Here are 10 healthy snack ideas for adults who work and kids who play. When it comes to snacks, it seems the more appealing and tasty the food, the better. After all, who really wants to eat something boring and blah? When vending machines and convenience store shelves are relied on as the cure for hunger in between meals, something needs to change.
Adults eat about 600 calories every day in snacks. Young kids eat slightly less, and older kids eat just as much. A “splurge” snack once every great while is just fine, but if chips, juice, sugary yogurts, candy or fruit chews make a daily appearance in yours or your kids’ diet, weight gain, insulin resistance and an avalanche of other diet-related consequences are waiting to happen.
1) Apple & Nut Butter
This snack is low in sugar and filled with a good amount of healthy fat and protein that will keep blood sugar levels in check until meal time. Packing sliced apples for a lunch? Drizzle a little bit of lemon juice over each slice to keep them from turning brown.
2) Hard Boiled Eggs
A lot of people dismiss eggs as a snack because they fear cholesterol or fat, but the DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid) found in egg yolks, make them truly a great brain food for kids and adults alike. What’s more, an egg is a mere 70 calories and an excellent source of protein, too. Craving something savory? Sprinkle a little sea salt on an egg and be on your way.
3) Air or Stove Top Popped Popcorn with Coconut Oil
Hold the butter and add the coconut oil to popcorn, a great source of medium chain triglycerides that our body loves to use as energy, rarely storing as fat. A far cry from nutritionally-void microwave popcorn, fresh-popped popcorn is full of fiber, keeping you fuller longer. Supersize a big bag for the office or the car! Lower in calories, even with a little coconut oil, you (or the kids) will love this snack.
4) Blueberries & Walnuts
The one-two combo of blueberries and walnuts is a powerhouse of brain fuel, packed with fiber and loaded with body-loving omega-3 fatty acids. Add about 1 cup of blueberries to ¼ cup of walnuts for a great snack for you or the kids in between meals.
5) Vegetables and Guacamole
Peel and cut veggies a couple times throughout the week, store in the fridge in easy-to-grab containers and you’ve just eliminated the excuse “I don’t have time to prepare the vegetables.” Guacamole (or hummus, if you prefer) makes a great sidekick to any vegetable. A good source of fat, people who eat avocado regularly have lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and higher HDL (good cholesterol).
6) Strawberry Avocado Smoothie
This simple smoothie can be ready in 2 minutes. Pairing avocado with strawberries wows your taste buds while filling you up with antioxidants, fiber and a little healthy fat. Get the recipe here.
7) Protein-Packed Blueberry Muffins
Take 30 minutes once a week to throw together this simple, but delicious muffin that pair well for any lunch, snack or breakfast-on-the-go. Filled with 14 grams of muscle-building protein, your body will love this. Get the recipe here.
8) Berries & Cheese
While dairy may not bode well for everybody, the combo or berries and cheese is sweet and savory perfection. Berries are packed with antioxidants that help protect the body from damage, and cheese is a good source of protein, which will help stave off hunger. Portion your cheese so you’re not tempted to nibble away at a big bring. A little goes a long way.
9) Dark Chocolate
Sometimes a couple squares of dark chocolate does the trick. Dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of flavonoids, and antioxidant, which helps protect the heart’s arteries from cholesterol damage. Like cheese, a little goes a long way. Don’t think you can swing from milk chocolate to dark chocolate? Gradually move yourself to a darker chocolate little by little. Eventually, dark chocolate will become a taste bud expectation.
10) Plain Greek Yogurt and Cinnamon with Honey
One of the biggest snack mistakes adults with or without kids make is eating sugary yogurt. Pre-sweetened yogurt almost always contains several teaspoons of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Plain yogurt puts you in the driver’s seat of sugar consumption. A little cinnamon adds some sweetness to tangy plain yogurt, and the cinnamon helps stabilize blood sugar levels for hours to come.
Traci is a nationally-recognized health and fitness coach, and the current coach working with Steve Harvey's Bridal Bootcamp. Traci has also been featured on Dr. Oz, The TODAY Show, in SHAPE, SELF and local news programs. Her specialty is weight loss through clean eating and interval-style training. Traci is available for private coaching and corporate consulting. To contact Traci, please email email@example.com.