It’s mid-afternoon and you find yourself hungry and wanting a little snack. You might walk up to the vending machine at work and find highly processed foods like chips, cookies, candy bars and soda. Or you walk down the street to a 7-Eleven or bakery and get a muffin or pastry. I get it, healthy snacks can be hard. Ask yourself, what do you reach for when you are snacking?
Snacks account for 25% of calories consumed in the US, or around 580 calories. Wow, does that seem like a lot to you? It seems like a lot to me. I don’t mean this in a bad way, snacks can be a great way to get extra fruits and vegetables in your diet, and in turn give you added nutrients. Unfortunately for many of us snacking can mean adding extra empty calories, giving you no nutritional value and instead adding unnecessary sugar, fat, and sodium.
Additionally, if you are trying to lose weight, changing your snacks can be a quick and easy way to cut extra calories. Before we begin with healthy snack ideas let talk about the ‘why’ of snacking.
Do you feel physically hungry or are you simply bored? Wanting a break from work? Someone brought pastries into the office and they are just so tempting… Are you really thirsty? I’ve been there too, many times. I work from home and find myself wandering the kitchen just because I need break! In addition, many times we can mistake our thirst for hunger so first try and drink water or tea without added sugar (drinks can account for up to 50% of snacking calories, many times in the form of straight sugar.)
A healthy snack should have some protein and some carbohydrates. The protein will help keep you full until your next meal. Carbohydrates will help give you a little energy (assuming they are healthy carbs..) and help to stabilize your blood sugar. This combo will give you the most bang for your buck. Now, you might be thinking, this is all great info, I know my snacks aren’t the best but I am too busy and it’s hard to find healthy options.
Fresh fruit is the ultimate fast food! Throw an orange, apple, or banana in your bag with some nuts or seeds and you have a perfect on-the-go snack, no refrigerator necessary! Here are 13 other healthy snack ideas, whether you are on-the-go, at work, feeding a family, these are sure to please everyone, including the time crunched!
For more smoothie recipes, granola recipes, and healthy snack ideas download the 5-day plant-based reset now!
Hummus is my go-to snack during the day. It has been for a long time. When I moved to Manila I realized it is not easy to find pre-made like it is in the US. But no problem, it is actually really easy to make, and you can make whatever flavor you want. Try adding roasted red peppers, extra garlic, chipotle peppers, roasted carrots, pumpkin, or anything else you think sounds good instead of the sun dried tomatoes!
If you do, make sure to share it with me on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @amandabarnesrdn, I would love to see what you come up with!
1 can chickpeas, including liquid
2-3 sun dried tomatoes
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Enjoy ~ Amanda