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Sunday, July 27, 2014

10 Healthy Snacks

Who among us doesn’t like to snack?  On a recent trip to France, my daughter and I brought snack foods with us.  Europeans enjoy their meals but snacks can be hard to come by.  We brought granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit to ensure we had snacks on the bus or wherever we were on the tour.  So what are some healthy snacks you can munch on between meals?

  1. Fruit – fresh fruit is always a healthy choice.  My daughter’s boyfriend is into apples as Weight Watchers gives apples only a few points.  All fruit is good, full of vitamins and antioxidants for good health.
  2. Nuts, especially almonds – go for a handful of nuts, not the whole container or buy a small bag at the convenience store.  Easy to take to work, pack in a lunch for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick up.  I carried a few baggies of nuts in my suitcase and then would grab a bag as we headed out of our hotel for a day of sightseeing.
  3. String cheese – great at any time but a very good high protein snack food.  I buy the 2% low fat variety to save on a few fat calories but still get the protein benefit.
  4. Granola bars – these do vary in calorie content and nutritional value so reading labels is important.  Try for ones with whole grain, some fruit or nuts and low in sugar.
  5. Water – not really thought of as a food but water can fill you up and certainly rehydrate you and water has no calories unless you choose some of the flavored waters.  I love Crystal Light – can get individual packets to add to a bottle of water or make up a pitcher of lemonade.  I really like their Peach Ice Tea.  My neighbor served me some peach ice tea with fresh peach slices in it.  Absolutely delicious and such a great summer drink.
  6. Yogurt – low fat yogurt is so healthy.  Great protein source, good for calcium, vitamins A and D.  Some prefer Greek yogurt, but any low fat yogurt is healthy.
  7. Trail mix – on a road trip last year, my daughter pulled out a large bag of homemade trail mix.  Look for mixes with nuts, dried fruit, raisins and low in sugar.  But trail mix can pack in the calories so have a handful or choose a small bag at the convenience store.
  8. Peanut butter – put on whole grain crackers or on celery for a filling snack.
  9.   Smoothie – fruit, yogurt, some almond milk.  Try bananas, strawberries, raspberries – experiment to find a flavor you like best. My daughter makes up a smoothie and then takes it with her as she commutes to work. 
  10. Yogurt parfait – mix some low fat yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts.  Try kiwi, some mango and some chopped unsalted cashews or walnuts.

Some people think you shouldn’t eat snacks and children shouldn’t have snacks.  But little kids especially need snacks because they have small stomachs, can eat only so much at meals and rely on snacks to meet their calorie and nutrient needs. So don’t avoid snacks, just make some healthier snack choices.
Sources: adapted from: 10 Best Healthy Snacks on VacationHealthy Snack Ideas , Image source:  yogurt parfait


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