cherry tomatoes that need only washing and that taste of candy just as they are.  Simple dips can be quickly produced from plain yogurt by adding your favorite fresh or dried herbs.

Accompany with a colorful fruit salad made with local fruits.  Fruit can be chopped the night before and ready to go if you chose fruits that will not brown.  Good choices include seasonal melons, grapes, cherries, and berries while they last and soon we will be into apple and pear season in many regions.

Consider Bringing reusable cups and dining utensils to help keep your favorite play places clean and eco-friendly.