8 Tips for Smart Snacking
It’s 3:00 pm.
Your kids are hungry.
Actually, they’re STARVING after school!
Time to cook up some ramen noodles! Or pour a bowl of super sugary cereal!
Ummmm… yeah… about that.
Snack time does not need to be fussy, but it also doesn't mean it's a free-for-all. On the contrary, it is a fantastic time to increase your daily consumption of fruit and veggies. Those are my go-to’s. They’re nutritious and full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like anti-oxidants and phytochemicals to fight off all those nasty germs and viruses cropping up this time of year.
5 Whole Food Snack Suggestions:
Fruit. It’s quick and easy and kids love it. Don’t be afraid of fruit because it has sugar. It is loaded with fiber, water, and lots of nutrients to keep you healthy and energized throughout the day. The sugar in fruit is natural and not at all like the franken-food white sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Stock up on seasonal fruit or whatever is on sale at the supermarket! Eat it plain or toss some in the blender for a quick and nutritious smoothie.
Veggies. Slice ‘em. Dice ‘em. Dip ‘em. Whatever suits your fancy. Keep chopped veggies on hand, ready to eat at a moment’s notice, so you’re less tempted to reach for the chips and pretzels. Think carrots, celery, jicama, snap peas, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc. Dip them in hummus or salsa or a little nut butter. Blend some up in a fruit smoothie. Roast them, stir fry them, or make a yummy veggie soup. Sometimes a nice, warm bowl of soup feels really nice, especially as we head into the winter season!
Mini homemade muffins. Muffins are a perfect, quick, on-the-go snack. Bake a huge batch and store them in the freezer, so they’re ready to grab and go. Sneak in some zucchini, pumpkin, carrots, or sweet potatoes and now you’re getting your veggies too! There are so many ways to make them lower in fat and sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, or whatever, so they can be really great, nutritious snack options!
Energy bites. These are a nice higher-calorie snack for busy kids (or adults) who need a little more staying power. There are many recipes online, but the basics are nut butter, honey/maple syrup, and rolled oats. The fun part about making these is adding different things every time, such as cinnamon/spices, vanilla, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, coconut flakes, seeds (flax, hemp, sunflower, sesame, chia, etc), chopped nuts, granola, crisp rice cereal, crushed graham crackers, and more.
Avocados. Salted, on toast, with some baked corn tortilla chips, in a smoothie. Pure yumminess. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and help keep you feeling satiated longer.
On another note, you’re often dehydrated at this time of day. Take the time to drink up and hydrate first before you dive into the snacks!
Plain old water
Squeeze a half lemon or lime into your water. Add a dropperful of plain stevia to make it taste like lemonade!
Brew a cup of warm, herbal tea. Something energizing like lemon-ginger, peppermint, ginger-turmeric, or maybe something fruity and sweet is more your style. Herbal tea can be soothing, hydrating, and detoxing all at the same time. Alternatively, you can brew it double strength and then cool it with ice cubes and sip on a nice iced herbal tea.
I will be working hard over the next few months to post recipes in the recipe section. But for now, I have quite a few recipes in the Meal Plans section. You’ll have to search through the menu planners to find the recipes you’re looking for… (Sorry, this is a hobby at the moment and not a professional full-time job.)
What are your favorite snack time go-to’s?
Is there a recipe you would like me to post and share?