Choosing a low calorie, balanced snack with protein and fiber will help to keep you feeling full and is a great way to bridge those long gaps between meals. Whether you’re headed to the beach, working late or providing that post-game soccer snack, we’ve got you covered.
Before you hit the vending machine or are tempted by those convenience store cookies, test out some of these healthy snack ideas, courtesy of Kim Meeuwsen, registered dietitian/nutritionist with the Mary Free Bed Weight Management Program:
• Veggies and hummus – Raw vegetables are a great way to satisfy that crunchy craving. Try some carrots, snap peas or cucumber with hummus to dip. Hummus, typically made from chickpeas, provides additional fiber to your veggies. It’s also a good source of appetite-satiating protein.
• No-bake power cookies – Mix one cup peanut butter, one cup honey, 3 cups old fashioned oats, ½ cup ground flaxseed and ½ cup raisins in a bowl. Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to eat. When made into 30 cookies, these small cookie-dough-tasting “power balls” each clock in at 130 calories and 4 grams of protein. Quick, healthy and delicious!
• Apple slices and a low-fat mozzarella cheese stick – Skip the prep work and grab an apple and low-fat cheese stick for a no-mess, on-the-go snack. This sweet and salty pair is a good source of calcium, protein and fiber.
• Homemade trail mix – Get creative! Homemade trail mix can be whatever you want; mix your favorite nuts, unsweetened dried fruit, whole-grain cereal and maybe even dark chocolate. Just remember: this snack can be pretty calorie dense, so be sure to portion out individual servings.
• Greek yogurt and sliced strawberries – This combination of protein, fiber and calcium will help you last through that 3 pm work slump. Greek yogurt with the addition of two-three sliced strawberries meets 25% of the daily recommendation for vitamin C, essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums and blood vessels.
• Popcorn – Popcorn isn’t just for the movie theater. Grab some “mini” bags or a bowl and share with others! Just be sure to hold the salt and butter. Three cups of air-popped popcorn provides about 100 calories and 4 grams of fiber.
• Whole wheat crackers and peanut butter – Headed to a soccer game and need something quick? Try single-serve cups of peanut butter and whole wheat crackers to re-fuel your mini-athlete after his or her big event!
Planning for healthy snacks between meals can help to prevent overdoing it at mealtime and combat what we like to refer to as “hangry” (hungry+angry) mode. What will you try first?