Top Ten Best Snacks
By Lauren Delaney
The munchies - we all get them. Since everything is on the go these days sometimes it is difficult to even manage to have a traditional breakfast, lunch or dinner. Healthy snacks are even more crucial since it makes up a large part of our daily eating habits. Here are 10 great snack ideas that are portable, quick and nutritious.
1. Veggies & Hummus. This is a classic, but it does not have to be boring. There are so many types of hummus in stores now that it makes it easy to switch things up. Try a new flavor and some new veggies beyond carrots or celery. Mini tomatoes, snap peas, red or yellow peppers and mushrooms are all great choices. Sabra also makes very convenient snack packs that are easy to stash.
2. Greek Yogurt. Where would we be without Greek Yogurt? Funny, most people were not even familiar with it a few years ago and if you have not tried it yet it is time to hop on the bandwagon. A cup has only 120 calories and packs in 22 grams of protein which makes it super filling. The non-fat plain variety is easy to change up with your choice of fixings such as fruit, low fat granola or nuts. Add a little honey, agave syrup or stevia to sweeten the deal.
3. Cheese. Low fat cheese is great on the go and requires no preparation at all. Make sure to choose a light selection such as part skim mozzarella cheese sticks by Sarengto or Laughing Cow.
4. Protein Bars. Healthy snack bars are a perfect way to give yourself a boost in-between meals or even as a meal replacement when you are in a pinch. Pick a bar that is made with natural ingredients, has at least 5 grams of protein and is low in sugar. Great choices include Luna Bars, LaraBars, thinkThin or Kind Bars.
5. Cereal. If you are running late in the morning skip the milk and put some cereal in a snack bag. It's a good choice if you want something crunchy and can fill you up if you choose one that is high in fiber and low in sugar. Barbara's Bakery and Kashi offer many types and flavors.
6. Cottage Cheese. Mix in some pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) and add a few nuts for a solid choice to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cottage cheese is also delicious with apples and cinnamon as a mock apple pie. Since it has a fairly neutral taste feel free to get creative and add different mix-ins.
7. Almonds. A handful of almonds is easy to take anywhere and can be stored at your desk, purse or car. It is a great source of protein and Vitamin E with enough staying power to take the edge off of your hunger.
8. Popcorn. Not the movie theater kind! Air popped popcorn is high in fiber and low in calorie. A little cinnamon and stevia turns this into a sweeter choice too - kettle corn!
9. Fruit. A single serving of fruit will satisfy your hunger easily. It is always best to select fruit that is in season. Grab an apple or banana on your way out the door if you are low on time. Easy peasy.
10. Nut Butter. Nut butters are so tasty it can almost be hard to remember that they are healthy! Explore less traditional options other than peanut butter such as almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter to switch it up. There are many brands out there so be sure to read the ingredient labels and select those that do not have extra sugars or hydrogenated oils. Be sure to measure your portion size as well - it can be easy to go overboard!