We’ve all been there: sitting at your desk (or in your car, a waiting room or even the library) thinking, “I’m starving. I’m sure this candy bar can’t be that bad for me!” Don’t fall into the arms of the nearest vending machine or munch on the same snack every single day just because you’re out of ideas.
Sick of the same old snacks?
Even though they’re healthy and easy to toss into your bag on your way out the door, bananas, apples and carrots can start to make you yawn after several days in a row, week-in and week-out.
To prevent snack boredom (and even unhealthy snacking), mix up your options. Look for convenience (whether pre-packaged or put together at home), snacks that are lower in fat, calories and sodium, and high in fiber (like whole grains) to keep you feeling full. Try to make a meal plan the night before you’re heading out the door — a plan will help keep you from reaching for whatever is handy.
Dips are a great way to give veggies added pizzazz! Take a look at this fresh dip:
veggie dip recipe
Perfect paired with crunchy veggies or homemade pita chips, this bean-based dip is smooth, creamy and easy to put together.
Yields 2 cups
- 1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (mix and match your favorites)
- Add all the ingredients (except the herbs) to a food processer and blend until smooth. Once smooth, add in the herbs and process until they’re mixed in with the dip.
- Chill and serve.
Here are a few tasty snack ideas to help make vending machine visits a thing of the past:
- Rotate your repertoire of carrots with sliced bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and cherry tomatoes
- Buy single-serve packets of low-fat, low-sodium microwave popcorn
- Frozen grapes, fresh tangerines and sliced kiwi make nice alternatives to bananas and apples (look for seasonal fruit for a nice treat)
- Look for low-fat yogurt or cheese sticks to store in the fridge
- Make your own cereal or trail-mix snack (try this great SheKnows trail mix recipe)
- Rice cakes topped with peanut butter
What happens when chocolate comes calling?
If you’re a chocolate lover, you know it’s going to happen… maybe it strikes at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m., but that chocolate bar will eventually call out your name! Stand firm and be prepared!
Even though we’ve all read that, in moderation, dark chocolate can be good for you (it contains antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system, after all), you don’t want to go crazy and overindulge with the candy bars.
Instead, portion out an ounce or less of your favorite chocolate and enjoy it with a handful of healthy nuts. Consider making a cup of hot cocoa — made with low-fat milk. You’ll get a nice dose of calcium and protein and satisfy your craving with fewer calories and fat than a candy bar. Make your own granola or trail mix and include chocolate pieces — the portions will be far less than a chocolate bar, but the taste will satisfy.
You can indulge in healthy and tasty snacks that won’t put you over the edge! Remember to mix things up, prepare your snacks in advance and keep portions in control.