Snack Healthy, Snack Better
Snacks don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming to prepare and they can make a big impact on your healthy eating habits. Making healthy snacks for yourself can help you increase your energy, get in a few extra grams of protein and other important nutrients and help you make it to your next meal, balancing your blood sugar and mood. Some people may be tempted into thinking that the best snacks have to come from the store, ready to eat, but ISWO wants to help you make your own delicious and nutritious snacks at home. At the ISWO Office, we enjoy sharing our recipes and tips and we wanted to share them with you!
Breakfast or Morning Snack Ideas
Looking for something to help you make it through to your lunch hour? In the morning, it’s a good idea to try and snack on things that are high in protein and that can help boost your energy that your body will store and then use throughout the day.
Some great foods to snack on include:
- Nuts; such as pistachios, almonds, walnuts. Just be sure to only eat a small amount as nuts are high in good fats, so a little goes a long way.
- Fruit smoothies; try mixing it up and adding greens such as kale or spinach and counter the bitterness with highly acidic fruit such as pineapples. You can also portion fruit, including peeled bananas, into freezer bags to make smoothie making a breeze on hectic mornings.
- Homemade granola bars; many recipes include less than 5 ingredients which you probably already have stocked in your pantry. Check out this recipe here.
- Energy bites, good for any time of the day, but especially as a reward for making it through the first couple of hours of work or to enjoy with at your mid-morning break. Try this site for some great recipe options.
Lunchtime or Afternoon Snack Ideas
Snacking in the afternoon means your body is wanting a little something extra that will help you get through the rest of the day until dinner. When you’re looking for something to snack on for after lunch, aim for something that will help you get over your afternoon slump and give you the energy to keep going. Some good afternoon snacking foods include:
- Nuts; because they’re good for every time of the day. Just remember that nuts are high in fats, so be careful with how much you consume throughout the day
- Rice cakes; add some spread like peanut or almond butter and some fruit toppings to make it extra special. Find some inspiration for your toppings here.
- Sweet potato cookies, easy to make and fun to share. Check out the recipe at this link.
- Homemade apple chips with hummus.
- Fresh fruit with some Greek yogurt, apple butter, or all-natural peanut butter to add in some protein.
- Vegetables with hummus, guacamole, or salsa.
- Crispy roasted chickpeas; add your favourite spices to make it your way. You can find a recipe here.
After Dinner Snack Ideas
Some good after-dinner snacking foods include:
- Nuts; no further explanations needed.
- Popcorn; air-popped popcorn is high in fiber, all natural and low in calories and fat. Popping it yourself at-home allows you to add your favourite toppings such as spices and seasonings. Just remember to stay away from packaged popcorn, which contains added chemicals and saturated, unhealthy fats.
- Fruit; fresh fruit is a great dessert option!
- Avocado with your favourite fixings; try the cottage cheese and avocado mix. You can find a good recipe to use for inspiration here.
- Edamame beans, high in protein and just simply good for your body.
- A small bowl of high fiber cereal (low in sugar and sodium) with your choice of almond, soy, or dairy milk, or mix it up with some Greek yogurt for a yogurt parfait.
We hope the lists above sparked some inspiration for your next trip to the grocery store. Making homemade healthy snacks does not have to be a chore, it can something fun you do with your friends and family, and it can be exciting to explore the different recipes and flavours available to you. If you have something you would like to share with our readers, whether it’s a recipe or a good tip to keep in mind, we would love to hear from you! Send in your comments, recipes, ideas, and questions to Kylie Thompson at Kylie.Thompson@iswo.ca.