Good morning, my friends! I haven’t shared a nutrition tips related post in a little while, so today we’re going to talk healthy snacking.
As you guys probably already know by now, I’m a big fan of snacking. Back when I first graduated from college, I used to try to stick to 3 meals a day, but this always left me absolutely starving and cranky (“hangry,” if you will) by dinnertime. It also made it hard to get in a post-workday workout! Finally, I discovered the solution was to simply have an afternoon snack. The key is to pick an afternoon snack that is high in protein and incorporates some healthy fat. For example, if you’re having fruit, pair it with something with a little protein and/or healthy fat, too, to tide you over longer. Steer clear of sugary drinks and processed carbs like 100-calorie packs – those will just leave you crashing and burning later from the simple sugar.
This post was inspired because Sargento (the cheese company) reached out to me about trying some of their products and writing a post about incorporating healthy snacks into my routine. Considering I already know and love Sargento products (I recommend string cheese to clients often as a healthy snack option), it was a no brainer!
Sargento recently teamed up with SHAPE Magazine to survey Americans in the workplace and they found that 90% of women admit to snacking at work, but nearly 80% are unhappy with their snack choices. I’ve seen this a lot with my AnneTheRD nutrition counseling clients, too – people either try to avoid snacking because they don’t think they should, or they don’t plan well and have nothing on hand when they do get hungry – both of these scenarios usually end with them being so starved that they either reach for the office candy jar or vending machine, or overdo it later on at dinnertime.
The key is to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, don’t deny your hungry! Just make a smart choice. So let’s all do a little snack planning. It’s just like meal planning, but with snacks! Here are some of my favorite easy and portable healthy snacks.
#1 – Fruit + Nuts or Nut Butter
I love this snack because it’s so easy! Simply throw a piece of whole fruit (or pack some berries) and a serving of nuts or nut butter in your bag and you’re ready to rock! Both Justin’s and Barney Butter sell almond butter packets in individual serving sizes, so it makes portion control easier, too.
#2 – Granola Bars or Fruit & Nut Bars
The key with granola/fruit and nut bars is to avoid any that have a lot of added sugar or weird processed ingredients. My favorites are Larabar (any flavor – here’s a fun variety pack) and KIND bars (especially the coconut almond flavor).
Want to try making your own homemade versions? Here are some recipes:
- 5-Minute No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
- Peanut Cinnamon Date Balls
- Chocolate Coconut Almond Balls
- Cinnamon Raisin Almond Balls
#3 – String Cheese + Fruit, Hard Boiled Eggs, or Nuts
Sargento has all sorts of fun string and regular cheese varieties; pair them with a piece of fruit, or a couple hard boiled eggs, or a serving of nuts.
#4 – Greek Yogurt
I love Greek yogurt because it’s packed with protein! Look for a Greek yogurt without any additives or fillers. My favorite brands are Stonyfield Greek (formerly called Stonyfield Oikos) and Chobani. If you’re feeling especially hungry, add some slivered almonds to the mix for a little healthy fat.
#5 – Hummus & Veggies
Hummus adds some protein and healthy fat, and the veggies will give you some great nutrients! Try keeping the tub of hummus in the fridge at work, and bring in some sliced carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc. to enjoy with it. Another option is the Sabra hummus + pretzel single serving cups – obsessed with these!
I hope you guys found these ideas helpful! If you want some more ideas, check out the cool “Build a Smart Snack” tool on Sargento’s website. It’s actually really awesome – you drag and drop different snacks into the box and the nutritional information is spit out, with reasons why each food is a healthy choice. What a cool website idea!
What’s your favorite healthy afternoon snack when you’re on the go?
Love this post? Check out the nutrition tips posts I’ve written in the past:
- Simple & Healthy Weekday Lunch Ideas
- How to Make a Quick & Healthy Weeknight Dinner
- 4 Healthy, Quick, and Portable Breakfast Ideas
- How to make time for health when you’re busy
- How to Make a Recipe Healthier (includes a printable healthy ingredient substitution flyer!)
- Reader’s tips for feeling satisfied and staying healthy
This post is sponsored by Sargento. All opinions are my own.