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Ask a Dietitian: What are some healthy snacks ideas?

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

Snacking helps keep your energy up, prevents overeating, and helps you stay focused between meals. With so many options out there, it can be challenging to know which snacks are healthy.  


For a snack to be #prettybalanced, I recommend them to contain at least two food groups, such as dairy and fruit, protein and carbohydrates, and vegetables and fat. I love to snack and have 1-2 a day. Here are some of my favorites:

Homemade Trail Mix

I’ll be honest; trail mix is probably one of my favorite foods (if not my favorite). It is so customizable and satisfies both sweet and salty cravings. I love making my own with almonds, chocolate candies, and raisins. The options are endless. You can use peanuts, mixed nuts, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds. These provide healthy fat, protein, and fiber to help keep you full. They also contain the antioxidant vitamin E and the mineral magnesium. Next, choose your favorite dried fruit. Some of my favorites are raisins, pineapple, craisins, and banana chips. These add sweetness, fiber, and carbohydrates for energy. Lastly, choose a fun add-in. It could be boxed cereal (such as Cheerios or Quaker Oatmeal Squares), pretzels, chocolate chips, m&m, etc. Something that will make it more enjoyable for you. 




Protein bars

I love a good protein bar. They’re quick, convenient, and help tie me over between meals. I recommend finding a bar with at least 6 grams of protein, less than 8 grams of sugar, no sugar alcohols, and under 200 calories. Some of my favorites include Kind Bars, Tone it Up Bars, and Nature Valley protein bars. Protein takes longer to digest, which helps keep you full and focused. Protein also helps with muscle maintenance and your immune system. I highly recommend keeping protein bars in your bag or car at all times - you never know when hunger may strike ;-). Want to make your own? Check out these Coconut Flour Protein Bars. Feel free to pair with your favorite fruit!


Veggies and Hummus

Veggies and hummus make a great crunchy snack. Some of my favorite "dipping veggies" include carrots and cucumber, but feel free to try broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers - the options are endless! Veggies are not only packed with vitamins, but also fiber which helps keep you regular and full. Hummus is also a good source of healthy fats and contains some protein. This combo is no doubt a nutrition powerhouse.  




Yogurt Parfait

I eat Greek yogurt just about every day. It’s so creamy, sweet, and delicious. I love non-fat vanilla (but you can choose plain if you prefer) and adding some berries, or fruit of choice, and this decadent Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Granola. Greek yogurt is packed with probiotics and protein. I love layering them in mason jars. :) 


Cheese and Fruit

Cheese Sticks make a great grab-and-go snack. It's a good source of protein and calcium, which keeps those bones strong! Cheese sticks also pre-packaged, so there is no need to prepare or portion it out. Pair with some fruit for a #prettybalanced snack. I love using grapes or stone fruit - but any fruit will work. This snack combo is easy, effortless, and healthy. 


Smoothie

Smoothies make a great portable snack, and they are so easy to make!  

  1. Add 8-10 ounces of your favorite milk to a blender

  2.  ½ cup greek yogurt or 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

  3.  1 cup of fruit

  4. Optional add-ins like a handful of spinach (i promise you won’t even know it’s there!), 1 tablespoon of your favorite nut butter, and/or chia or flax seeds.

  5. Blend away!

Smoothies can be tailored to your cravings and hunger level. For instance, if you’re craving something chocolatey, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to the blender. Feeling really hungry? Make sure to add in some fat like peanut butter. There are so many options!





What are some of your favorite snack ideas? Which of these appealed to you the most? Let me know. :) 




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