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Our habits define our health. What we repeatedly do and the choices we make day after day build the foundation upon which the state of our health rests. After reviewing my fair share of diet diaries, I’ve come to notice a theme has presented itself in the way we snack.
I’ve noticed that we often consider our daily snacks as treats rather than something meant to fuel us in between meals. This could be because snacks are often smaller portions and we therefore disregard their potential to negatively impact our daily food intake or that we have simply fallen into the habit of treating ourselves often. Now I’m not saying there isn’t room for treats, I’m all for it. But it’s important not to let “treats” become a pillar in the foundation of our health.
“Eating to relieve hunger does not come from the same intent as eating to access nutrition. It doesn’t mean there isn’t room for cheating, just don’t confuse the intent.”
– Dr. Meghan Walker, ND
So to support you in making healthier snack choices, I’ve put together this list of my 15 favourite snacks:
Apple slices with almond butter and cinnamon
The fibre from the apple, the protein and fat in the almond butter all help to balance blood sugar to keep you fuelled longer. Cinnamon is also amazing at balancing blood sugar and has even been used in the management of type II diabetes.
Chia seed pudding
I like to separate a batch of my simple chia seed pudding into smaller portions in mason jars for a quick grab-n-go snack. It’s a great source of healthy and satiating fats and packs a fibrous punch thanks to those amazing chia seeds.
We are a big fan of jerky but it’s important to watch those ingredient labels. We like to keep it clean by choosing ones made with grass-fed beef and avoiding things like added sugars, preservatives, MSG and nitrites. The people at Beretta Farms are doing things right.
Veggies & *Dip
What’s not to love about veggies and dip? But not just any dip will do. Often filled with dairy, flavourings and additives it’s important to choose wisely. I’m a big fan of hummus or for paleo options, baba ganoush , guacamole or this creamy cashew dip from my friend Joyous Health.
I’ve always got a handful of these guys on hand for grab-n-go snacks or to add to salads etc. I’m a big fan of pairing one of these protein filled beauties with a side of colourful veggie stick.
Once again, it’s all about the quality of what goes into this that makes it a great choice. Avoid a sugar heavy mix by limiting things like dried fruits and chocolate chips. I like a combination of almonds, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, some dried apples, coconut flakes and a dash of cinnamon. No m&m’s here, thanks.
These can be a great option when using my 5 ingredients for awesome smoothies. Enjoy a smaller portion for the perfect snack in between meals.
Celery & Almond butter
Okay, so you’re not 8 years old anymore so we won’t call this ants on a log, but your mom was on to something when she packed this one in your lunchbox. The fibre rich celery, protein and healthy fat filled almond butter balances blood sugar keeping you fuller, longer. If you want to add on some ‘grownup’ ants to this log, toss on a few goji berries.
Power balls, energy balls, date balls- whatever you want to call them, they can be a great choice for snack time. This combination of protein (nuts/seeds) and fibre rich dates offer up a healthy treat for your sweet tooth. Check out my Lemon Drop version or Amaretto Bites for some recipe inspiration. Want them ready-made? Check for Nomz or Lara Bars in-store.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Try these fibre rich chickpeas to satisfy those chip cravings, are super simple to whip at at home and are popping up in health food and convenience stores everywhere. Yes Peas is a great brand to look for.
Kale or Brussels Sprout Chips (yes, you read that right)
What kind of nutritionist would I be if I didn’t include kale in this post? Kale chips are super simple to make and offer up a dose of mineral rich greens. Personally, I prefer the crunch of my brussel’s sprout chips but they do take a bit more effort to make.
Another great protein and omega 3 rich snack to add to this list. Pair it with a side of sliced cucumbers for a fresh dose of colour.
Crackers & Dip
Opt for protein, fibre rich crackers that have tons of seeds and whole grains VS airy refined versions like rice Crackers. Check out my Rosemary Crackers for some inspiration and remember to choose your dips wisely.
Great source of healthy fats with a savouriness to conquer those salty cravings without cracking open a bag of chips.
While I’m not a fan of 90% of the bars of the market because of their high sugar, low protein and funky additives, there are some good choices out there. I’m a fan of Epic bars and these ones from Genuine Health. Here are some basic guidelines when you’re in a pinch and need to grab a bar:
- High in protein (10+grams)
- High in fibre (8+grams)
- Low in sugar (less than 8-9 grams-but not artificially sweetened with aspartame etc.).
Check the ingredients- Stuff you can’t pronounce? Put it down and grab some trail mix.
In health & happy snacking,