A healthy diet is one of the keys to success if you’re trying to transform your lifestyle and boost your wellness and happiness. Although many people tackle healthy meal planning and come up with awesome ideas for incorporating better foods into their 3 squares a day, snack time can be a major sticking point if you’re trying to lose weight, manage or prevent chronic illness.
The Point of Snacking
Snacks are intended to give you a quick boost when you’re hungry or tired, and planning them out can be challenging. This is because sometimes, when you want a snack, you want it NOW. That means you might find yourself walking down to the vending machine or running into a convenience store that offers nothing but sweets and high-calorie, salty snacks for sale. If you take a similar approach to planning your snacks as you do with planning your meals, however, you can avoid junk food and make healthy snacking a satisfying routine!
If you’re ready to take the plunge and transform snack time into a healthy eating opportunity, read on for some wholesome snack ideas that will get your creative juices flowing!
Low Calorie Snack Recipes
You can always pack yourself a couple of simple goodies like apples or walnuts and stash them in your desk or car, but sometimes it’s nice to make a batch of something healthy ahead of time. This enables you to rock the healthy snack and still have something special that can compete with the processed junk food that’s almost always available in today’s workplace and community.
Here are a couple of our favorite healthy snack recipes!
Baked Kale and Sweet Potato Chips
For a crunchy, lightly salted and satisfying snack that’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential minerals like calcium, you can’t do much better than making baked veggie chips at home! This recipe is easy as pie (OK, actually it’s easier than pie), but it’s very important not to burn the edges of your chips, so make sure to keep an eye on them! For a sweet twist, substitute the chili powder for cinnamon on the potatoes and pow, you’ve got a sweet-spicy snack that packs a healthy punch.
- 1 sweet potato, sliced thin
- 1 bunch kale torn into bite-size pieces with stems and ribs removed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss the kale with the olive oil and add pepper and a little salt to taste. Massage the kale gently with your hands until the leaves turn bright green.
- Spread the sweet potato slices on the parchment paper and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
- Add the kale pieces to the parchment paper and place in the oven.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes. At the 5-7 minute mark, flip the kale chips. At the 10 minute mark, flip the sweet potato chips.
- Bake until both sweet potato chips and kale chips are crispy.
- Remove your healthy, low calorie snack from the oven, cool, and enjoy! To pair this snack with a healthy dip, try low-fat hummus, plain yogurt, or nonfat ranch dressing that you’ll find on the shelf in your grocery store.
Fruit and Nut Bars
One of the advantages of eating these delicious bars is that the fruit will give you an immediate energy boost and the nuts will satisfy your hunger for quite a while, so you don’t end up snacking more than you want to between meals. This recipe is very low in fat and each bar is only 61 calories, so you can enjoy guilt-free snacking and get a jolt of fruit- and nut-fueled energy to pull you through the afternoon slump. It’s an ideal option during fall when you need something satisfying.
- ½ cup quinoa flour
- ¼ cup flax meal
- ½ cup oats
- ¼ cup wheat germ
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup unsalted almonds
- ¼ cup apricots
- ¼ cup dried pineapple
- ¼ cup dried figs (substitute raisins if you want!)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees
- While the oven heats, chop the apricots, figs, pineapple, and almonds into ¼-inch pieces
- Combine all ingredients and stir well to distribute the fruit and nuts through the dough
- Spread the mixture ½ inch thick on the parchment-lined baking pan
- Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven
- Cool completely and cut into bars
- Store in an airtight container and eat when you want a burst of healthy energy or are fighting off the urge to get a candy bar!
Healthy Snack Ideas for Every Taste
You probably know what it’s like to have that pre-snacking moment: you’re at your desk or have just come home after a long day at the office, and your belly is rumbling and making some very specific demands. Sometimes it wants sweet stuff that’s syrupy and gooey, and sometimes it craves crunchy and salty.
The trick here is to satisfy your cravings with low calorie snack foods, so it’s a good idea to keep a couple of different healthy snack options handy. That way, you won’t end up walking away from your almonds and wheat crackers and buying a bag of M&Ms, because your sweet tooth is demanding a taste of something sugary. Here are some healthy snack ideas to satisfy your appetite and appeal to different cravings.
- Fresh apple slices
- Low fat or fat free yogurt
- Fresh berries drizzled with a little honey
- Frozen grapes and frozen bananas
- Unsweetened fruit juice popsicle
- Unsweetened canned fruit
- Baked apple or pineapple
- Strawberries with fat free whipped cream
- Hummus with toasted whole wheat pita bread
- Low fat popcorn
- Homemade vegetable chips
- Green olives
- Fat free string cheese
- Saltine crackers
- Lightly salted almonds or walnuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Lightly salted deviled or hard boiled egg
- Roasted pumpkin seeds
- Celery and carrot sticks
- Broccoli spears
- Cucumber slices
- Zucchini circles
- Unsalted rice cakes
- Green pepper sticks
- Low calorie bread sticks
- Cauliflower bites
- Small salad with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar dressing
- Whole wheat crackers
Don’t let snacking be your weight loss downfall. Let us help you take control of your health with lots of great ideas and your own personalized weight maintenance plan.