Sometimes hunger pains between meals mean a trip to the vending machine where, let’s face it, the choices aren’t nutrient rich. Getting in the habit of having a few healthy items on hand, stashed in your desk, or wherever, takes the thinking out of it, and can be so much healthier for you.
Here are a few options that I like:
HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS
Hummus with Sliced Veggies
This Middle Eastern chickpea spread is packed with protein, fiber and heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Veggies like carrots, bell peppers and broccoli make great dippers and add good nutrients, including beta-carotene, vitamin C and, of course, more belly-filling fiber. Two tablespoons of plain hummus has 50 calories and 3 grams of fat, so you’re probably better off measuring out two to three tablespoons instead of sitting down with the entire container.
Portion: 3 tablespoons of plain hummus plus 1 cup of sliced veggies
Total calories: 120 calories, 7 grams protein
Almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts or pecans are full of healthy fat, fiber and protein. A delicious homemade trail mix is simple: Portion out a handful of nuts and mix in two tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or apricots. To minimize calories, choose nuts that are dry roasted or raw. For a change of pace, throw in whole-wheat pretzels or some of your favorite cereal (I’ve been on a Puffins kick lately). Packing your trail mix in plastic bags or containers makes it easy to grab and go. If you find yourself plowing through your snack mix, try using shelled nuts that will take longer to eat.
Portion: 15 nuts plus 2 tablespoons of dried fruit
Total calories: 170 calories, 7 grams protein
Combine almonds, peanuts, cranberries, dates and chocolate chips in a small bowl.
Nutrition Per serving: 102 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 29 mg sodium; 69 mg potassium.Nutrition Bonus: Potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins E and C.1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 fat
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