Brown rice cake with hummus, pesto, pumpkin seeds, and chili lime seasoning
Nutrition,  Recipes,  Snacks & Treats,  Wholesome Living

Healthy Snacking: How to fuel your body and mind, curb hunger and stay satisfied

Who doesn’t love a good snack? Personally, I love when I get a mid afternoon pick-me-up or a sweet snack before bed. But sometimes snacking gets a bad rap, leaving the question should you really be snacking? The good news is that the answer is YES. Healthy snacking has several benefits:

  • Increased intake of vitamins, micronutrients, phytochemicals, and antioxidants
  • Snacking can help us not overeat at mealtime
  • Help fuel a late afternoon workout
  • Provide energy and help prevent the mid-afternoon slump
  • Help you concentrate and be more productive

So, it’s good news that snacking can be beneficial, but we want to make sure they are healthy, and not just giving us a sugar high which is then followed by a crash.

Things to keep in mind when planning your snacks:

  • Avoid simple carbohydrates that will turn quickly into sugar
  • Plan options that include complex carbs, but also some protein and potentially some healthy fat
  • Use the snack to get more fruit and vegetables into your day (10 servings a day is ideal!)
  • Try to also incorporate some fiber into your snack to help meet your daily quota and keep you full longer
  • Don’t forget to hydrate. While drinking water isn’t snacking, if you are dehydrated, you might feel hungry instead of thirsty, and you will feel more fatigued

Healthy Snacking Ideas

1. Veggies and hummus

2. Fresh or frozen fruit: Apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, pears, grapes, berries, melon, pineapple, mango, kiwis…the options are endless! Check for what is in season for the best tasting and cheapest produce. Frozen fruit can sometimes can get a bad rap, but can be a great affordable and easy choice! Just look for frozen fruit without added sugars

Cantalope, strawberries, and blueberries
Who doesnt love fruit salad?!

3. Fresh Veggies: Carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli are all great options! **TIP-cut them up at the beginning of the week to make it easier during the week to reach for them-don’t make time an issue!

4. Apple or banana with nut butter! -look for nut butters with just nuts and salt in ingredients-no need for the extra sugars and oils! (Look for single serving packs for on the go, portion controlled snacking!)

5. Greek yogurt-look for ones lower in added sugar-sweeten it yourself with berries or sliced banana! Some of our favorites include Siggis, Chobani, and Fage

6. Build your own trail mix: combine mix of your favorite nuts and seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, coconut, dark chocolate chips; get creative-feel free to choose whatever you want!

7. Self-popped popcorn-forget microwave popcorn, you can easily make your own on the stove! Put unpopped kernels in a saucepan with a little bit of oil or butter, cover with lid, and let pop! season with garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and herbs to take your popcorn to the next level

8. Whole grain toast with your fav topping (avocado, nut butter, low fat cream cheese, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, jam, etc)

Toast with greek yogurt, peanut butter, and jelly with tree in background
Loaded Toast! Greek yogurt, chia and flax peanut butter, and raspberry jelly

9. Energy balls and Breakfast cookies-check out my recipe for sweet potato energy balls and Sweet Potato Banana Anytime Cookies!

10. Rice Cakes with mashed avocado, hummus, or nut butter.

Brown rice cake with mashed avocado, pumpkin seeds, and chili lime seasoning
Brown rice cake with hummus, pesto, pumpkin seeds, and chili lime seasoning

11. Roasted Chickpeas-you can now find them in stores but they are easy to make on your own too! Roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes with your favorite spice combination until nice and crunchy!

roasted chickpeas on a sheet pan
Sweet and Spicy Chickpes

13. Cottage Cheese with fruit

14. Celery Sticks with nut butter

15. A piece of fruit with a handful of nuts-our go-to are pistachios!

One thing to keep in mind with snacks is to keep them relatively small. You don’t want to be eating another meal, so think in the range of 100-200 calories. Now it’s time to go pop a protein ball!

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