These days, busy schedules are the norm and it’s often a big challenge to simply put together a well-balanced dinner, never mind giving thought to healthy snacks! When we want a little something to eat in-between meals, but short on time, the temptation to grab a pre-packaged candy, chocolate bar, or chips from the vending machine or convenience store is strong. But we all know that eating the wrong snacks can have a significantly bad impact on our health, our energy level, and our waistline. So, how can we think outside the box and come up with some nutritious and delicious healthy snack choices?
Here are five of our favorite recommendations for healthy snacks:
1. Cereal: an alternative crunchy snack
When it comes to healthy snacks, think cereal! A nutritious, well-balanced breakfast cereal should have less than 2 grams of fat, more than 3 grams of fiber, and less than 4 grams of sugar per serving. While this is a great option for your breakfast meal with a serving of fruit and low-fat dairy or nut milk, when you’re looking for a snack with crunch, pour a single serving of healthy cereal into a bowl and munch away with less guilt.
2. Smoothies: a healthy sweet snack
While some pre-made smoothies can be a healthy option for a sweet snack, many of the packaged varieties you find in a grocery store can have an extremely high amount of sugar and fat in each serving – nullifying any “healthy” benefits. To know exactly what you’re consuming, whip up a blender full of your favorite smoothie recipe at home. Not only will it satisfy those cravings for a sweet treat, but you’ll also get the full nutritional value of healthy fruits and nuts.
3. Wraps: a satisfying snack anytime of the day
Looking for a sweet, savory, crunchy or chewy snack? Whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening, wraps can be a quick and easy way to deliver the fuel and taste sensation you are craving. Whether you’re making wraps with lettuce, lavash or pita bread, a multi-grain or corn tortilla, or rice paper, get creative with fillings such as nut butters, fruits or veggies, sprouts, lean meats, tofu or tempeh, beans, cheese… the combinations are unlimited!
4. Snacks and Meals: REALLY think outside the box
It’s important to listen to your body and give consideration to what its signals are telling you. Do you find yourself snacking when you’re bored, stressed, or fatigued? Do you wish you could eat dinner at 4pm instead of 7pm? Do you find you prefer “breakfast” foods for dinner or vice versa? Consider making some changes to what you eat and when you eat it – eating meals differently (veggies for breakfast or an omelet for dinner) and at earlier or later times may also change when and why you crave snacks.
5. You can’t go wrong when you go green!
Green vegetables are high in fiber, low in calories, and go with pretty much every meal. Cook and add to your snacks or wraps. Cook and chill to add to smoothies for an extra healthy boost. When you’re pressed for time, put a cooked serving of your favorite Tommy’s Superfoods vegetable medley into a to-go container, and voila! a delicious, nutritious,and convenient snack ready to go. Two of our favorites for any time of the day snacking are our seasoned Brussels Sprouts with green onions, red bell peppers, extra virgin olive oil, and Tommy’s BBQ seasoning (for a lip-smacking sweet-and savory flavor), and our seasoned Asparagus and Kale with red bell peppers, extra virgin olive oil, and a dash of lemon. This one really hits the spot when you want something with a flavorful crunch!
While light snacking can provide additional energy and nutrients (especially fruits and vegetables), just remember to keep it healthy and, as much as possible, stay away from overly processed, pre-packaged “snacks.” Your body will thank you for it in the long run!