Most people can’t get through the day without snacking. There’s nothing wrong with having a few snacks during the day to get you through until the next meal. However often snacks consist of a variety of junk foods as they are quick and easy, and require little to no preparation. The occasional unhealthy snack is no problem for those who eat a regular healthy diet. But getting into a healthy snacking routine is a great way to improve your diet and health in the long term.
When you think about packaged foods, often you think about junk food. These types of snacks are usually what we go for while in a hurry, especially at work. However there are some quick and easy healthy packaged foods we could choose instead of the chocolate bar or packet of chips.
Packaged foods such as nuts and dried fruit make a great healthy snack which provide you with a good source of protein and a hit of sugar to keep you going. Another healthy packaged food you could choose is a muesli bar. Although almost all muesli bars on the market today are junk food in disguise, there are a few brands which are healthy. It comes down to reading the label. So don’t be fooled by the health claims and pretty packaging, read the ingredients and check the sugar content before you buy it.
Now if you have time to prepare a snack some healthy options may include; crackers with cheese or tomato, a piece of wholemeal toast with avocado, tomato and a sprinkle of salt, or some blue corn chips with home made guacamole. Of course a piece of fruit is a healthy, quick and easy snack; which is always a good option. However it may not be satisfying, so adding a protein such as nuts will help you feel fuller for longer.
For many people having time to prepare healthy snacks such as the ones mentioned above is not possible during the week. Being prepared is a good idea so that you won’t be tempted to snack on junk food throughout the day. You can do this by taking time on the weekend (or whenever you have time off) to prepared snacks for the week ahead. This way when you feel hungry you have something healthy already prepared and are less likely to be tempted by junk food. A few ideas include, home baked healthy muffins, protein balls are very easy and require no baking, home made dips, pre-cut vegetables stored in the fridge, cold chicken pieces, home made yogurt, or have fulling fruits on hand such as bananas.
So when it comes to snacking healthy your best weapon is to be prepared. Plan in advance, shop for what you need, and have everything ready for the week ahead. But of course don’t forget to enjoy that piece of dark chocolate every now and again!