Many of us are spending more time at home, making trips to the pantry or fridge all too easily! Let’s fill that pantry and fridge with healthy snacks to fuel your day and fix your cravings.
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
Keep an eye out for calorie dense healthy snacks. Nuts are a very healthy snack, but if you’re not paying attention the calories can add up on a seemingly small portion. Read the nutrition label and try to portion out an appropriate serving size then put the container away before you start snacking.
Snacks should be approximately 100-200 calories. Some 100-200 calorie snacks include:
A cup of yogurt
2 tsp. of peanut or other nut butter
A serving of ANY fruit
A cup of soup
¼ cup of nuts
1 piece of buttered toast
2 hardboiled eggs
Read the nutrition facts label to see if it contains a good source of fiber, protein or whole grain and not too much fat, sugar or salt. Good rules of thumb for snacks are foods with less than 5 grams of fat, less than 20 grams of sugar and less than 250 mg of sodium. Easy snacks that are rich in fiber include: pears, avocados, apples, carrots, dark chocolate and popcorn.
Pairing protein and carbohydrates in your snack will help keep you feeling fullest for the longest amount of time. Examples include having an apple and string cheese, whole wheat crackers with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, or yogurt and fresh fruit.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
The best way to avoid eating junk food or other unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in your house. However, if you do keep junk food at home here are a few tips to make healthy snacking at home easier:
Store foods like cookies, chips, or ice cream where they are hard to see or reach. Put ice cream at the back of the freezer and chips on a high shelf. Move the healthier foods to the front.
Don’t display candy. Replace the candy dish with a fruit bowl. Out of sight, out of mind.
Avoid skipping meals. Skipping meals may seem like a good way to cut calories, but it may just make you so hungry later that you are more likely to overeat.
Choose your snacks wisely
Choosing healthy snacks between meals can help keep hunger at bay and steer you away from vending machines that are typically full of unhealthy choices. The simplest way to control calorie intake from snacking is to have a well-stocked kitchen. Having nutritious snacks in your kitchen is the first step to incorporating healthy snacks into your diet plan. Keep your house stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy a variety so that you don't get bored with your selection.
If you are not a regular grocery shopper, you could try a local grocery delivery service. Order online, schedule a delivery time and have your groceries delivered!
Whether shopping at your local grocery store, farm market or ordering online, here are tips for making healthy choices when shopping:
Read the Nutrition Facts label before buying. Some portions sizes can be misleading as it is easy to eat more than this amount.
Avoid the traditional “snack” aisle and graze the perimeter of the grocery store for fruit, vegetables and dairy based snacks.
Plan ahead and make a list of what you need to buy.
Choose a time to shop when you are not in too much of a hurry and not too hungry.
Don't forget that your local farmers market is a great place for finding healthy foods. When you visit your local farmers market you will find locally sourced foods that are healthy and support local businesses!
Recipe: Fall Harvest Healthy Granola Bars https://www.theseasonedmom.com/fall-harvest-granola-bars-final-nutrimom-update/