Most of us like to eat snacks. Sometimes out of habit or boredom, and sometimes because we're really hungry. If you're snacking because you're bored, maybe you should get a hobby, but if you're snacking because your hungry you should choose a treat that's healthy and nutritious.
Think of your snack as a mini-meal and keep it balanced by choosing a little protein, a bit of healthful fat, and some carbohydrates from high-fiber breads, crackers, or fresh vegetables and fruits. Keep your portion sizes small, though, if you don't want to add too many extra calories.
Healthy Snack Ideas
- Spread peanut butter on six whole grain crackers and serve with one ounce of cheese (about the size of a pair of dice).
- Cut an apple into bite-size chunks and add them to one-half cup low-fat cottage cheese. Sprinkle one tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans (and a little honey if you like sweetness).
- Slice a whole grain pita into six wedges and serve with hummus and a handful of fresh berries on the side.
- Make a fruit and cheese plate. Slice one apple and one pear, and serve with fresh grapes, whole grain crackers and a few thin slices of your favorite cheese.
- Combine one cup plain low-fat yogurt with one-half cup blueberries or strawberry slices, and one-quarter cup chopped walnuts or almonds. Add just enough honey to suit your taste.
- Spread almond butter on a piece of whole wheat toast and add a spoonful of 100-percent fruit spread. Serve with a glass of non-fat milk.
- Serve olives and marinated red peppers with a piece of warm whole grain bread.
- Some people choose baby food to eat as snacks and to control portion size. You don't need to go that far, but choosing small portions helps prevent over-eating.
- Bake your own tortilla chips and serve them with a chunky mango-black bean salsa.
- Make a bowl of hot oatmeal and serve with a sliced banana, one-half cup berries and a splash of non-fat milk.
- Have a small salad with spinach leaves, broccoli florets, tomato slices and top with one-quarter cup shredded cheese and one tablespoon of your favorite dressing.
United States Department of Agriculture. "ChooseMyPlate.gov" http://www.choosemyplate.gov/professionals/MyPyramidDevelopment/JNEBGlossary.pdf.