Snacking does have it’s benefits and is important to any healthy individual’s daily meal plan. If done right, it could even be considered good for you. While mindless grazing all day on fatty, unhealthy foods such as chips and cookies is harmful to your health, there is a proper way to snack if you know how to choose the right foods.
There are a few things to understand how to snack smart. One is to eat snacks like a smaller meal between your larger meals. This helps to keep the metabolism stable, and will control blood glucose more easily. Generally speaking, these "mini meals" should consist of approximately 100-200 calories.
Another important thing to have handy for snacking is a well stocked kitchen, with ingredients that can be used in a hurry to put snack foods together. This begins by having the right grocery list for healthy snacks.
Making a List
The first thing to remember when making out a grocery list for healthy snacks, is to always have the variety in foods. This does many things for the snacker. One is that there is less opportunity for boredom in the diet. And two, is that by having a colorful array of fruits, vegetables, and other items, will ensure a well-rounded nutrition plan.
Once your grocery list is complete, you can also think about quick and easy recipes to make for those healthy snacks to have on hand when you need them. Some can even be frozen ahead, making them great for when you’re on the go or even as healthy appetizers when entertaining family and friends.
Below is a starter grocery list with some simple ideas for recipes to go along.
- Vegetables are a wonderful healthy snack and can be eaten a variety of ways. Most come ready to eat, and a few others require only minimal preparation. Here are some of the best: carrots, celery, sweet bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini, snow peas, avocado, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and jicama.
- Nuts make a great snack food as well, and will keep a person feeling full longer from the healthy omega-3 fats they provide. The best are raw almonds followed up with walnuts, pecans, cashews, and macadamia nuts are tasty options.
- Fruit is essential to snacking smarter as well, with all the nutrients they provide in the diet. The best choices are ones ready to eat such as, apples, bananas, apricots, berries (particularly blueberries for their antioxidant qualities), grapefruit, figs, grapes, peaches, papaya, and pears.
- Other foods can be purchased to pair up with your fruits and vegetables, low fat cottage cheese, light yogurt, and eggs to hard boil is excellent. Fat-free lunch meat, hummus and natural peanut butter, are also good for making a balanced snack. Lastly, there should always be the baking essentials handy to whip up those fruit- filled mini muffins to pack and freeze for later. These include, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and whey protein.
The following are a few snack ideas those wishing to eat healthy snacks may enjoy.
- Fruit Bites: take 2 thin apple slices and spread 1 tsp. natural peanut butter onto each, add a few banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon
- Raw veggies with lowfat cottage cheese or hummus to dip
- Melt onto 1 small corn tortilla: 1/2 oz fat-free shredded cheese, 1 diced tomato, 1 tbsp. pepper slices
- Chocolate Muffins FitForYou (recipe follows)
Chocolate Muffins FitForYou
This is my own personal recipe. An individual serving is two muffins.
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 scoops unflavored whey protein (at least 20 grams protein)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup Splenda
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup nonfat milk
- 1/2 cup crushed walnuts or raw almonds (optional)
- 2 bananas or 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.
- Begin with dry ingredients and mix with whisk or in mixing bowl and combine.
- Then add egg whites one at a time, alternating with milk and banana. If you want them more chocolate and no banana, then add unsweetened applesauce instead of banana.
- Add the nuts, if desired, to boost healthy fats.
- Fill each space on muffin tin about 3/4 full.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean.
- These muffins should be slightly moist.
Makes about 2 dozen and can be frozen after cooling outside tin. Enjoy!
All of these tips, ideas and recipes should help inspire you in creating your own grocery list for healthy snacks. Be sure to share your tips, tricks and ideas in the comments section.
Heart Healthy snack shopping-www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3046804
Healthy Snack ideas-www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/edu/healthySnackIdeas/index.html