One of the things I get asked about A LOT is snacks. Should we snack? How often should we snack? What’s a healthy snack? What if I can’t control my portion of certain snacks?
Some snacks are just to get us to that next meal. For example - my stomach is growling, but my lunch break isn’t for another 45 minutes. This is where you might want to have just enough to get you to that meal. I’ll usually do small handful of nuts, a single serving of cheese or maybe a few grapes.
Other snacks are more substantial - like when you have lunch at noon, but dinner isn’t until 7:00. If you know you tend to get hungry every day at around 4:00, it’s best to plan for a hearty snack there! Seven hours is a LONG time for most of us to go without food. These snacks are like mini meals and ideally contain a healthy fat or protein along with a complex carb or veggies. This combo will help to keep you fuller longer from your snack and not have your blood sugar spike and crash like it might if we just have something with simple carbs (chips, crackers, etc.).
Some of my favorite combinations tend to be:
apple or a piece of whole grain toast + 1-2T almond or peanut butter
grapes or seeded crackers + cheese
almonds or other nuts (these have healthy fat, protein and fiber all in one!)
veggies (baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced peppers, sliced radishes, snap peas) and hummus, mini guacamole cup or Greek yogurt ranch dip
key lime Greek yogurt with 1-2 Tbsp of low sugar granola
Kind bar or RX Bars
I also suggest choosing what you keep around for snacks wisely. Choose foods that you are happy to eat when you are truly hungry, but avoid foods that you tend to go looking for even when not hungry. For me, this is chips and chocolate covered almonds . . . I always find a reason to get a handful of these when they're around, and several servings are missing that I don’t really recall eating. It's not to say I'm not "allowed" to eat those foods, I just choose not to keep them around our house so I don't eat them mindlessly.
Make the healthy choice the easy choice! Have the foods you WANT to snack on prepped and ready to go - like these yummy strawberries and kiwis. If you don’t, it’s likely you’ll go for whatever is most convenient and end up throwing your well-intentioned healthy snack options away once they've gone bad.