I love to snack. In fact, snacks excite me more than meals. I think there’s just something about a “mini-meal” that makes it fun. But snacks can either make or break our diet. There are all kinds of snack foods that are full of empty calories, sugar, and processed ingredients. Not only will they quickly pack on the pounds, but they will also cause a crash soon after eating them. Not exactly what we want for our 3 p.m. pick-me-up!
But when you have healthy snacks on hand, they are quick, convenient, and they will keep you on track for your healthy eating goals. They will also energize you without the crash later. Here are just a few ideas of healthy snacks that you can have on hand at home or at work:
Fresh Fruit & Veggies
Fruits and veggies are easily some of the healthiest foods you can have around the house. And they don’t get much easier by way of convenience. Some great ideas are:
- Baby carrots or carrot sticks
- Red and green bell peppers
They are the perfect finger foods to grab when you have the munchies, and you can feel good about eating them. Just wash, peel, and chop as soon as you get them home from the grocery. Store in ziplock baggies or clear glass containers (so you can see what’s in them), and put them on your fridge shelf. If you’re like me, when I put fruits and veggies in the crisper drawer, I forget about them (I’m an out of sight, out of mind kind of gal). But when they are out on one of the top shelves, chopped and ready to go, I’m much more likely to reach for them when hunger strikes.
Healthy Fat & Protein
Protein keeps us satisfied and our blood sugar stable throughout the day. A quick snack made up of some healthy protein is the perfect way to satisfy your mid-afternoon cravings, and it will keep you going until dinner. Foods like:
- Cheeses (the real kind, not the processed stuff!)
- Hardboiled eggs
- Turkey and cheese roll-ups
- Crispy Chickpeas
One of the things I’m learning when I crave sugar is to reach for something with fat and protein. The fat satisfies my taste buds and makes me feel full, and I my sugar cravings disappear.
I love Greek yogurt, but often times it is full of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Make sure to check labels as some yogurts contain upwards of 32g of sugar (that’s like putting 8 teaspoons of sugar in your yogurt!) That’s why I was super excited when Chobani came out with their latest product – Chobani Simply 100. They only have 7g of sugar, 12g of protein, and 5g of fiber! And they come in a variety of delicious flavors. These are also full of healthy probiotics and calcium, making this a great snack choice.
You can also just buy plain Greek yogurt (get the full fat kind!) and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit and/or stevia.
When you’re prepared with ready-made, healthy snacks like these, it is much easier to stay on track and reach your health goals.