The key to healthy snacking is to find foods that have as much nutritional value as possible that will fill you up, so you aren’t hungry again a short time later. For example, a 100-calorie pack of chips or cookies will leave you feeling hungry again a short time later, AND they are not providing you with any nutrients.
If you eat a banana and a few almonds, you are eating something nutritious (vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc.) that will fill you up longer (and help you feel better) and help you avoid the sugar crash. The more “whole foods” (unprocessed or minimally processed) you eat, the better.
Have different snacks during the week to keep it interesting and to increase the different types of nutrients you are getting.
Note: Eating organic is best, but do what your budget and preferences allow. And, of course, keep in mind any food allergies or health related nutritional concerns you may have when planning your snacks.
Here are 20 healthy snack ideas to get you started:
1. Almonds, walnuts or cashews (a small palm full is usually a serving)
2. Sunflower seeds and raisins
3. Celery and almond butter (peanut butter or sun butter) 1-2 tbsp
4. Rice chips with hummus
5. Organic Tortilla Chips and salsa or guacamole (for those that just HAVE to have chips).
6. Veggie sticks (celery, carrots, cucumber) and hummus or guacamole
7. Kale chips or zucchini oven chips (bake your own) – for recipes visit: AllRecipes.com
8. Hard-boiled egg
9. Sweet potato chips or fries (bake your own)
10. Apple slices with nut butter or sun butter
11. Pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
12. Greek yogurt with granola (IF you tolerate dairy. Tip: read labels – avoid high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors & sweeteners)
13. Green smoothie or fruit smoothie with ground flax seeds and/or chia seeds
14. Fresh fruit or fruit salad
15. Make your own trail mix with raw nuts seeds and dried fruit
16. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (for those that tolerate dairy)
17. Dinner leftovers
18. Salad with a variety of vegetables and olive oil-based dressing
20. Banana and nut butter (or sun butter)
Adding a sense of mindful awareness to your snacking habits can help you improve your health and well-being.