14 Smart Snacks
Smart Snack Makeover
Although it sounds counterintuitive, you can control your appetite by incorporating the right snacks into your daily diet. Experts suggest that two snacks a day, kept to 150-200 calories each, will go a long way toward helping you to avoid overeating. Look for snacks that combine fiber, healthy fats and protein, without added sugar. Follow these simple suggestions for smarter snacking*:
- Go for whole grain. Whole-grain snacks — such as whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — can give you some energy with staying power.
- Combine a small amount of healthy fat, like peanut butter or avocado, with a larger amount of something light, like apple slices or celery sticks.
- The combo snack. Try to eat two or more macronutrients (protein, fat, or carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrates) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied.
- Snack mindfully. Don’t eat your snack while doing something else like surfing the Web, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
- Take it with you. Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthy snacks in your pocket or purse so you won’t turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine.
Looking for snack inspiration? Here are some delicious options to choose from:
- Carrots, celery or cucumber dipped in 2 tablespoons of your favorite hummus or salsa
- 2 pear halves, topped with 1 rounded tablespoon of cottage cheese, sprinkled with 1 tsp. of nuts
- A tablespoon of tablespoon of almond butter spread evenly on 2 whole grain crackers or a whole grain rice cake, topped with 1 sliced small banana
- 1 whole grain tortilla cut into chip sized wedges and baked in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to crisp, dipped in fresh salsa. (Short on time? Cut the tortilla in half and pop it into the toaster)
- 1-2 cups of edamame from the grocer’s freezer section, thawed and sprinkled with salt.
- A tablespoon of peanut butter spread evenly over a whole grain rice cake or 2 whole grain crackers, topped with sliced apple
- 4 cups sesame popcorn; air popped popcorn topped with ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil and ½ teaspoon sesame seeds and lightly salted.
- 4 spears of endive filled with ½ avocado, sliced and sprinkled with salt and fresh herbs
- 2 large celery sticks filled with 2 tablespoons of hummus and 1 tablespoon of sliced olives
- Banana, Kale, and Almond Milk Smoothie; 1 medium banana, 1 cup chopped kale, and 1 cup almond milk until pureed in the blender or food processor until smooth.
- A handful of raw almonds and a chai latte
- A tablespoon of hummus spread evenly over a whole grain rice cake or 2 whole grain crackers, topped with thinly sliced olives
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt spread evenly over the center of a medium-sized cucumber sliced in half lengthwise, topped with fresh salsa
- 1 hard-boiled egg, topped with fresh salsa (and sliced olives, optional)
- Chia pudding with berries, fresh or frozen (chopped walnut optional)
You may have noticed, many of these snacks rely upon the same foods to make; like salsa, hummus, fruits and vegetables, making it easy to add a few items to your shopping list that offer lots of delicious options. Experiment, have fun and create some new favorites of your own. Happy snacking!
*adapted from the Harvard School of Public Health