Many of my wellness coaching clients ask me for healthy snack ideas. They realize that cookies and other sweet noshes give them a sugar high followed by a crash, and they’re looking for better options.
Here’s what I always suggest:
1. Mozzarella cheese sticks. Cheese sticks have just 80 calories and can see you through to your next meal without filling you up too much. If you’re like me and carry a cooler full of healthy goodies for your kid, you can toss a couple of cheese sticks in there.
2. Turkey and cheese roll-ups. Easier to make than a sandwich, packed with protein, and quick to eat: Roll up a slice or two of deli turkey with a slice of Swiss cheese.
3. Greek yogurt. This tangy yogurt has two to three times the protein of regular yogurt, meaning it will keep you satisfied longer. I suggest looking for the 2% fat variety rather than nonfat, as the fat will also keep you fuller. Instead of buying the pre-flavored kind, which is high in sugar, try adding your own fruit, cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and/or nuts.
4. Homemade trail mix. I say homemade because I realized that the brand my husband and I were buying contained hydrogenated vegetable oil, the source of the dreaded trans fats. So we now make our own with a mix of cashew pieces, pepitas, roasted sesame seeds, raisins, dried blueberries, and dried cranberries. The dried fruit gives us a quick boost and then the high-protein and good-fat-filled nuts kick in to give us lasting energy. We make a big batch and carry smaller containers of the trail mix with us so we’re not tempted to buy a bag of chips when hunger strikes while we’re out.
5. Veggies and hummus. Hummus boasts protein, fat, and fiber, so it will keep you more satisfied than veggies alone. Cut up a bunch of red peppers and cucumbers and keep them in plastic containers in the fridge, and stock up on baby carrots and grape tomatoes so you’ll always have a quick, healthy snack when hunger pangs hit.
6. Cottage cheese single-packs. Cottage cheese is fairly high in protein and a single-serving pack has just 90 calories. You may feel the single serving packages are wasteful, but I think it’s just as wasteful to throw out half of a big carton of cottage cheese because it went bad before you could eat it. The individual serving packages go perfectly in a cooler, or you can eat them at home with a handful of fresh blueberries or pineapple thrown in. Like with Greek yogurt, I recommend the kind with 2% fat to keep you satisfied longer.
7. Hard-boiled eggs. You can whip up a batch in 20 minutes and have a fast, protein-rich snack that’s always ready when you are.
8. Half a PB&J. Use whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and a little sugar-free jam and you have a healthy, satisfying snack. Highly portable!
9. Apple slices with peanut butter. Snack on an apple, and you’re hungry 20 minutes later. Add natural peanut butter and you have a stick-to-your ribs snack that will keep you going until dinner.
These snacks are all easy, fast, healthy, and cheap. What healthy snacks do you turn to when you need a nosh? Post your ideas in the Comments below!