Since it’s National Nutrition Month, I thought I would end the month of March by providing some information and resources about eating healthy snacks especially since the process of ‘snacking’ has become such a negative word.
Growing up I was never really a snacker. Meaning, I didn’t eat candy or a bag of chips like other kids. Not sure why I didn’t, other than I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of things like Sweet Tarts, Skittles, Candy Corn, etc. In fact, I’m wrinkling my nose just writing about it. But, chocolate? Well, that’s another story… for another day.
However, since I changed my eating habits several years ago, I have now started snacking during the day. Not because I’m bored or it’s something to do, but because my body needs the fuel to keep my energy level up. With that being said, I still occasionally struggle with trying to find snacks that I can take to work that are healthy, really yummy and are easy to prepare or grab-and-go. (Note the ‘easy’ comment. With my crazy schedule, this is a must-have requirement for me.)
Some people think that in order for snacks to be nutritious and good for you, then they must be boring, bland or too complicated to make. To change this misconception, here is a list of a few of my favorite yummy snacks.
- Hummus and raw veggies – peppers, broccoli, or carrots
- Granola – any kind with additions such as flax, almonds, or dried fruit
- Sliced cucumbers – a little salt & pepper
- Grapes – I like them really cold
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Sliced skim milk cheese
- Yogurt – alone or with fruit or granola
- Fresh fruit – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
- Natural/organic trail mix
- Handful of unsalted nuts – almonds, pecans, walnuts
- Celery with crunchy peanut butter
- Organic granola or protein bar
How about you? What are some of your favorite snacks? If you need some additional healthy snacking suggestions, here is a great blog post and list by Rebel Dietitian, Dana McDonald, RD, CNSC. You can also find some more ideas on my ‘Yummy’ Board on my (Salt Air Exchange) Pinterest account.
But how can you make the process of eating healthy snacks a little bit easier in your hectic, daily lives?
- Keep a small stash of healthy snacks in your office, desk or locker. This will help you from running to a vending machine or the cafeteria for a high calorie candy bar.
- Prepare the night before and pack it with your lunch. Want grapes? Wash, pack and place it next to your car keys.
- Traveling? Always keep a granola bar, trail mix or something else you enjoy available in your bag so you can avoid the quick trip in the gas station, burger joint or airport terminal. PS: You’ll save some money doing this as well. 😉
- Always feeling tempted by candy, chocolate or cookies? Put them out of your sight. A colleague just mentioned to me today that she hid the Easter candy so that it was ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for her and her husband.
- Are you really hungry? When you feel the need to snack, consider if you’re bored, need more water or are you really hungry because it’s been several hours since your last meal. Sometimes you may get hunger pains when what your body really needs is to drink more water. And we’ve all experienced the boredom urge to snack. So, take a second to consider what you’re feeling and think before you react.
Now that you have some helpful suggestions, what are you going to prepare for your day tomorrow?
Have some additional nutritious snack ideas you want to share with the readers? We would love to hear about them!
As we say goodbye to National Nutrition Month, let this not be the end, but the beginning of new, healthy eating habits.