I get the question a lot from my clients about what they should be eating for healthy snacks. When creating meal plans, I usually (depending on the goals; digestion state and many other factors relating to the client) add in two snacks a day in between meals in order to balance blood sugar, keep hunger at bay and aid in weight loss (yes, eating more often can aid in weight loss). The most important thing to remember about snacking is being prepared. It is one thing for me to tell my clients to eat every 2-3 hours but without knowing what to eat, this can lead to reaching for the candy bowl mid afternoon. If you prepare snacks, like you would prepare your meals, this will lead to better success and less cravings.
Here are some simple snack ideas to help keep you on track.
1. Piece of Fruit and Nuts
Handheld and highly transportable makes fruit the perfect grab and go snack. Toss an apple, pear or banana into your bag on your way out the door and you will ensure you have a simple snack that doesn’t require any refrigeration. Combining fruit with a fat or protein source like nuts helps slow the digestion of the carbohydrates (sugars) in the fruit so it does not spike your blood sugar. The fibre in the fruit helps with this too but for a more satiating snack it is great to combine your fruit with a handful of nuts like almonds.
2. Trail Mix
Mixed nuts or trail mix is probably the most common healthy snack. Not only is it easy to buy in stores, but even easier to put together yourself. When opting for trail mix, do your best to ensure there are more nuts and seeds than dried fruit in order to keep the sugar content low. Also avoid trail mixes with a lot of added salt or sugary items like chocolate or candy.
3. Carrots & Hummus
Hummus is a healthy snack that works well with any vegetable. A few spoonsful of hummus can help provide a well-balanced snack of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats and is a great vehicle to help get more veggies into your diet. Try my classic hummus recipe here.
Smoothies not only make a great breakfast, but also an ideal snack. A well-balanced smoothie is filling and can easily be transported wherever you need to go. Check out my blog post on the Perfect Smoothie Formula to ensure you are creating the healthiest smoothie you can.
5. Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is the new “it” snack, and with good reason, it’s delicious and healthy! A quarter of an avocado spread onto a slice of sprouted grain or sourdough toast has all you need to keep you going though the workday.
6. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibre, and they create gel-like texture when soaked, making a great pudding. Try my Chia Seed Pudding recipe here with three different flavour options.
These high protein beans can be found in the frozen section of any grocery store. Lightly steamed or sautéed them with a sprinkle of sea salt and away you go.
8. Mary’s Crackers & Salsa
Store-bought crackers can be a real danger zone of refined oils, salts and sugars, however, Mary’s Crackers are an incredibly clean and delicious option. Dunk them in homemade or fresh-made salsa (or healthy dip of choice), just be sure to read the salsa ingredients to ensure there is no added sugar.
9. Energy Balls
Energy balls are great as they can be stored in the fridge or freezer for week and make an ideal pre-workout snack with their balance of carbohydrate and protein. Try my Oatmeal Cookie Protein Balls or Cacao Coconut Ball recipes or easily make your own by combining dates with your favourite nuts and flavours in a food processor.
10. Ants on a Log
A childhood staple, crunchy celery with creamy peanut butter topped with sweet raisins! Peanut butter is the traditional option, but you can also mix things up and use almond butter, cashew butter, or tahini as an alternative. Make sure you use unsweetened and unsulphured raisins to avoid harmful sweeteners and additives.
11. Cucumber & Guacamole
Everyone loves a good nacho, but too many deep fried chips make a healthy option like guac not so healthy. Try it with some crunchy cucumber instead to keep the calories down, while keeping the guacamole up.
12. Dates with Almond Butter
The perfect mixture of sweet and salty! Medjool dates are sweet and adding almond butter helps insure they do not spike your blood sugar and makes them even more delicious.
13. Hard Boiled Eggs
So simple to prepare, and can be stored in the fridge for a week of snacks. Hard-boiled eggs are rich in protein and lots of healthy fats making them an ideal snack to keep you fuller longer.
14. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Need a fast and healthy treat to satisfy that sweet tooth? This chocolate avocado pudding will do the trick while providing you the all the amazing health benefits of avocado.
15. Apple with Cinnamon
An apple on its own certainly makes a healthy snack, but adding cinnamon helps balance blood sugar and is anti-inflammatory. It also adds a natural sweetness, reminiscent of apple pie.
16. Toast, Almond Butter & Banana
A simple but amazing snack. Grab a slice mid-afternoon to keep you going for the rest of the day.
17. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas not only make a great hummus, but an awesome crispy and crunchy snack. Grab some roasted chickpeas instead of your standard salted peanuts for a snack that is higher in protein and lower in sodium. Try my Roasted Chickpea recipe and pick your favourite of the 5 flavour options.
18. Healthy Granola/Protein Bar
There are lots of granola or protein bars on the market, however many of them are loaded with added sugars. Either make your own at home (try this recipe) or choose a healthy option with few ingredients like Larabars or my favourite; Genuine Health bars.
19. Plain Yogurt & Fruit
A little cup of yogurt makes a great snack, but only when you opt for the plain unflavoured kind. Fruit or vanilla flavoured yogurts are often over 50% sugar, so you are always much better opting for the plain versions and sweetening them naturally yourself with some berries.
20. Kale Chips
As I wrote in my blog post "10 Ways to Eat More Greens (that aren't eating salad)" Kale Chips are a great snack and are also a way to get your daily boost of greens. Try my simple kale chips recipe or you can also find some great options in stores too.
21. Plain Popcorn
Although the movie theatre stuff is delicious, it’s unfortunately real dangerous with all of the added artificial butter and salt. Making your own popcorn at home, on the stove top is always best, and you can add a little flavour yourself with coconut oil and sea salt.
Hope you enjoy! Get snacking!