Snacks and kids just seem to go together. A trip to the grocery store-pack snacks, visit to the park, swimming lessons, drive to grandmas, wait at the Drs office, sitting in a stroller . . all require copious amounts of snacks to both keep kids entertained and feed hungry tummies. While just having kids probably means that you are busy running around and not eating properly and grabbing snacks more often yourself. How can you choose or prepare healthy snacks?
When hungry or on the go we tend to grab what is close at hand, convenient, and packaged for less mess en route, and most times that is simple carbs such as crackers, cookies, packaged muffins or granola bars. With the best intentions to make snacking healthy, the items we choose are often just a filler – not offering any real nutritional value.
The trick with healthy snacks is to make them convenient and packed with good for you fats, carbs, protein and fibre. They will satisfy the craving to eat and supply a generous dose of good for you food.
Try to stretch your snack thinking and make some of these your first choice when it comes to grab-and-go foods for both you and the kids.
What are your options for healthy snacks?
Hard Boiled Eggs
A perfect make ahead healthy snack! Hard boiled eggs will last in the fridge up to 1 week and are easy to take with you. Make a bunch at a time. Each hard boiled egg contains all the B vitamins, vitamin D, omega 3s and protein. Some say the egg is one of the most nutrient rich food and that is why it tops our list for a quick healthy snack.
Probiotics will help with digestion and the extra protein in greek yogurt will help you feel full when hungry. Try to avoid the sugary or artificial ‘non fat’ options and instead reach for plain yogurt and add your own frozen berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you need a little sweetener. The berries are great anitoxidants and the yogurt is loaded with calcium. Store in ready to go containers in the fridge.
Orange and Grapes
I had forgotten how much I love oranges. Chalk full of vitamin C, I found the time it took for me to peel and enjoy the orange made it a rewarding snack. Add grapes for those times when you feel the need to just be munching on something.
Tuna & Cucumber
With 17 grams of protein, not to mention the benefits of Omega 3s, in a small 72 gram container, you get a great snack with tuna. Mix with just a little extra virgin olive oil and some pepper to taste or add lemon juice, garlic or avocado and enjoy your tuna without the unhealthy fats in most mayonnaise spreads. Use a slice of cucumber in place of a cracker and you have a filling healthy snack.
Cheese Cubes & Apple slices
Ditch the crackers and enjoy real cheddar cheese and apple slices. Calcium and fibre make this a healthy snack on the go.
Hummus & Veggies
Whip up your own hummus using canned chick peas, lemon juice, tahini sauce and a little extra virgin olive oil. Add in roasted peppers or garlic for a flavour treat and enjoy the fibre, protein and folate benefits of this legume. Use carrots sticks, celery, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli or our new favourite, raw green beans, to dip and enjoy this healthy snack. Keep washed, sliced veggies in ziplock bags in the fridge so you can grab and go.
Almonds are a great snack when you just need something to munch on to fill that void between meals. Full of vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats, a handful of almonds can be a staple go-to snack for kids and adults. Add some dried apricots or raisons to satisfy a sweet craving.
Roasted Chickpeas or Edamame Beans
Fibre and protein rich, these beans are easy to roast at home and are perfect if you are in the mood for something crunchy. Buy canned chickpeas or frozen edamame beans, Rinse or thaw and then dry before sprinkling with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until crunchy!
The key to healthy eating begins with good food choices at the grocery store and healthy snacks are an important part. Make sure your snacks are high in protein, fibre, vitamins and calcium to ensure you are getting the nutrition you need instead of filling up on empty calories.
Have other favourite healthy snacks you don’t see on my list? Please share! Always looking for more healthy snacks.