Planning Healthy and Delicious Snacks

With the hectic pace of today’s world, you may feel that there is no time for planning healthy snacks. When you do find yourself hungry between meals, it is very tempting to turn to a candy bar from the vending machine or French fries from the fast food drive thru.

However, it is possible to treat yourself to a healthy snack. In fact, if you have a busy schedule, it is even more important to eat healthy foods that give you the fuel you need to keep going. Snacking on nutritious food can keep your energy level high and your mind alert without taking up a lot of your time.

Healthy Snacking Strategies

Here are some ways to make healthy snacking part of your everyday routine:

  • Prepare healthy snacks in advance. Sometimes simply making your favorite snacks at home can make a huge improvement in the nutritional quality. When you make something yourself, you can control the ingredients. This homemade granola recipe is packed with whole grains, nuts, and dried fruit.
  • Package in single-serving containers: Once you have made your granola or purchased your fruit and veggies, store them in single-serving containers. As healthy as your snack may be, you won’t get the healthy boost of energy if you eat too much of it.
  • Keep healthy snacks with you. Make it a habit to stash some whole fruit, nuts, or whole-wheat pretzels in your bag so you will always have something to snack on.
  • Don’t be afraid to have fun. Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be boring. Just as you try to entice your kids to eat well by adding a fun dip to veggies or a little peanut butter to celery sticks, don’t feel like you have to make healthy eating difficult on yourself. For example, if whole-wheat pretzels aren’t exciting to you, add a little spicy mustard.

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Snacks to Try

Here are a few healthy snacking ideas:

  • Fresh veggies and hummus: Combine 1 drained can chickpeas, ¼ cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp tahini, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp ground cumin in a food processor. Pulse 10 times and then pour 1/3 cup olive oil through the top while food processor is on high. Serve with sliced vegetables.
  • Fresh fruit and caramel dip: Melt ½ cup butter in a medium saucepan and then add 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, ¾ cup honey, and 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla and ¼ tsp ground cinnamon. Serve warm or cold with your favorite sliced fruit.
  • Chocolate and Almond trail mix: Combine 2 cups dried fruit, 1 cup mixed nuts, 2 cups granola, and ½ cup chocolate chips in a large bowl. Store in an air-tight container.

Happy snacking!

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