In this day and age where everything is about keeping things inexpensive and convenient, life feels rushed. When life feels rushed, who wants to take pause for making healthy snacks? I do!
It’s this simple. If we don’t take the time, our health pays for it in the end…the well being of our children is what pays for it in the end, and the medical bills will begin to add up.
Take the time to create snacks that feel good to you-snacks that make you smile when you eat them, snacks that give you a warm fuzzy when you see your kids bite into them, and snacks that give you energy to last throughout the day.
Let me share with you…
10 Healthy Snack Choices
#1 Ants on a log– This snack gets often forgotten about, though is one of the easiest things to throw together. If I’m running short on time, I’ll put a scoop of sunflower seed butter (school is a no peanut butter zone) in a two-sided container and sprinkle raisins on top. To the other side of the container I add thin stalks or short chunks of celery, then my daughter can dip and scoop to her pleasure.
This is a great snack because of the protein and fat you get from the nut butter, the crunch and fiber from the celery, and the hint of sweet and boost of natural sugars from the raisins.
#2 Granola bars– If purchased carefully (mind the ingredients for high fructose corn syrup and others you can’t pronounce) and gluten free if need be, granola bars can be an awesome snack. With natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit, you get a boost of energy and the protein/fat combo of nuts and seeds will keep you going between lunch and dinner.
#3 Homemade Guacamole-I don’t know about you, but I could eat guacamole for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between. With the heart healthy fat from the avocado, the zesty bite of red onion, and the cleansing taste of cilantro and fresh lime, it’s a total win. Get yourself some organic, non-GMO corn chips (we love Bearitos), or plantain chips if you’re grain free, top with guacamole and you’ll fill right up.
Sunny and her friend Greta showed us how to make homemade guacamole last winter in this video.
Now, we are known to have nachos for dinner here every once in a while—doing so with non-GMO corn chips, grass fed pulled chicken or beef, grated raw goat cheese, fresh cilantro, some diced chiles and fresh salsa makes it such a treat.
#4 Smoothies-We love smoothies at our house. Whether you use yogurt, kefir, coconut or almond milk, you can add additional protein with a clean protein powder. If you’re looking for a creamier smoothie, use a 1/4 to 1/2 avocado or 1/2 frozen banana chunks. I like “seedy” smoothies-smoothies with a little crunch, so I like to add hemp hearts, chia seeds, or flax seeds to my smoothies. Spinach or baby kale are easy additions, and raw honey or stevia make for a nice natural sweetener as needed. Use your favorite frozen fruit, pop in a straw and you’re ready to go.
If you need a place to start, try this Raspberry Smoothie, keeping in mind you can change out the raspberries and coconut milk for each milk/berry you’d like.
#5 Trail Mix-This is a super easy fix and fun for the kids to put together. Avoid those mixes you pick up at convenience stores or gas stations as they are full of hydrogenated fats and sodium. Instead, purchase raw nuts and seeds, and some dried fruit and you’re good to go. Pour it all into a container, grab a small handful and it’ll tide you over.
#6 Peanut Butter Monster Cookies-I love a good monster cookie, especially when I can make it grain free. My favorite Nourishing Meals cookbook allows me to do just that. I add a few monster ingredients to my recipe like sunflower seeds and flax seeds or craisins if I don’t have raisins on hand. This recipe, along with others in their book, I have to double batch because we eat them right up!
#7 Granola-Who doesn’t love a bowl of granola with some fresh raw milk or almond milk, and a sliced banana or fresh strawberries? For us it could be a bedtime snack, breakfast, or anything in between.
Homemade Gluten Free Granola is my baseline recipe. From this I have also created a grain free version for myself that I also love.
#8 Peanut Butter Power Bites-These are easy and super forgiving in that you can substitute any ingredient that does work for you in place of something that doesn’t. Don’t do peanuts? Try almond butter instead. Don’t like quinoa crisps? Try Erewhon cereal brand brown rice crisps or rolled oats instead.
These are gone in a hurry as well, so we always double or triple batch these.
#9 Applesauce, done right-Here’s what I call applesauce, done right: a small bowl of applesauce with a dash of cinnamon, sprinkled with chopped roasted almonds. It’s got the sweet, the crunch and the cinnamon to keep your blood sugar balanced.
#10 A quick salad– I already know what you’re thinking…who has a salad for a snack? If you think about it, once your blood sugar is managed, your snacking is to a minimum, so if you’re hungry for a snack it’s because what you ate last fell short of the nutrients your body needed.
A quick salad will do the trick in that moment when you are sitting at your computer, watching a program, or reading a book and feel that hankering for a little something come on. It’ll fill you with nutrient dense goodies that will keep you satisfied until the next meal.
I tend to throw together what I call a quick salad once a week. I will chop some spinach, red bell peppers, cucumbers, and whatever else I have on hand. To this I might add sunflower seeds, shredded carrots or roasted almonds. Because I’ve got great Salad Girl dressings on hand most of the time (and if I don’t, a quick drizzle of olive oil and lemon does the trick), I’ll grab a scoop of the salad, throw on a protein (anything from nitrate free deli meat to last night’s chicken works great) and a bit of dressing and maybe a slice of apple and I’m perfectly content.
Now that I’ve shared a few of my favorite snacks, I’d love to know a few of yours!