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Healthy snack suggestions

12 Aug 2013 3:51 PM - It doesn't require too much effort to avoid the chocolate bar!

I spend a lot of time with clients working on their diet...what they eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks.  I am a great advocate for variety.  I think the more variety of foods you can get into your day the less chance of missing out on vital nutrients, getting bored with food or overdoing one food group to the exclusion of others.

I wrote in earlier blogs about the importance of breakfast and provided some breakfast ideas to stimulate your imagination.  Now it's the turn of snacks.  You know what it's have an attack of the munchies, you are at work or out of the home and your next meal is a few hours away.  Your energy is going down along with your mood.  You need to eat something fast but if you don't have something healthy nearby, you'll be tempted by a chocolate bar, a cake, an energy drink, a packet of chips or lollies.  As a general rule these do not have the vitamins and minerals your body needs to work at its best so try to save them for special treats.

So, here are some alternative snack options largely based on relatively unprocessed foods.  Yes, some of them may require a little bit of planning ahead (but not much) but the little bit they lack in convenience they more than make up for in healthy, nutritional value.

  • Nuts - I keep a jar of mixed, unsalted nuts on my desk.  I mix them myself and take enough to work to last me about a week. If you are on the go, keep some zip-locked bags or small containers ready to grab as you head out the door

  • Seeds and dried fruit - if you want even more variety with your nuts, throw in some pumpkin or sunflower seeds and a small amount of dried fruit eg. sultanas, goji berries, apricots, apple, mango etc

  • Have pieces of fruit ready to grab each day or take enough to work to last you the week so it is there when you need it 

  • A punnet of berries makes a delicious snack

  • A small tub of plain yoghurt (add some fruit if you want a little sweetness)

  • A couple of dried figs 

  • Edamame - whole soy beans (which you peel like peas) are a yummy snack and they are portable

  • What about the good old hard-boiled egg (by itself or on crackers). Cook up a couple and they will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Quick, easy and very filling

  • Carrot sticks (or baby carrots if you don't want the hassle of slicing carrots) with hommus.  Try the different coloured carrots you can get now for even more variety

  • Celery sticks with peanut butter (make sure it is the 100% peanut variety with no added salt or sugar)

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully it has sparked your imagination.  Remember the aim is to vary and maximise your intake of nutrients (with the added benefit of avoiding the excess calories and sudden spikes in blood sugar that often come with the less healthy snack options).

If you have a favorite healthy, quick snack idea please share it in the comments below. I'd love to add it to the list.

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In good health,

Kaye Wright
Melbourne CBD

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