Healthy ideas for snacks on the go
You might think it's best to just eat three square meals a day, but dieticians and nutritionists will tell you otherwise. Healthy snacks help to regulate blood sugar, boost your metabolism and keep you from getting those energy lows throughout the day. But if you don't plan ahead, a healthy snack can turn into a disastrous one in no time. It's easy to just swing by Mickey D's for a quick bite, but the difference between a fast-food snack and a healthy snack can be hundreds of unwanted and often empty calories.
The best snacks are ones that are nutrient rich, combining high fiber with a small amount of protein. "A nutrient-dense snack will give you that quick fix you need until you get home to prepare a real meal," says Linda McLachlan, RD, CDN, a New Jersey dietitian with Nutrition Matters, LLC. Try some of these excellent suggestions for healthy snacks on the go.
Sport a muffin top
Whole grain muffins can be a great snack, especially when paired with cream cheese, nuts or another protein source.
Grab a yogurt cup
Yogurt is a great low-calorie source of protein, and it's super portable too! Grab a yogurt cup and some fresh fruit for your mid-morning snack and you won't stay hungry for long.
For a fantastic high-fiber snack, grab a handful of sliced raw veggies and a tasty dipping sauce. Homemade salsa, hummus, guacamole or even plain ol' ranch dressing will dress up your veggie treat!
Cheese is an excellent source of protein, but make sure to choose varieties that are also low-fat, or you could be sneaking in additional calories. Cottage cheese with fresh fruit is always a great choice. Or try multi-grain crackers and low-fat cheddar.
Soup for the soul
There's nothing like a cup of warm soup on a cold, winter's day. This is also a great way to use up dinner leftovers as snacks. Just fill up your thermos and go!
Nuts may be high in calories, but they are also a fabulous source of protein and fiber. Don't be afraid to use nuts in your snack rotation. Try a handful of walnuts, almonds, pistachios or peanuts when your energy bottoms out mid-afternoon. Or bring a bag of celery stalks and dip them in almond butter, sun butter or peanut butter. Yum!
Get your smoothie on
There is nothing better than a fresh fruit smoothie to boost your spirits in the middle of the day. Grab a thermos of your favorite smoothie and toss it in your purse for a healthy snack on the go.