With the new year just around the corner, many people’s thoughts turn to losing weight or eating healthier. One way to make 2020 healthier is to choose better snacks. I wanted to share some healthy snack ideas, (or healthier snack ideas) so that you will be ready to start the new year off on the right foot. Many of these snacks are portable so they can be sent to school with the kiddos (or taken to work with you).
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Healthy Snack Ideas for the New Year
Listed below are several healthy snack ideas to start your New Year off eating right. Some of these may not be the healthiest choices, but will hopefully be healthier than your current snacks. After all, eating better is a process, not an all-or-nothing event. Life is too short not to indulge occasionally.
Veggies and dip-Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are the usual choices, but for variety don’t forget to try snap peas, red or yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. For dips you can use ranch dressing, honey mustard dressing, french onion dip, or hummus.
Granola bars-Be choosy about the ones you purchase. Many have almost as much sugar as a candy bar (See here and here for more info). There are several good ones on the market or you can search online and find many recipes to make them from scratch.
Chips and Salsa-If you are used to eating a bag of chips for snack, at least try to upgrade to tortilla chips and salsa. You will be getting some nutrition from the salsa and because it can be a little messy, you tend not to mindlessly eat as many.
Peanut butter and crackers-If you usually pick up a pack of crackers for snack, try making your own at home. If you put some peanut butter between 2 crackers, you will likely put more peanut butter on the cracker than is on the store-bought pack. Thus you will eat more protein and stay fuller longer. You can also try peanut butter on apples instead of crackers. You get a dose of protein and a serving of fruit at the same time. And switch out the peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter for a change. They are both delicious on apples or crackers.
Cheese sticks-Cheese sticks make a quick, filling snack. You can add some crackers or a piece of fruit to this snack to fill you up.
Trail Mix-Most stores sell bags of trail mix but there is usually something in them that my family won’t eat. It’s very easy to make it yourself. You can choose your choice of nuts, a little dried fruit, and maybe a few chocolate chips (or M&M’s) and make it however you like. Just be sure to keep the dried fruit and chocolate to a small amount to limit the amount of sugar in your trail mix.
Popcorn-Popcorn also makes a great snack and is usually very filling. The healthiest popcorn is popcorn you pop yourself on the stove or with an air popper. However I won’t judge if you keep some of the microwave bags on hand too. (I sure do!) Just pick the ones with the cleanest ingredients you can find. My boys aren’t gonna drag out a pot to pop popcorn on the stove, but they all know how to microwave a bag.
Pickles-Many kids that won’t normally eat cucumbers or other vegetables will eat pickles. And a pickle is just a vegetable plus vinegar so most kinds are usually healthy. Try to steer clear of ones with added sugar though. And nowadays, there are more varieties than just pickled cucumbers. There are okra pickles, mixed vegetable pickles, and squash pickles. You can even purchase pickles individually wrapped to take them on the go!
Roasted Chickpeas or Edamame-If you really want something crunchy, roasted chickpeas or roasted edamame make healthy choices. Both chickpeas and edamame are high in protein too so they will hold you over longer than chips or crackers. There are lots of flavor choices out now for roasted chickpeas. Just check the ingredient list carefully to be sure they don’t contain unwanted additives.
Eat healthier by eating less
One last way to eat healthier is to eat less. Try to sit down and enjoy your snack (or meal) and concentrate on the tastes and textures. Put down the cell phone while you eat. Pay attention to when your body tells you that you are full. Try to stop eating just before that point. It will take practice, but if you really concentrate on enjoying your food, you will tend to eat less.
Do you have any healthy snacks you enjoy? I would love to have more healthy choices.