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10 Snack-Packing Hacks to Save Your Sanity

I have a love-hate relationship with snacks. I love snacking, but I hate what sometimes happens to food when it travels. Cracker crumbs, brown apples, mushy peaches -- I weep! So I've gathered up a smorgasbord of hacks to protect my yummy snacks through the ravages of time and travel.

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snack-packing hacks to save your sanity

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1How to keep soft fruit from bruising

If you can find one, pack your peach in a plastic container that's nearly the same size. If not, use an empty, clean Pringles or tennis ball can. For smaller fruit like apricots, try egg cartons. Or, roll a banana (or any other soft fruit) in a dish towel and tie securely.

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2How to avoid the cookie crush

Blow up that baggie. After you fill it with chips, crackers, or cookies, fill the rest of it with air and then seal. That's how the chip industry does it, doncha know.

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3How to keep apple slices from turning brown

You've probably already heard of the trick of adding lemon juice to apples to prevent browning, and you probably thought, "ew, sour." Yep. So use pineapple or orange juice instead. Or, soak your slices in a solution of two tablespoons of honey and one cup of water for 30 seconds.

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4How to keep yogurt cold

You could use an insulated bag or an ice pack. But if you need to save space, put the yogurt in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before packing it. 

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5How to transport peanut butter and celery

Put them both in a peanut butter jar, of course. Fill the bottom of a clean jar with peanut (or other) butter and fill it the rest of the way with celery sticks. You've got your snack and dip all in one convenient container.

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6How to keep a tuna sandwich from going soggy

Use the lettuce barrier method -- that's when you place a layer of lettuce (this is the main purpose of iceberg) between the tuna and the bread on both sides. Apple slices will work, too. Or, pack the salad in a small container, put the bread slices in a baggie, and assemble the sandwich just before you eat it.

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7How to keep food cold without packing extra stuff

Forget the ice pack, and use the trick I mentioned earlier with the yogurt. If you're bringing juice anyway, freeze it first and use it as the ice pack. Just make sure there's room in the juice box for the liquid to expand without exploding. Or, you can freeze grapes and use them to keep everything else cool.

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8How to trick yourself into eating veggies

Want potato chips but know you should eat carrots intead? Cut the carrots crosswise into rounds and pack a dip. NO, IT'S NOT THE SAME. We know. But the shape does make them fun to dip.

More from The Stir: 8 Cool Cooking Hacks to Save You Time

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9How to pack a salad

Layer up your ingredients in a mason jar, of course. Pretty! Pack your dressing separately in another container if you're worried about spilling or sogginess.

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