Something that I hear time and time again from clients, family and friends is that they’re stumped on what to eat when it comes to healthy snacks. Meals are easy because salad, but the in between snacks – especially when you’re on the go – can be a little more challenging.
What to Avoid
If you’re feeling peckish between meals avoid processed junk foods that are full of sugar or salt. Pass on the candy, chips, chocolate bars, party mix, cereal and packaged foods.
And while I’m not into counting calories you don’t want your snack to be so big that it’s actually a meal. Remember that protein or energy bars are often considered meal replacements so always check the serving size on the nutrition panel. Keep your portion sizes reasonable – one piece of fruit, a small cupped handful of nuts or seeds, or an individual cup of yogurt.
Snacks should be well-balanced with a little bit of each of the macronutrients:
- Protein: nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, meat, fish, high-quality protein powder, eggs, yogurt
- Complex carbohydrates: low-sugar fruits, whole grains, starchy vegetables
- Healthy fat: avocado, coconut products, whole nuts and seeds, nut butters, hemp and chia seeds, eggs
Some nutrient-dense foods like nuts and eggs do double-duty and hit more than one of the macros. Score!
Balancing your snacks means you’ll stay full longer and you’ll avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes – essential for keeping sugar cravings at bay.
15 Healthy Snack Ideas
Here are a few of my favourite snack combos that I reach for when I need a little bite between meals:
- Piece of fruit with a handful of nuts
- Humus or bean dip & veggie sticks – make your own!
- Hard boiled egg with pesto
- Sprouted whole grain or gluten-free toast with 1/2 an avocado
- Mini bell peppers with tuna or salmon salad
- Chia pudding
- Full fat yogurt with fresh berries and hemp seeds
- Apple or pear with a schmear of goat cheese
- Square of high quality raw chocolate with a few walnuts and a dried fig
- Mini smoothie – half the recipe or save the rest for later
- Small baked sweet potato with tahini
- Steamed organic edamame with Celtic sea salt
- Guacamole with 1/2 whole grain pita or gluten-free crackers
- Mini veggie frittatas baked in muffin tins
- Roast chicken or turkey wrapped in nori
What are your favourite snacks? I’m always on the lookout for new snacks for me, my family and my clients! Share your favourite snacks in the comments or tweet me @amandalaird.