Need some snack-spiration? Daily snacks should be a part of our diet, in addition to 3 meals a day. They get us through busy days, fuel workouts, satisfy evening cravings, supply nutrients, and prevent us from over-eating at meals. Here, I have displayed some of my go-to snacks that keep me satisfied until my next meal.
- Banana or orange (or any fruit). A perfect accompaniment to lunch, adding fibre and contributing to the recommended 7-10 servings of fruit/vegetables per day.
- 2 medjool dates: to satisfy that mid-afternoon or evening craving for sweets (they taste like caramel!)
- Carrots + 2 tbsp hummus. The fat in hummus helps the body absorb fat-soluble Vitamin A, which is abundant in carrots.
- ½ Plain Greek yogurt (0-2%) + berries + 1 tsp each of chia and hemp seeds. We have 3 food groups represented here (milk & alternatives, fruit, and meat & alternatives), plus omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, fibre, and protein.
- Apple + 1 tbsp natural peanut butter. Pairing a fruit with a protein source helps to keep you full, and slows the spike in blood sugar.
- ¼ cup of nuts. Nuts are a great plant-based source of protein, fibre, iron, and potassium, to name a few. Although they are a source of healthy fat, they are calorically dense, which is why the portion should be controlled.
- Cucumber and ½ cup cottage cheese (0-2%). A refreshing snack that provides protein, calcium, and vitamin K. Flavour cottage cheese with dried herbs if it is too bland.
- Hemp Heart Bites. An easy on-the-go snack, packed with protein, fibre, and omega-3’s. Can be purchased at most health food stores.
- ½ whole wheat pita + 2 tbsp dip of choice (hummus, tzatziki, roasted red pepper, guacamole)
- ¼ avocado + 4 whole wheat crackers
- ¼ cup pretzels + 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 Babybel cheese + apple slices
- 1 cup skim/1% milk + 1 whole or ½ cup fruit
- ¼ cup trail mix: nuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup cereal + skim milk + ½ banana
- 1 slice whole wheat toast + 1 tbsp nut butter + 1 tsp hemp seeds
- ¼ avocado + lemon juice + arugula
- 1 slice cheese + 1 tbsp hummus + sliced cucumber
- 1 tbsp ricotta cheese + sliced strawberries + 1 tsp honey
Pre-packaged snacks are convenient, have a long shelf life, are easy to grab on the go, and perfect to keep at your desk. However, they can be full of added sugar, fat, and salt, and may not satisfy your hunger for long.
Things to look for on the label:
- Fibre: 2g or more
- Sodium: 300mg or less (< 15% Daily Value)
- No trans fat. Saturated Fat as low as possible
- Sugar: 5g or less
- Ingredients to avoid, especially if listed as first 3 ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, sugar/glucose-fructose/glucose syrup/molasses, caramel colour, shortening, hydrogenated oil, monosodium glutamate
- Granola Bars: Taste of Nature, Kashi, Kind Bar, Lara Bar, Made Good
- Crackers: Kashi 7 Grain Pita Crisps, plain Goldfish crackers, low sodium Triscuits, Ryvita, Mary’s Organic Crackers, multigrain Melba Toast
- Chips: popchips, multigrain Tostitos, Mediterranean Snack Foods Baked Lentil Chips
- Cereal: All Bran Bran Buds, Kashi, Stephano’s Granola, large flake or steel cut oats
- Snack Factory Pretzel Chips
- Skinny Pop