If you are like me, one of the pitfalls to my healthy diet can be grabbing snacks here and there – whatever is on hand and most convenient, whether it is healthy or not. This can wreak havoc with your healthy eating plan, so here are some ideas for healthy snacks:
1. Apples. This fruit is packed with nutritional goodness. It pairs very nicely with cheese or peanut butter and provides a filling snack.
2. Hummus and whole grain crackers or pita chips. Hummus contains great protein and monounsaturated fats. It can help fill the need for something “crunchy” as well.
3. Veggie sticks or really, veggies of any kind. This is kind of the old stand-by, but it doesn’t get much better than this for your body. Even if you are dipping in ranch dressing (find a kind that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup or msg), you are giving your body a healthy snack. Veggies are very readily available already cut up, so if you don’t care for the prep, you can still enjoy them
4. Bananas. These potassium rich babies are very easy to grab quickly.
5. Nuts. Raw and roasted nuts of all kinds are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are nutritious, filling, and very satisfying. You are doing your body a big favor when you include nuts in your diet. Not only are they filled with protein and other vitamins and minerals, but they are rich in the monounsaturated fats that are so important for your health and your waste line. Because vitamin and mineral content varies from nut to nut, mixing it up a bit by eating a variety is a good idea.
6. Popcorn. Believe it or not, this tasty treat is a wonderful source of whole grain fiber. It also contains B vitamins and protein. To make it healthy, do not use microwave popcorn. I make mine the old fashioned way in a kettle on the stove popped in cold-pressed canola oil. Instead of loading up with butter, I salt the unpopped kernels when I first put them in the oil with extra fine sea salt. I don’t even miss the butter and I am able to have a snack for the next day or two as well.
7. Yogurt. Yogurt is a quick healthy snack that my kids love. Among other nutrients, it contains probiotics, calcium and potassium. Just make sure that you don’t buy a kind that is highly sugared or sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. I almost always try to buy organic. For a little extra protein sometimes I will add cottage cheese to it. Try it… it is very tasty!
8. Hard boiled eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein, choline, folate, iron and zinc. I prepare a dozen of these ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. My children grab them with a little sea salt and a piece of fruit. It is a snack that I can feel totally great about putting in their bodies.
9. Freeze dried fruit. Fresh or freeze dried fruit of any kind is good for you, but for sheer convenience, it doesn’t get any easier than this. Also, did you know that freeze dried fruits are also rich in fiber and antioxidants and that nutrient levels are only slightly lower than that of fresh fruit? This is truly a convenient “on-the-go” snack. You can grab a container of nuts and a bag of freeze dried fruit as you are running out the door!
This is my list of healthy snacks. How about you? What are some of your favorites? Suggest your favorite healthy snack, and I may be able to expand my list. A final quick tip to ensure healthy snacking: It is helpful to plan out your meal and snack times. I find that if I wait until I am starving to eat, I tend to grab whatever is in my path and snack right before my meal. It will be much easier for you to control yourself when you have had a healthy between meal snack to keep your blood sugar stable and your stomach from grumbling. Enjoy your snack!
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That is really good simple advice that needs to be repeated. Good job on your format and structure on your post.
We always have plenty of fruit on hand, but we love bran muffins using All Bran or Fiber One and we replace the oil with applesauce. We had a tsp of strawberry jelly to the top when we cook them to add a sweet treat…the kids love them. We also have after school snacks planned for the week for the kids so they always know. First treat at 3pm like popcorn and then fruit or yogurt at 3:45. This keeps the kids from nagging for any junk food and keeps momma content and happy 🙂
Thanks for the ideas, Kindra. The muffins sound healthy and delicious, and I love the thought of planning things out in advance. That is a great way to ensure healthy eating success and to prevent grabbing whatever is quickest and closest!
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All good stuff Bonnie – The hardest thing for me is being hungry and having nothing around. Most of these are easy to take with you so it should be easy to plan. Thanks!
Thanks for your comment, Richard. I agree… It is very helpful to plan and have something that is both quick and healthy on hand.
Agree with all the comments above. I typically have a banana in the morning! Another great snack is low-fat cottage cheese. High in calcium, packed with protein. I get the version with chives. Holds me over in between lunch or dinner.
Thanks for that idea, Jaclyn. I’ve never tried the chives kind. I’ll have to try it!
Hi Bonnie. Your post hits home for me. I decided to not eat fast-food or restaurant food for the entire month of February. Healthy snacks are key for avoiding the urge to munch on foods that have ingredients impossible to pronounce. My favorites from your list are: nuts, yogurt, bananas and eggs. Yep, I know, what about veggies and fruit? All I can say is that I’m trying. LOL.
Thanks for the great post. I’ll be sure to add your RSS feed to my reader.
Good for you, Kirk, and what a good challenge… an entire month not eating fast food or restaurant food. There is nothing wrong with starting slowly in one area, in fact it can be much more successful than trying to “fix” everything at once. Once you’ve completed your month, you can give yourself another challenge. Maybe including some servings of your favorite veggies and fruits?
I find that I’m often pulling out either fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, or Raw Revolution bars that are made of flaxseed, cashews, dates, agave nectar and almonds – sooo good!
Where do you get the Raw Revolution bars, Shelly? I will have to check them out. They sound healthy and delicious. Thanks for your comment.
I find the Raw Revolution Bars at Whole Foods – they have a small raw section in one of the snack aisles near the checkout counters…… They’re really good to have on hand when you are on the go or traveling and need something healthy, but yet be transportable.
I was just there and didn’t see them. I’ll have to ask someone next time.
Bonnie: First of all, I love the clean and simple site design here. Second, I LOVE your list post!! I learned a few things about myself. Primarily, that my snacks aren’t all that healthy (for today anyway), and I learned some great replacements for better eating on a daily basis! (And really, it’s not all that difficult).
Congrats on rockin’ Day 2 and thank you for teaching me a few things 🙂
Thanks, Ricardo! It is encouraging to think I may have helped you find some healthier snacks!