Easy and Nutritious Mason Jar Meals for Runners
When working with runners, I often have to get creative when it comes to fueling around work or school schedules. Runners and other active individuals require more nutrition throughout the day to ensure their body is getting what it needs. Runners need energy to not only support training and recovery, but also for their body to function properly each day.
Early morning training sessions, and navigating jam-packed schedules, all require thinking ahead when it comes to food. It can be easy to miss fuelling windows of opportunity if you don’t plan ahead. So finding ways to get nutrition in portable, easy-to-prep ways can be really valuable for someone who is constantly on-the-go, and for those who need to be eating more frequently. Taking advantage of mason jar recipes for meals and snacks can be cost-effective and convenient, while offering a sustainable option.
Mason jars are great because you can easily take them with you, whether you’re running errands, going into the office, or just want a healthy meal or snack ready to go.
I’ve put together some of my favourite mason jar recipes, with runners in mind. These include foods that support energy, are filling, support gut health, and can be great as part of your post-run recovery!
Pick what you can tolerate and what gives you the energy you need for your run. (Remember portions can be adjusted to meet one’s individual needs.) The great thing about mason jars is that they come in a variety of sizes. And each of these recipes contains a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
One note: If you prefer heating any of the following recipes before consumption, make sure your jar is microwave-safe. The lids on jars contain metal and should not be put into the microwave. Also, the foods and recipes provided here are general recommendations for runners and other active individuals. Some of these meals may serve better as snacks for some individuals.
Reach out to a registered dietitian nutritionist for personalised nutrition advice and take time to listen to what your body needs. If you need to give your body more than the recipes below, use these recipes as a base and add more of other foods that help increase satisfaction around training.
Mason Jar Creamy Oats Recipe
This is a great meal for sustaining energy and leaving you feeling full and satisfied. It offers a good source of fats that may help reduce inflammation, and plenty of fibre (4 to 6 grams in the oats depending on serving size, nearly 2 grams from walnuts, and even more if you add berries—at least 3 grams). This supports gut health and regularity when it comes to digestion, and it’s tasty and easy to eat!
This recipe can be consumed as a meal or snack. For those who need more nutrition, pairing this recipe with a side of eggs with avocado, chicken sausage, or side of toast with peanut butter and jam.
½–¾ cup dried oats
¼ cup of chopped walnuts
½ a banana, chopped or ½ cup fresh berries (or top with fresh jam)
1–2 tbsp of almond butter or sunflower seed butter
Add 2 tbsp of chia seeds to the top of the oats
Drizzling of honey or agave
Cook oats in milk or water according to package directions. (I start off with water then add milk to the end of the meal to make it “more creamy.”) Adding soy or cow’s milk can help increase the protein content. Soak the walnuts in hot water for a few minutes before chopping them to make softer and easier to bite into. After cooking them, add fruit, stir in almond butter or sunflower seed butter, add chia seeds, and lastly drizzle with honey or agave on top.
Mason Jar Salad Recipe
The recipe is also packed with fibre from the quinoa or barley (about 5 grams), garbanzo beans (about 4 grams) and provides long-lasting energy. It’s also filled with antioxidants from veggies and leafy greens, as well as veggies that offer vitamins A and C. Due to its high fibre content, eat three hours before training and consume a simple carbohydrate (like fruit slices, diced fruit, a granola bar, or a banana) right before training.
1 cup of spinach or arugula
½–1 cup of cooked quinoa, barley or a mix
½ cup of garbanzo beans
½ cup of sliced cucumbers
¼ cup of radishes
A handful of chopped bell pepper
Add 4 oz of chopped cooked salmon or chicken or tofu
Dressing: Red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper too taste
Wash and cut veggies. Cook protein and let cool in the fridge after cooking. Then add veggies and protein to the mason jar. Add dressing just before eating.