Snacks are a major vice for me. They’re yummy and they just make life more fun! However, instead of eating lots of processed snacks, I try to create my own healthy snacks – a variety of little things I can eat throughout the day that provide a pick-me-up between meals.
Nutrition can be kind of baffling. Hopefully, this post will help pull back the veil on basic things to look for in the foods you eat. As it turns out, our snacks should be balanced just the way our meals are! Look for snacks that have the three macronutrients – that is, what your body needs to function properly.
- Carbohydrates. They fuel your central nervous system and give you energy. Find them in oats, bananas, bread, sweet potatoes, oranges, blueberries, and chickpeas.
- Healthy fats. They’re good for your heart. Find them in avocados, nuts, cheese, nut and seed butter, olives, salmon, eggs, and tofu.
- Protein. This makes you feel full for a longer amount of time. Find it in meat, cheese, nuts, eggs, broccoli, milk, beans, quinoa, and Brussel sprouts.
I aim to eat lots of whole foods instead of things full of preservatives. Here’s a list of some snacks I make often.
- Veggies (celery, carrots) and fruits (apples, grapes, bananas) with peanut butter or hummus are an excellent go-to. I find that fruit and veggies make more satisfying snacks when combined with other things.
- Nuts with dates or raisins are also great. I like to try different combinations of nuts – walnuts are my favourites! Dates and raisins keep it from getting boring because having just a handful of nuts is a little sad. I may throw a few chocolate chips in there for a treat. Having a little container of nuts and raisins is the perfect in-class snack to take the edge off your hunger.
- Crackers (or whole-grain bread slices) make excellent vehicles for all sorts of delicious things! Keep it simple – peanut butter, hummus, meat and cheese, or avocado slices with a drizzle of olive oil are some good options. I also love having crackers with tuna or boiled egg – both excellent sources of protein.
- Plain Greek yogurt also has lots of protein – I try to avoid the flavoured kind because it has lots of sugar. Again, this snack can get boring, so throw in some berries, chopped nuts, or even a drizzle of honey to make it tastier. I often bring yogurt and berries to campus in a mason jar.
- One of my favourite things to do is make my own bistro box, like the ones you find at Starbucks! In a bento box or rectangular Tupperware, throw together a combination of items that fall into each of the three macronutrient categories listed above. Here’s an excellent article with ideas.
What’s your favourite healthy snack? Tell us below!