Hi everyone! Today I thought I would share some of my favorite healthy snacks with y’all! I can tend to be a grazer throughout the day, so I need to have options readily available so that I am making healthy choices as I “graze” and not just simply eating whatever because I am so famished, which can very easily happen. And snacking has become especially prevalent during this quarantine time at home. We are trying to not snack/graze too much but some days are better than others. Anyone else out there eat out of boredom or stress?!
I’ve found that if I keep these favorite items of mine stocked in the pantry and refrigerator, I am more prone to eat them throughout the day instead of reaching for something unhealthy. I always tell my health coaching clients that it’s way less tempting to eat the bad stuff if it isn’t in your house in the first place… 😉
Thankfully we are pretty health conscious, so we don’t typically have a lot of “bad” food in the house, which definitely helps! If it’s not there tempting you and having a stare down with you as you battle in your mind whether or not to eat it, the better you are able to stick to your health goals. So, we just don’t even tempt ourselves. Although, it is a bit challenging sometimes to not go and reach for our son’s little toddler snacks (i.e. fig bars, animal crackers, raisins, muffins, etc.). Kid snacks can be so tempting…
Here are some of my personal favorite snacks that are my go-to. Some of them are Paleo and if they aren’t, we always try and steer towards gluten free at least.
Another great tip to keep in mind when it comes to healthy snacking is to snack your refrigerator and not your pantry. Healthy, whole foods options tend to live in our frig versus our pantries. Think veggies, fruit, and protein. Our pantries tend to house mostly refined carbohydrates. I try to pair any carbohydrate containing snack with healthy fat and protein as well to help keep blood sugar levels stable.
Hummus: Hummus is a great choice because it can be paired with so much- cut up veggies like baby carrots or peppers, crackers, pita bread, the list goes on. I typically eat hummus with fresh cut up veggies or gluten free, multigrain crackers
Greek yogurt: We really don’t eat a lot of dairy in our household, but this is one staple I always have on hand. I love Greek yogurt because it is naturally fat-free and is loaded with protein! Now, if you really want the healthy option, you’ll need to opt for the plain greek yogurt. I know those flavored Chobani’s are so tasty but they are loaded with sugar- like 18 grams or something crazy! I know some of it is “natural” sugar from the fruit, but when you are most likely going to add more sugar with granola or another topper, I think it’s just best to go with the plain. You can dress up the plain very easily. Add some honey, fresh berries, Paleo cereal, granola and you’re set with a tasty and super healthy-protein rich snack. You can even use greek yogurt in smoothies or shakes! In fact, I even substitute greek yogurt for sour cream in many dishes and when baking.
Fruit: I always like to have a plethora of fruit available in our home. Our typical fruit list is as follows- oranges, apples, bananas, grapefruits, strawberries (or some other type of berry). Occasionally we will mix it up and get pineapple or pears or a melon of sorts. Fruit is great because you can eat it alone or use it as a topper on oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, and many other options. And it’s easy to grab and go and take with you to the office or as you run errands.
Tortilla Chips with Salsa and Guacamole: This is probably my least healthy snack that I eat, but it’s really not too bad. I LOVE salsa and guacamole! I could eat it everyday no problem! I always make sure to get gluten free corn/multigrain tortilla chips. Recently, I’ve been really into blue corn tortilla chips. Yum! Trader Joe’s has some great tortilla chip options. The Newman’s Own salsa tastes so fresh and is full of different veggies so I feel like it’s not too terrible for me! We also really like the Jack’s Cantina Salsa from Costco, which is super fresh and the ingredient list is really clean. Watch out for unnecessary added ingredients or sugar content when you are buying salsa.
Nuts and Dried Fruit: This is another great snack for on-the-go. Almonds are so incredibly good for you (within reason, of course). Grab a handful and snack away. I love dried fruit too! I love raisins on Ants on a Log or on top of a rice cake with peanut butter. I also love dried apricots, but I can only eat a few at a time because they are high in sugar. If you really want to be healthy (and creative) make your own trail mix with a combination of a few nuts, 1-2 types of dried fruit, and a seed (sunflower or pumpkin). Pumpkin seeds are also really good for you (lots of magnesium) and they pair well with nuts for a fiber-full snack with good protein and healthy fat. Win win.
Bars: Granola bars and meal replacement type bars can be a good snack option- within reason of course. We need to be careful with bars because they can very easily venture into “candy bar” territory and be full of sugar and provide zero nutritional value to your diet. Again, read your labels and be sure you are getting some decent protein/fat/fiber and not a lot of sugar in your bar. Some of my favorite brands are The Perfect Bar (lots of superfoods added and good protein), RX Bars (clean ingredient list, low sugar), Lara Bars (a bit more indulgent as far as sugar content goes), GoMarco Bars (great flavors and are vegan), KIND Protein Bars, and EPIC meat bars (super yummy, clean ingredients, and Paleo). There are beginning to be a lot more options on the market when it comes to healthy bars, so that’s awesome! Just read your labels as always. 😉
It’s important to have healthy snacks available because there are always those moments when we “forget” to eat lunch or are just really hungry and it’s typically in those moments of feeling famished where we are the most vulnerable to blow our clean eating and grab for the Snickers or bag of potato chips.
I like to make sure my snacks have some good protein, fat, and fiber in them so that they are nutritionally dense and will keep me full and actually give me energy. Also- aim for NO MORE than 2 snacks per day. While snacks are fine to incorporate into our daily eating, it shouldn’t replace well-rounded meals. If you find yourself hungry 2-3 hours after a meal and vying for a snack, you likely didn’t eat enough at your last meal.
Creating snacks ahead of time or having something readily available and easy to make or grab helps us to maintain our healthy eating goals! There are a TON of other great, healthy snack options out there but I just wanted to share some of my personal favorites and go-to snacks with y’all.