Healthy snacks can be an important source of energy! No matter what your lifestyle, ensuring your body has what it needs is crucial.
Snacking provides that energy and keeps you from starving in-between meals.
hmmmm….Apples or Chocolate?
They’re great before working out or doing any type of physical activity. Snacking also helps boost your metabolism.
Healthy snacks play a major role in a healthy diet.
Choose foods that fulfill your appetite yet provide nutrients and energy you need. Select wide ranges to get the nutrition needed and to spice up your snacks.
1. Healthy Snacks
Complex carbohydrates and fiber are important for energy and stamina. Choose snacks made from whole grains such as crackers, crisp breads, cereals, or pretzels.
Veggies and Fruit
Veggies and fruit help you feel full, are fat free and have few calories. They’re packed with nutrients, vitamins and fiber. Keep it interesting, try all kinds, and try some you’ve never tried before.
Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts contain protein and keep your appetite satisfied longer. They have fat, but it’s a monounsaturated fat which is healthy. They do contain a lot of calories, so watch your portion sizes.
Low-fat and Nonfat Dairy Products
Yogurt, cheeses and dairy products supply essential nutrients, protein and calcium. Watch the fat content, and read the labels well. Also, yogurt can contain sugar so check the labels on that as well.
Check Snack Bar Nutrition Label
If you like snack bars, check the nutrition label! Some bars can be a good source of certain vitamins and nutrients, many also contain a lot of fat and/or sugar. Some contain a harmful fat called trans fat.
A healthy snack can add to a good diet, but portion control is always important. Read the nutrition fact labels for fat and calorie content, and for portion sizes. Choose wisely. Even snacks that are very healthy have calories and they do add up.
2. Quick and Healthy Snacks
Spread 1 tablespoon skim ricotta cheese over half of a small cinnamon-raisin bagel and sprinkle with cinnamon, topped off with a thin slice of apple.
Fresh fruit in season, cut in slices and served with a low fat or fat free yogurt dip.
Toast one half of an English muffin (preferably whole grain or wheat), top with two slices of turkey bacon, one slice of low fat cheese and one slice of tomato.
Quick breads such as pumpkin, banana or zucchini that are low fat.
Make trail mix from several types of cereals, fried fruits, nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins.
Top a small baked potato with 2 tablespoons fat free plain yogurt, and top off with broccoli and scallions.
Let go of my Eggo! Get the low-fat or nonfat and top off with sugar free jam.
Mash 1/2 banana with two teaspoons of peanut butter. Use a bagel or English muffin and apply the spread. It’s also good on crisp bread or whole wheat crackers.
Use 1/3 cup of your left over chicken, one-half tablespoon fennel seeds, sliced grapes, one tablespoon fat free or low fat yogurt or Miracle Whip Light, top off with a shake of paprika and stuff it into a pita pocket.
Top off an English muffin (whole wheat) with apple butter.
Nonfat whole grain crackers topped with low fat cheese or peanut butter.
Mix dried fruits and nuts together.
Layer a tortilla with 3 tablespoons of cheddar cheese (low fat). Microwave the tortilla until all the cheese is melted. Cut it up into small pieces and use salsa or a dip of your choice.
Rice cakes are good. Check the labels, different brands have different ingredients. You can top them off with sugar free jam, or peanut butter. They are good with cheese as well.
Use sugar free pudding mix or jello. Prepare as directed. Cut up strawberries and blueberries, or other fruits of your choice and add to it. Serve it over a fat free or low fat muffin.
Make mini pizzas out of bagels – top them with sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Okay.. so you don’t have time for a healthy snack?
3. Here are some snacking tips!
Prepare snacks ahead of time!
Pack healthy snacks away!
For those days you don’t have time to organize and get fruit or veggies to take with you, keep a stash packed away. Keep extras in your desk, your briefcase, your glove compartment in your car, and your purse.
Keep special spots for your snacks in the fridge or in the pantry. Keep it stocked with ready-to-eat snacks.
No time to eat?
Have a big glass of fruit or vegetable juice. You can even keep that at work by buying the individual serving packs.
Snack only when you are hungry!