In a perfect world, we would all eat three, square meals a day, right? But, it's not always easy to stick to such a balanced way of eating, so snacking often gets us through the day.

Runners, in particular, need quality food choices to fuel their workouts. Here are 5 runner-friendly foods to help give you the energy you need between meals.

Greek yogurt with homemade granola and fresh fruit 
The high protein content in Greek yogurt helps muscles recover more quickly and the calcium keeps bones strong, which may help to ward off stress fractures, a common injury seen in runners. Try fresh berries, chia seeds, or homemade granola--just stir them into Greek yogurt for a quick and satisfying snack.

Pineapple chunks with cottage cheese 
Pineapple is loaded with bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory properties and might accelerate muscle repair. Pair pineapple chunks with cottage cheese or blend into a smoothie.

A glass of chocolate milk
Chocolate milk is cold, creamy, and delicious, so it's a quick and easy way to rehydrate and refuel your muscles after a run or as a snack in between meals. A serving provides protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and B vitamins, which are all important to recovery and a strong, fit body.

Peanut butter on a toasted English muffin 
Peanut butter is often a go-to food for runners--and for good reason! Peanut butter (as well as other nut butters) are high in protein and healthy fats, which fuel muscles and sustains energy levels. Spread a couple of tablespoons on a whole wheat English muffin for a delicious and satisfying snack.

A banana
A single banana provides a healthy dose of potassium, which helps replenish electrolytes that are lost during exercise. Eat a banana before or after you finish your workout for a quick and easy snack!

Read Tina’s daily food and fitness blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.