One of the best things about eating healthy is enjoying snacks. That’s right, believe it or not, eating snacks is part of an overall healthy eating plan. Of course, this doesn’t mean munching away on those potato chips, or helping yourself to a large bowl of ice cream in the middle of the day.
It means choosing snacks that help to keep up your energy levels, keep your blood sugar levels balanced, and that keep you from feeling hungry in the middle of the day. Snacks should also be low in calories, fat, and sodium, to help you maintain your weight and be as natural and organic as possible.
That being said, here is a list of healthy quick snacks that you can choose from to keep you going throughout the day:
- Apple slices and organic peanut butter – this snack gives you a ton of vitamins, protein, complex carbohydrates, and good healthy fats.
- Plain Yogurt with crushed walnuts or almonds – again you will get some great protein and a host of vitamins and minerals.
- 6 fresh strawberries and 2 ounces of plain yogurt for dip.
- 4-6 ounces of blueberry smoothie – Made with frozen milk and fresh blueberries, this at home afternoon snack is great for a hot summer day, and gives you protein, a host of vitamins and minerals, and tons of antioxidants.
- A medium sized banana – loads of vitamin B and potassium in this nifty snack which comes complete in it’s own packaging!
- Carrot and celery slices with homemade yogurt or ranch dip (simply add package ranch dressing to taste to plain yogurt). This snack gives you a satisfying crunch, some protein, and some healthy vitamins. You can also shake things up a bit by enjoying some cucumber slices dipped into the dressing as well.
- A hard boiled egg – Yes, eggs do have some cholesterol, but they are also loaded with protein and vitamins that are exceptionally good for you, and they make a surprisingly filling quick snack.
- A slice of honeydew melon or cantaloupe – low in calories and offering an array of vitamins and minerals. Any fruit is an excellent choice for an afternoon or mid-morning snack.
- A handful of nuts – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, (unsalted) nuts are surprisingly filling and provide a nice balance to your overall daily eating plan.
After School and Bedtime Snacks For Children
If you have children, then providing them with an afternoon snack can help them to concentrate better on their homework, as well as helping to keep their sugar levels in balance, which will help them to maintain a healthy weight. Snacks that contain protein have been shown to help children concentrate better on school work and make the perfect afternoon snack for children.
Serving them celery sticks with peanut butter in the center, or cream cheese, can supply children with the added protein they need, or giving them tuna or chicken salad on 4 whole wheat crackers may be a good choice.
Keep in mind that making that afternoon snack appealing will help your child to enjoy their snack more, and will help prevent them from going in search of those cookies or that bag of chips.
Bedtime snacks for children should be carbohydrate based, as complex carbohydrates helps them to maintain sugar levels during their nightime fast, and also helps them to relax and feel sleepy. A slice of toast with a pure fruit spread and no additives, is a great sweet ending to the day, and will give them some complex carbohydrates to see them through the night.
Choosing simple snacks for day to day life doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. It is simply a matter of choosing those healthy foods that can easily be carried with you to work or on trips.
Healthy Party Snacks
In today’s society, it seems like every get-together calls for some kind of snacks to be served. In most cases, these snacks are anything but healthy. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, as there a number of interesting snacks that you can serve at parties, that both healthy and nutritious, and won’t pack on the pounds.
Here are a few tasty and healthy suggestions for snacks you can serve at your next get-together:
- Stuffed Mushroom Caps: Normally stuffed mushroom caps are not considered exactly healthy due to the stuffing inside the caps. However, instead of using the traditional stuffing, why not try a spinach puree or some ground spiced turkey? Cooking the turkey with finely diced onions and some sweet red pepper, will give your turkey a bit of color, and your mushroom caps can be filled in advance and simply micowaved to warm them up right before serving.
- Fruit kababs: placing chunks of fresh pineapple, melon, strawberries, and green and red grapes, on long frilled toothpicks, makes a festive snack for both adult and a child’s get-together. The vibrant color in these types of snack makes it extra appealing, and provides a low calorie and nutrition-packed snack that is both healthy and tasty.
- Home-made baked tortilla chips: Instead of serving those high sodium, high fat potato chips at your next get-together, why not serve home-made baked tortilla chips. Simply purchase a package of 6 inch corn tortilla shells, lightly coat each side with olive oil (brush it on), season it with your favorite seasonings (basil, chili powder, garlic, etc.), cut each tortilla into 6 to 8 pieces, place on a baking sheet, and bake until crisp and golden brown. While these chips do contain calories, they are much healthier than those store chips that are loaded with sodium, and chemical preservatives.
Whether you are providing snacks for your family, for guests, or for a special occasion, there are many flavorful and healthy snacks you can choose from. It is simply a matter of taking the time and making the decision to choose those foods that are will help you stay healthy.
Have you got some cool healthy snacks you would like to share? What is your all-time favourite healthy snack?