Eating healthy snacks can be a healthy diet habit that keeps your blood sugar stable, but unplanned snacking, grazing, or mindless eating, can add extra pounds to your waistline quickly! The process of adding healthy snacks to your healthy eating meal plan is simple. On your meal planning chart, you planned your daily snacks and calories. Grab that information.
Next choose some healthy options that fit into your meal plan. You can modify amounts according to how many calories that you want to consume. This should be a mini meal!
- Plate your choice. Sit down and enjoy your food.
- Do not eat from the bag as this makes it impossible to know how much you ate.
- Pattern your snack after the my plate guidelines that recommend half of your plate being produce, one quarter protein, and one quarter a grain or carbohydrate choice.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your snack. This adds fiber which fills you up and keeps hunger at bay. (See my Produce Tips!)
- Avoid snacks that are boxed, bagged, contain a bar code, make health claims, and contain more than 5 ingredients!
- If possible make your own snacks at home with wholesome ingredients. There are some whole grain fruit bars that are awesome.
- Avoid most store bought bars as they contain tons of ingredients on the label. Most are too high in sugar and contain questionable ingredients.
- Choose a variety of items that would satisfy your hunger each day.
Some of my Healthy Snack picks!
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, whatever you love. Be careful on this one, because nuts are caloric and add up quickly. I count out my serving sizes and bag them, so they are ready for grab and go.
- Any raw veggies paired with hummus
- Greek Yogurts or plain yogurt or cottage cheese. Add your own fruits.
- Cheese sticks with whole grain crackers
- Air popped popcorn (you can now find Organic Popcorn in many grocery stores such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods - use these and avoids GMO's)
- Salsa and Baked Tortilla chips
- Black beans topped with a bit of cheese
- 1/2 of a peanut butter sandwich on 100% whole grain bread
- Nitrate free sandwich meats
These are just a few ideas that I enjoy, but plan your own list of what you love. If you struggle with grazing, don't buy the foods that you love to graze on. It is difficult to overeat apples, but quite easy to overindulge in chips and cookies. Healthy Eating leads to feeling better!
Happy Healthy Snacking!