25 Healthy (Balanced) Snack Ideas
The Organic Dietitian
Having healthy snacks available has definitely saved me many times from diving head first into junk food to satisfy my hunger. Planning ahead is absolutely one of the best things that you can do if you are trying to eat healthy. You set yourself up for success by taking away any reason for grabbing not so nourishing food in desperate times of starvation. When it comes to snacking I keep a few things in mind:
How hungry am I really? You want to keep your metabolism going so you want to be hungry but not to the point of starving. Don’t reach for a snack if your not hungry just because it is “snack time.” If it is really close to meal time I normally just eat that meal early instead of filling up on snacks and eating my meal. Or have a snack and just skip the meal if you are not hungry.
The perfect balance for sustained energy. If you have ever reached for a muffin, some candy, or just a handful of pretzels for a snack you may know what I am talking about here. You have your snack and an hour later you want to take a nap or you feel energized right after but then find yourself crashing. For the perfect balanced snack it is ideal to include healthy fats and/or proteins with your carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and grains). Before a workout may be the only time I would suggest just carbohydrates to fuel your activity. Otherwise think: Carbohydrate + Fat, Carbohydrate + Protein, Carbohydrate + Fat + Protein.
Keeping snacks small. I am not a calorie counter but generally I try to keep snacks around 100-200 calories. Again because I just want a little something to keep me going until my next meal without filling up too much. You may need more depending on your activity level. I find on the days that I work out I am much more hungry and need more snacks. Don’t stress about the calorie part too much, healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and nut butters do contain more calories (but from quality sources). Generally just listen to your body and eat enough to satisfy your hunger without stuffing yourself and overeating.
Along these same lines having good tools available to help you control portion sizes can be very beneficial. Habits like eating chips directly out of the bag or sitting in front of the television with a pint of ice cream are not great ideas. This is when using Smart Planets Perfect Portion Snack container can be a lifesaver. This collapsible 3 compartment container makes having snacks on the go or conveniently ready to grab in your home fridge really easy. I have been taking mine to work with me and use it for morning snacks, lunch side dishes, and afternoon snacks. Smart Planet is generously hosting a GIVEAWAY for one reader to win their very own Perfect Portion Snack Container. See the end of the post to enter.