Personally, I like to be prepared. As soon as I eat one meal, I'm thinking of the next one. When I was a kid, my mom stuck her hand in the pocket of my jacket to find I had regularly squirreled away part of my lunch. Even in elementary school, I had a need to be prepared JUST IN CASE (in case of what, I have no idea, but I needed to be prepared for it.)
It's time for us to snack like the responsible adults we are. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. I'd like to propose an additional nutritious snack, or two, get added to your daily meal plan. Snacking every few hours will help your body perform optimally, and keep you going until your next meal. Remember my KISS guidelines? Don't let yourself get too hungry, you'll make food decision. I've got a few tips to help.
Tips for successful snacking:
- Have one-handed snacks available so you can keep going through your day without the need to pause and eat.
- Set a reminder on your phone. If you're like me, I keep saying, "I'll grab a snack after I do (fill in the blank)." That one thing gets done, but then there's another one thing, and next thing I know, I've forgotten my snack and I'm way too hungry.
- Pre-measure your snacks if you're going to be multi-tasking while snacking. This will keep you from mindlessly eating too much.
- If you're away from home, make sure to have pre-measured snacks on hand. You don't want to be counting out a serving of almonds in the Target parking lot.
- Decide on the snacks you'll be having each week and add them to your meal plan and grocery list.
- You know you're supposed to drink plenty of water throughout the day, so try to drink a glass or two with your snack.
Some of my family's favorite snacks to fuel your body through the day:
- Almonds--plain, or you can try my roasted almonds
- Sweet potato chips--see my recipe here for three different flavors of sweet potato chips
- Kale chips--I don't have a recipe up, but they're easy. Tear the leaf off the stem, toss in olive oil and salt and cook at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes in a single layer on a baking sheet. These can lose their crispness after a few days, but I don't think it will take you long to eat them all.
- Hummus with whole wheat pita or vegetables--hummus is super easy to make, here's my recipe, and you can eat it throughout the week, and even make it into a lunch
- Rice cakes--I have a brand my whole family loves, the ingredients include: brown rice, and salt
- Hard boiled egg--boil a bunch at the beginning of the week to grab quickly throughout the week
- Roasted chickpeas--Again no recipe here, but rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, toss in olive oil and spices, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Tuna on whole wheat crackers
- Edamame beans
- Apples and peanut butter
- Fruits and veggies
Do you have a favorite nutritious snack not on this list?