What to do when those mid-afternoon slumps come calling? Be prepared with a variety of healthier snack options to satisfy your salty, savory or sweet cravings.
Snacks. The word alone conjures the sound of a bag being opened and images of salty chips and sweet, chocolaty treats. But stop! Your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthy and resist those temptations.
So, what are you to do?
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of our favorite portable snacks, perfect for whatever your taste buds may be craving. So step away from the vending machine and let us help you make smarter choices that won’t leave you wanting more.
Healthier Snacking 101
First, we’re here to offer a few general tips that will make healthy snacking easy.
- Opting for packaged snacks is often a matter of convenience. While many pre-packaged snacks may be marketed as “healthy,” read the ingredients and understand what the food labels really mean. Also be aware of the recommended serving sizes.
- A small handful of pretzels can easily turn into a half-empty bag if you aren’t careful.
- Whole wheat chips and crackers can be a great complement for fruits and veggies, but only if you limit the amount you eat in one sitting.
- Be mindful of sugar and sodium content so you don’t unwittingly do yourself a disservice in your attempt to make smarter snack choices.
- Depending on our mood, most of us prefer different flavors at different times, so stock up on a variety of snacks — both salty and sweet. Having options will make it easier to resist those super sugary or salty temptations. Prepping your snacks (when you prep your meals for the week!) is a great way to eliminate the excuse of “I didn’t have time to make anything healthy.”
- Creating a designated snack bin in the fridge not only makes it easier for you to grab something while rushing out the door, but also gives your kids healthy options when they are hungry.
Healthier Snack Options
And now, a few healthy snacking options to consider:
Craving something salty or savory? Here are a few of our favorite options:
- Avocado slices with a single serving of whole wheat crackers
- Sliced veggies (carrots, bell peppers) with hummus
- Lightly salted edamame
- Cucumber wheels with dill yogurt dip
- Plain popcorn, seasoned to your liking (sea salt and lime, anyone?)
- Grape tomatoes and feta cheese drizzled with balsamic vinegar
- String cheese and almonds
Sweet tooth? These snacks are sure to satisfy:
- Banana slices with dark chocolate
- Cottage cheese and fresh fruit
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Trail mix – limit preservatives by making your own!
- Grapes and cheese wedges
Next time you’re feeling hunger pangs between meals, choose something that satisfies your craving and fills you up without leaving you feeling guilty. And if you do have a moment of weakness, don’t worry: It’s never too late to get back on track!