Now, snacking in itself is not a bad thing. We know it is more beneficial for your body to eat 5-6 balanced, small meals during the day. I call those meals that don’t occur at typical meal times, snacks. These added foods also help to fill any hunger gaps for me between those meals. It is important to make sure that you don’t become too hungry to prevent overeating at the next meal. What is important is making sure that we make the most out of these snacking opportunities. A chance to use those delicious foods to satisfy the craving, curb the urge to overeat, properly fill our bodies, and give us the nutrients we need.
So, I compiled a quick list of simple food options that I enjoy to have as snacks.
- Veggie Straws or Green Bean Crisps with Fruit. The combination of sweet and salty is perfect for me! Not only that, but who doesn’t love chips? They are addicting. The problem is, they are often horrible choices for snacking. However, this allows me to feel the crisp saltiness of a “chip” without feeling guilty. Just watch your portions – these are equally addictive! 😊
- Fruit Bowls. You’re going to see I love fruit. I eat a good bit of fruit daily. A fresh bowl of my favorite berries or a few ripe oranges are my go-to’s. Pair your fruits with a delicious fruit dip and you are good to go! (Check out this easy-to-make dip!)
- Apples and Peanut Butter. I’m not entirely sure why it took me so long to try this. Like 25 years long… And boy was I missing out. Give me a Granny Smith & some natural PB, and I’m set. The combination of fiber and protein mixed with the combination of sweet and salty, hits the spot. Keeping me full and satisfied.
- Kale Chips. I haven’t made any in a while and need to! These babies are super easy to cook up and so delicious. You can even buy some already made. Get some fresh kale, toss lightly in olive or coconut oil, season, and bake til crisp. Kale is such a nutrient dense food with low carbs and calories. A favorite!
- Greek Yogurt. When I say I used to hate yogurt, I mean it wholeheartedly. Especially Greek yogurt. Now, that’s the only kind I will eat. I use plain yogurt for different recipes and enjoy to eat some of the others. This protein and probiotic packed food is great alone, or dressed up with some fresh fruits and nuts.
- Hummus and Pita Chips. Hummus contains chickpeas, known as a source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The ingredients are also known to have multiple other benefits, including heart health properties. Finding a good hummus & pairing with some pita chips always sounds like a good option.
- Air-Popped Popcorn. I love popcorn. Do. I. Ever. I believe I mention in Eating Meaningfully how I gained over 30lbs excessively eating white cheddar popcorn. Not only that, I would scarf down a full bag of that awful microwave popcorn solo. I have swapped to air-popping my popcorn and lightly seasoning, along with managing portions. Popcorn can be a source of fiber, so that’s good enough reason for me to keep it around! 😉
- Fresh Veggies and Ranch. I enjoy the crisp bite of fresh broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower paired with a little ranch. These veggies are full of necessary vitamins and minerals and are usually staples in our house (especially broccoli). I also tend to swap ranch dressing or dip for an easy option of Greek yogurt mixed with ranch powder. So good, with those extra goodies from the yogurt to boot!
- Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Crisps. Y’all. This stuff is amazing. The problem is, it’s also hard to not eat all of it. At one. I tried this on a whim and loved it. The mixture of fruit with the crisp of those cinnamon chips is almost too wonderful. The recipes call for a good bit of sugar, but I reduced it so it wouldn’t be too sweet. (Similar recipe here.)
- Meat and Cheese. I always have sliced deli meats and sliced deli cheeses in my house. These are easy to grab items for sandwiches or snacking. I like to take the meat and cheese and pair them for a quick and filling snack. You can also add in some fresh veggies or leafy greens for a bonus kick.
- Fruit Smoothie. Those dang fruits again. I told y’all I loved them. I enjoy a good fruit smoothie. Mixed berries, Greek yogurt, almond milk, ice, and maybe a dash of flaxseed or chia seed with some leafy greens to boot. You have an endless amount of options with smoothies and can pack a great amount of nutrients in a delicious treat. Just be mindful of sugar and calorie content. It racks up easy!
- Steel-Cut Oats. I love oatmeal. It is a great whole grain, complex carb, full of fiber and nutrients. You can make it hot, or prep it to have cold. Either way. Eat it alone or top with berries, flax, cinnamon, chia, etc. The possibilities are endless. My favorite way (usually as a breakfast option) is to top with cinnamon, agave, and flaxseed with some fresh fruit on the side.
Snacking is a normal part of the day for most of us. Which is perfectly fine. Choosing healthier options and practicing eating appropriate portions allow us to enjoy these snacks without the guilt.
What are some of your favorite snacks?
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