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Healthy Snacking

from Nutrion and Wellness Solutions by Heather Fink, MS, RD, CSSD

What are some healthy yet tasty snacks I can eat throughout the day?

Healthy snacking is a hot topic. My clients routinely ask me for ideas that are delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare. The following suggestions are my top ten favorite snacks. I have provided the serving sizes, calories per serving (all suggestions are <300 calories), and the unique health benefits of the tasty treats.

Carrots as a Healthy snackBaby Carrots and Almond Butter

  • Serving size: 12 baby carrots + 2 T. almond butter
  • Calories per serving: 240

This combination may not sound great, but try it – it is delicious! Baby carrots are perfect for dipping into almond butter, or any other nut butter. The carrots provide 16,500 IU of vitamin A which is several time the daily requirement! Two tablespoons of almond butter supplies 10 grams of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.

Greek Yorgurt and Blueberries as a healthy snackGreek Yogurt and Blueberries

  • Serving size: 6 oz plain greek yogurt + ½ cup blueberries
  • Calories per serving: 140

The benefit of plain greek yogurt is that you can create a variety of flavors by adding your own fruit, nuts, or honey. Greek yogurt provides more protein than other yogurts which makes you feel more satisfied after consuming this scrumptious treat (19 grams provided in this recipe). Fresh or frozen blueberries can be used, as well as any other fruit such as pineapple, peaches, pears, oranges, bananas, or apples. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium for building strong bones and teeth, helping to lower blood pressure, and aiding in muscle contractions. This recipe provides approximately 200 mg of calcium which is 20% of the daily recommendation for men and women aged 19-50 years.

Cottage cheese and grape tomatoes as a healthy snack!Cottage Cheese and Grape Tomatoes

  • Serving size: 1 cup 2% cottage cheese + 8 grape tomatoes
  • Calories per serving: 220 calories

Similar to greek yogurt, cottage cheese supplies a healthy dose of protein (28 grams in this snack). Dairy products are also a good source of potassium, which aids in lowering blood pressure and preventing muscle cramps. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C. This snack provides approximately 20% of the vitamin C needed daily. Other delicious toppings for cottage cheese include pineapple, pears and almonds.

Hummus and Peppers as a healthy snack!Hummus and Peppers

  • Serving size: 1 cup bell peppers + 4 T. hummus
  • Calories per serving: 130

This low calorie snack provides a punch of flavor and crunch. Many varieties of hummus are available; therefore, have fun taste testing each and finding your favorite. Peppers are an excellent source of immune-strengthening vitamin C which is also an antioxidant nutrient. This recipe exceeds your daily needs by providing a whopping 122 mg of vitamin C.

Trail mix as a healthy snackHomemade Trail Mix

  • Serving size: ¼ cup walnuts + 2 T. raisins + 2 T. dried cranberries
  • Calories per serving: 295

Making your own trail mix ensures that you will never get bored since so many tasty combinations exist! Nuts, dried fruit, dry cereal, and pretzels are common ingredients. Be aware that trail mix is calorically-dense, and therefore, the portion size should small (i.e., ½ cup or less). The walnuts in this mix supply 14 grams of heart healthy, omega-3-rich polyunsaturated fats. Any dried fruits can be included; however, raisins and cranberries tend to be the most easily found in the grocery store. Since this mix is composed of plant products, dietary fiber is present (3.5 grams). Fiber enhances satiety and aids in intestinal regularity.

Chocolate MilkChocolate Milk/Soy Milk

  • Serving size: 12 oz of chocolate 1% milk or soy milk
  • Calories per serving: 240 (1% milk) or 210 (soy milk)

This chocolaty treat can be enjoyed hot or cold. Milk is an excellent choice after exercise since it provides fluid while also delivering a combination of protein and carbohydrate for hungry muscles. Milk (including fortified soy, rice, or almond milk) is a great source of calcium as well as bone-strengthening and immune-strengthening vitamin D.  Twelve ounces of milk typically provides 450 mg of calcium (45% of daily needs) and 150 IU of vitamin D (25% of daily recommendations).

CeleryHomemade Tuna Salad with Celery

  • Serving size: 3 oz tuna (canned in water, drained) + 1 T. light mayonnaise + 1 T. pickle relish + 2 celery stalks
  • Calories per serving: 180 calories

Most people think of having tuna salad on bread for a cold sandwich or a melt, or on top of salad greens. However, there is no reason it can’t be used as a satisfying protein-rich snack (22 grams of protein in this snack). The celery stalks provide the delivery system to the mouth, which could be replaced by carrot sticks or whole grain crackers. By using light mayonnaise, you will consume half the fat and less saturated fat versus tuna salad made with regular mayonnaise.

banana breadBanana Bread with Peanut Butter

  • Serving size: 1 slice of homemade banana bread + 1 T. natural peanut butter
  • Calories per serving: 210

Ripe bananas are in prime condition to be used for homemade banana bread. Adding cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter adds a wonderful flavor and comforting scent while baking. Banana bread is rich in carbohydrate, supplying energy to the body and the brain. Natural peanut butter – containing only ground peanuts – provides an intense peanut flavor in merely 1 tablespoon. Combining the banana and peanut butter flavors is delightful!

Hard boiled eggsHard Boiled Eggs

  • Serving size: 2 large eggs
  • Calories per serving: 160

Eggs are an excellent source of many nutrients including two vitamins essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats – riboflavin and biotin. Four to six eggs can be hard boiled at a time and stored for several snacks throughout the week.

Banana and NutellaBanana with Nutella

  • Serving size: 1 banana + 1.5 T Nutella
  • Calories per serving: 255

Bananas are a very convenient snack – they require no washing or preparation. Bananas are delicious their own, but can be greatly enhanced when paired with the chocolate hazelnut spread, Nutella. This snack provides carbohydrate, potassium and fiber. Nutella is also delicious as a dip for pretzels, almonds and pineapple.

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For questions, or to schedule a coaching session, contact:
Heather Fink, MS, RD, CSSD
Nutrition and Wellness Solutions, LLC
317-443-6811
Heather@NutritionWellnessSolutions.org
www.NutritionWellnessSolutions.org

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