A healthy diet should include 3 meals and two healthy snacks each day. Popular snack times are between meals, before or after a workout, during high-craving moments such as 2:30 pm or after dinner during TV time. Try to keep your snack choices as healthy as possible and at around 100 – 150 calories.
Why do we eat so much junk food?
The reason so much of our diet is junk food is because it is so convenient. It’s as simple as opening a wrapper. Unfortunately, most convenient foods are high in sugar, sodium, fat and calories and very low in nutrition. They also can become highly addictive and habit-forming. For example, do you find yourself visiting the vending machine at the office at 10am and 2pm every single day? While it’s ok to have junk food every once and while, it can be devastating on your body if consumed daily over long periods of time. It’s better to give your body the foods it needs… natural, unprocessed foods, high in vitamins and nutrition. They’ll also give you lots of energy!
Make Healthy Snacks just as Convenient as Junk Food
With a little planning, we can make healthy snacks just as convenient as junk food snacks. Pick a day to buy, wash and chop healthy foods. It only takes an hour or so to prepare a weeks worth of healthy snacks for your family. You can pick a variety of healthy foods and put them into containers or baggies to leave in the fridge or on the counter. Suddenly, healthy foods have become just as convenient as junk foods. Place them where you’ll see them such as eye-level in the fridge (instead of hidden away in the produce drawer where they are forgotten).
Don’t forget to stock up on snack size baggies and food storage containers. One of my favorites is the Glad Mini Round. They are perfect for putting small amounts of dips and sauces in when you want to include it with your snacks.
Don’t forget your snacks
Hunger happens after the gym, after the game, and between classes and you don’t want to be caught with the only choices available being at a vending machine or a drive-thru. You went to all the trouble of preparing the healthy snacks, so make sure you remember to take them with you everytime you leave the house. This is your arsenal to keep you from going hungry and left with only bad options.
Easy Healthy Snack Ideas
- Nuts – High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids (Choose unsalted raw or dry-roasted. No sugary coatings!)
- A mixture of unsalted nuts with dried cherries, raisins or cranberries
- Containers of mixed fruit
- Peanut Butter with Apple slices – High in fiber and protein.
- Vegetables – The crunch from raw vegetables will usually satisfy one’s craving for crunch foods. Choose from your favorites such as carrot sticks, slices of bell pepper, snap peas, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. You can include a small container of hummus or yogurt-based dressing for dip.
- Hummus – Made from chickpeas and sesame seeds. Hummus is high in fiber, protein and iron, but also high in fat so watch your portion sizes. Use as a dip for baby carrots or raw bell pepper.
- Sargentos Light Mozzarella stick – A stick is only 50-calorie. These taste great with seedless grapes.
- Grilled Pineapple rings – Spray your grill pan with Non-stick spray, heat to medium. Add Pineapple rings. Sprinkle with Cinnamon and Truvia.
- Jicama sticks
- Sargentos Light String mozzarella cheese
- Sliced Tomato with a sprinkle of Feta and Olive Oil
- Banana with Walnuts
- Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce – 8 shrimp is a serving
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal (regular flavor) – Add a pack of Truvia and sprinkle with cinnamon and you have a filling snack.
- Cottage Cheese and Fruit – 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with cantaloupe, pineapple or strawberries. Yum!
- Yogurt – Yogurt is a probiotic which is great for your digestive system. Choose yogurt that is low in sugar and about 100-120 calories.
- Strawberries with Cool Whip Free
- Low-fat Popcorn – High in Fiber. 3 cups is a serving size. Variation: sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of parmesan cheese on top of cooked popcorn.
- Raspberries with Plain Yogurt and honey – 1/2 cup of fruit. Drizzle a teaspoon of honey into 2 tablespoons of yogurt.
1 cup of Almond Milk with 1 tablespoon of Hershey’s Lite Chocolate Syrup
- Cherry Chocolate Smoothie – 1 cup of almond milk and 1 cup of frozen dark cherries, 1 Tbsp. of cocoa powder and one packet of Truvia to make it sweet. You can try a variety of fruit combinations… Strawberries, raspberries, etc…
- Frozen Yogurt – Choose fat free. A serving size is 1/2 cup
- Turkey Jerky – The meat-eaters will love this snack!
- Pineapple and Banana Smoothie – 1 cup of pineapple or apple juice, 1 frozen banana and 1 cup of frozen pineapple.
- Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge – Spread onto 1 serving of whole wheat crackers.
- Trader Joe’s Chili con Queso with 1 serving of Tostitos Baked Scoops Tortilla Chips. Satisfy your craving for Nachos in the healthiest way possible.
- Baked Apple – Slice an apple and put in a microwaveable bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon, apple pie spice, and a packet of truvia. Microwave for about a minute.
- Amy’s Cheese Pizza Snacks – serving size is 3
And just one more thing…. When you’re full, stop eating because anything past FULL turns to FAT. (You’ll see this phrase in many of my pages because it is so important to remind yourself of this at every meal, every day.)