10 tips to help you eat healthy snacks
The internet is full of resources and tips for healthy snacking. The best way to go about eating healthy snacks is preparedness and being mindful of healthier snack alternatives and portion control. Here are a few useful tips.
- Add healthy snacks – rather than refined and heavily processed snacks – to your grocery list. This will ensure that they are close at hand when you need to snack on something to get you to your next meal.
- You should eat two fruit and three vegetables a day. If you struggle to incorporate these into your main meals, you can try to eat them as part of your snacks throughout the day. Have an easy-to-reach fruit bowl on your kitchen counter or dining room table.
- Make ‘snack prep Sunday’ a thing. Just as you plan your meals for the week ahead on a Sunday, so you should do the same to ensure that you have enough healthy snacks to last you until your next shop.
- Always be prepared. Plan your healthy snacks before hunger strikes. If hunger pangs catch you off guard, you are more likely to give into cravings for unhealthy alternatives, instead of opting for healthier options that may take a little longer to prepare.
- Stock your pantry cupboard, office drawer, fridge and freezer with healthy snacks and foods that you can grab for a quick energy fix. Cut up some of your favourite fruit and vegetables into bite-size pieces and store them in smaller resealable bags, containers or jars. Rearrange your fridge so that these ready-to-eat raw healthy snacks are at your eye level and easily accessible.
- If you’re going to be out and about, pack healthy snacks into your school or work bag. You can even keep some non-perishable snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated in your car.
- You can also pack small portions of leftovers from the previous day’s meal into bite-size snacks for the next day. Not only does this prevent food waste, but it also helps your budget stretch further, especially at the end of the month.
- Having healthy snacks nearby will prevent you from making a quick turn to the drive-in, or ordering takeout to be delivered to your work or home.
- Other common tips for healthy snacking is to avoid eating any kind of snacks straight from large packages or containers, as this often prevents you from being aware of just how much you are eating and will often lead you to portion distort.
- Be mindful when you snack – avoid any external distractions. Take a few minutes to step away from your desk or whatever it is that you are doing, put your phone away, switch off your computer screen or TV. This will allow you to concentrate on savouring the flavours and indulging in the texture. Taking this time to eat mindfully will also help you become more aware of when you feel full.
- Staying hydrated throughout the day will also prevent you from mistaking thirst for hunger. This is one of the most useful tips for healthy snacking. If you think you might be thirsty, rather than hungry, give yourself about 15 minutes after drinking some water or herbal tea, before snacking.
Healthy snack ideas you can make at home
Healthy snack ideas are much easier than you think, especially once you get into a regular routine.
- Though it might be more time-consuming, making homemade dips and sauces are generally much healthier. You also have the opportunity to be more mindful about how much oil, salt and sugar you add when you make them yourself. Pair homemade hummus, pesto, guacamole, butter bean paste and tzatziki with baby corn, mange tout, carrots, cucumber, courgette or celery sticks.
- If you are going to opt for store-bought sauces or dips to couple with your healthy snacks, try to choose lite versions. These usually contain less sugar and salt, such as Eat Well Live Well endorsed products, which are healthier alternatives.
- Go with high-fibre, wholegrain or whole wheat carbohydrate options, rather than simple or refined carbs. Choose rye or whole grain bread, crackers and biscuits, as well as brown rather than white breadsticks, pitas and wraps. These contain more fibre and roughage, which is healthier for your gut microbiome and are healthier if you are trying to manage your weight..
- Make homemade pasta chips in your air fryer or oven by using high-fibre (rather than white) pasta, instead of eating refined, store-bought potato or corn chips. Also, try your hand at making healthy snacks such as homemade chips or nachos made from cut up wholewheat pitas and wraps.
- Hard boiled eggs are a good source of protein and make for a healthy snack in between meals.
- Unsalted nuts and seeds are a good source of protein and natural, healthy fats.
- Make a homemade trail mix that includes unsalted nuts, seeds, roasted coconut shavings, raisins or dried cranberries or goji berries or unsweetened dried fruit, as well as dark chocolate nibs.
- If you don’t have the time to make your own nut butters, then try to opt for the no salt, no sugar alternatives. Nut butters are a great source of protein and a good alternative to your traditional spreads.
Healthy sweet snacks
- Freeze your favourite fruit – bananas, strawberries, berries, mangoes work particularly well – to make a selection of two-fruit homemade smoothies in the blender. You can also eat these healthy sweet snacks on their own or sprinkle them over non-flavoured, non-sweetened plain yoghurt. Remember not to add too many fruit into the mix, as fruit also naturally contain the sugar fructose. You can also add fresh spinach, kale, cucumber, mint leaves and celery.
- A selection of frozen fruit and berries and fruit are a healthier, lower-sugar, fibre-rich alternative to store bought sorbet or ice-cream. Also, try making homemade banana and peanut butter ice-cream.
- You can also use frozen fruit blended with plain yoghurt to make a frozen fruit yogurt popsicle – in a popsicle form or an ice tray, as a healthy sweet snack idea for a hot summer’s day. Give these yummy chocolate peanut butter popsicles a try!
- Five dates (1/4 cup) can help to satiate your sugar cravings, and they are a good source of fibre and roughage too.
- Make colourful skewers with a selection of your favourite fresh fruit – these healthy sweet snacks are a hit with kids.
- If you have a sweet tooth, try eating Lite versions of canned fruit that are stored in their own juice, rather than syrup, which can help you lower your sugar intake. KOO has a selection of Lite canned fruit options that include: guava halves, peach slices, pear halves, fruit cocktail in fruit juice. Add a honey oat topping to these for added flavour.
- Grill an apple or pear in the oven or air fryer and sprinkle these with cinnamon and roasted nuts or seeds, or try making a filling high-fibre apple and sultana porridge.
- You can never go wrong with peanut butter pancakes, when you’re craving some healthy sweet snacks.
- Buy or make wholegrain or bran muffins instead of regular muffins. If you’re baking at home, you can add some of your favourite additions: grated carrots, grated beetroots, dried unsweetened cranberries, blueberries, raisins or pecan nuts.
- Try making pudding with Chia seeds and milk – sprinkle it with roasted coconut shavings or unsweetened dried pineapple chunks.