If you came to the WellnesSeries class last week, you learned all about how too much sugar leads to bad things… so how do we keep our total sugar load down? Experiment with healthy snacks.
We all know it’s easy to turn to conveniently packaged snacks but this usually comes at a cost… to our health. These convenient foods are packed with flavor but usually because they are loaded with sugar or other flavor enhancers. Healthy snacks have less than 5 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of protein. Snacks can be healthy and easy if you take a little time to plan and prep each week. Take a minute to look at some of my easy recipes.
Here are some healthy snack ideas for adults and kids alike.
- Fruit fun! There are so many options for fruit. Try fresh fruit kabobs, sliced fruit with a nut butter, frozen grapes, fruit smoothies, home-made fruit popsicles, fruit leathers or dried fruit. I recommend to stick with 2 servings of fruit a day or less and pick mostly from those that have less fructose, such as berries.
- Vegetables can be fun too! Try ants on a log using celery, almond butter and raisins. Cut up fresh veggie sticks to dip in humus or guacamole. Make root veggie baked fries, try freeze dried veggies and veggie chips. If you make a shake, sneak those greens in!
- Nuts: Try almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and pistachios. There are so many to choose from. Eat them raw, sprouted, roasted, salted, or seasoned. Consume the nut butters as spreads on things to boost protein. Make trail mixes and be creative! Paleo style baked goods are another great way to get nuts in and make delicious snacks too.
- Seeds: Have fun with seeds the same way as nuts. Try sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc. Have them raw, sprouted, roasted, salted, or seasoned. Add them to your trail mix, use them in their butter form as a dip or spread, and put them ground up into recipes (such as ground flax, chia and hempseed).
- Grains: Grains are not healthy for all people, but for those that tolerate them well, it is best to focus on consuming them in their whole cooked form (such as whole cooked brown rice or whole cooked quinoa). The more processed a grain product is, the less healthy it is. Processed grains include bread, pasta, crackers, chips, cereal, etc. Another healthy tip is to focus on gluten and corn free grains such as rice, sago, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, and millet. Gluten and corn free grains are less inflammatory to our bodies and not as genetically modified.
- Meats, eggs and fish make great snacks. These are loaded with protein and have minimal carbohydrates and sugars. When making selections at the store, it is best to purchase from farms that offer free range and 100% grass fed. Grain fed animals are inflammatory and increase inflammation within our bodies when we consume their meat, eggs or dairy products.
The more you choose to eat healthy food instead of processed foods, the more likely you are to feel better! Changing food options for you and/or your family is the first step to optimal health. Make it fun … for you and for kids! This encourages children to try new things and they will most likely be optimistic about liking it too.
If you would like additional healthy snack ideas or individualized nutrition recommendations, please contact me. Nutrition is an important part of my practice and I would be happy to work with you to achieve optimal health and feel your best with food!