Healthy snack ideas for all day energy

Improving your eating habits is at the top of your list of popular New Year’s resolutions, and it’s a great goal, because even small changes to your diet can have big results in the form of more energy, better skin, better sleep and more.

Of course, “improving eating habits” is quite vague, and it can be difficult to implement a comprehensive change in your diet all at once. A smart way to approach the goal of healthy eating is to break it down into smaller portions and focus on improving them one by one — and there’s no better place to start than with your snacks.

iStock

But snacks are tough! Many, many snack foods that appear or are marketed as healthy are not healthy at all, which makes deciding what kind of snacks to choose a challenge. We enlisted nutritionists and healthy eating experts to share some healthy wisdom about snacks, including the products they personally turn to and recommend when feeling hungry.

“A healthy snack includes all the nutrients your body needs to function, while at the same time satisfying what you crave,” says Melissa Vasikowskas, a registered dietitian and nutrition expert who trains clients in healthy eating strategies. She says listening to your cravings is actually a good thing to do — as long as you make smart choices when feeding those cravings. “If you’re craving something rich in sugar, it’s because your body is looking for fast-acting carbohydrates,” she says. “Incorporate the foods you love and craving while balancing them with other foods to make a healthy and satisfying snack.”

iStock

Kristen Kirkpatrick, Registered Dietitian and founder of KAK Nutrition Consulting, says, “I tell my patients that a healthy snack is what gives you the most money for nutrition. The snack should be low in sugar (unless it’s fresh), and have enough fiber.” And protein. Snacks should give us energy, not drain us.”

iStock

The experts we spoke to all agreed that the goal is to have a balanced snack, and that a balanced snack can make room for an enjoyable snack. “If you need a bar of chocolate, eat a bar of chocolate!” says Mallory Gonzalez, a registered dietitian and chief of nutrition at Kencko. Gonzalez explains how to incorporate indulgences into your snack, “I like to start by looking at the macronutrients in the snack—carbs, protein, and fats—and aim to have at least two of them together. Better yet, try all three!”

We asked these experts what snacks they make for themselves, and what gadgets and devices they reach for when preparing their favorite small bites.

Dash Tasti-Crisp Electric Air Fryer

Vasikauskas uses an air fryer to make air-fried chickpeas; It says toss the chickpeas, oil, and your favorite seasonings in an air fryer at 390°F for 12-15 minutes. This fryer was considered the most affordable air fryer by our test team.

Breville Super Q

For something sweeter, Vasikauskas uses her own blender to make smoothies. Her basic recipe consists of 6 ounces of Greek yogurt, fresh or frozen fruit, 2 tablespoons of nut butter, and 1/2 cup of juice or water and ice. This particular blender was our pick of the best blender of 2022.

Breville Smart Mini Oven

“The toaster oven is also great for heating up some bread and smearing peanut butter on it,” Vasikauskas says. In addition to her peanut butter toast, she also loves these simple snacks: raw vegetables and crackers with hummus; Greek yogurt with berries and nuts. Fruit with cheese.

Oxo Good Grips Watermelon Ball

“The watermelon balls make it easy to prepare the fruit,” says Kirkpatrick. “It also works if you’re collecting protein balls.” Vasikauskas offers helpful advice for choosing fruit-based snacks: “If there is more than an hour before your next meal, choose a snack that contains protein, carbohydrates and fats. But if you have less than an hour before your next meal, I suggest you choose a piece of fruit, because The fruit digests quickly and will make you move on to your next meal — without spoiling your appetite.”

Dash mini waffle maker

“I also love mini waffle makers, because they’re easy to use to make low-carb, sugar-coated waffles drizzled with almond butter or 70% dark melted chocolate,” says Kirkpatrick. If you are a fan of meals, you can make a batch of mini pancakes and freeze them; Just put one in the toaster to reheat.

Instant silicone egg frying pan

If you have an instant pot, Kirkpatrick recommends investing in a silicone egg bite mold insert. “Egg bite molds can be great for making healthy snacks,” she says, and not just eggs. The accessory can be used to make egg bites, cakes, mini meat loaves and more.

Dash Hot Air Popcorn Maker

Gonzalez loves popcorn made on the stove or with a popcorn maker as a snack. “Popcorn is a whole grain and contains protein,” she says. “By making popcorn on the stove or in a popcorn machine, you can take in olive oil for a nutritious and enjoyable snack.”

Browsing online snack options can be as confusing as it is exciting, but with the help of nutrition experts, we’ve put together a list of healthy snacks on Amazon that are as delicious as they are nutritious. You can also check out the subscription boxes for the delicious snacks we tested.

Sargento Balanced Breakks Natural White Cheddar, Sea Salt Roasted Almonds and Dried Cranberries ($4.29; target.com)

Sargento Balanced Dividers Natural White Cheddar Cheese, Sea Salt Roasted Almonds, Dried Cranberries

If you often find yourself still hungry after a mid-afternoon snack, you may need to adjust the way you snack. “A lot of times I see people choosing snacks that only contain one or two macronutrients,” Vasikauskas says. “Balancing carbohydrates with protein and fat (such as nuts, peanut butter, hummus, or cheese) will satisfy hunger and better prepare you to make healthy choices throughout the day.”

Larabar Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Vegan Bar, 16-pack ($19.99; amazon.com)

Larabar Gluten Free Fruit and Nut Vegan Bar, 16 Pack

“Fruit can be part of a healthy snack, but if you eat it on its own, it won’t satisfy you,” Vasikauskas says, which in turn can lead to poor food choices. “This is why people end up overeating high-carb foods even though they’re trying to eat healthy.” If you’re craving the sweetness of fruit, try pairing it with some nuts and cheese, or opt for a piece of fruit and nuts.

Kind Healthy Snack Bar, Caramel Almond & Sea Salt, 12-pack ($14.22, original $23.88; amazon.com)

Healthy Snack Bar, Caramel, Almond and Sea Salt, 12 Pack

Sometimes fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth, but there are times when what you really want is a piece of candy. that’s good! If you’re looking to replace the occasional candy bar with something healthier that still sounds like a fun treat, Vasikauskas recommends Kind bars.

Sabra classic hummus with pretzel

Vasikauskas has selected three snack options from Sabra that she recommends to people looking for something tasty. The brand’s snack pack that combines classic hummus with cracker chips provides less protein, less fat, and less carbs to keep you full and energized between meals.

Sabra Singles Classic Hummus, 6 Pieces

For those looking for a gluten-free snack, Vasikauskas likes Sabra’s single hummus—pre-divided servings that can be enjoyed with carrots, celery, and other raw vegetables, or topped with gluten-free crackers or a spoonful from the container.

Sabra Snackers Guacamole and Rolled Tortilla Chips ($3.49; target.com)

Sabra Snickers Guacamole & Tortilla Chips

One of the last Sabra options that Vasikauskas recommends is a snack pack of guacamole chips and tortilla chips. It’s a great vegan option for prepackaged snacks that you can eat and eat on the go.

Get Gluten Free Vegan Protein Snack Bars, 14 Packs

For people who follow a gluten-free and/or vegan diet, Vasikauskas recommends the Grab The Gold snack bars. It comes in two flavors, peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and chocolate, and is individually wrapped, making it easy to eat and eat on the go.

Quest Frosted Cookies, 24 Pieces

“I love Quest snacks for my patients because they offer delicious, fun, satisfying and protein-rich options,” Kirkpatrick says, “without compromising your nutritional goals.” Frosted Cookies are among her favorite snacks offered by the brand.

Quest Nutrition High Protein Bars, 12 Pack

Quest Protein Bars are one of Kirkpatrick’s picks; She says she’s particularly fond of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor, but variations like double chocolate bar, white chocolate raspberry, and oatmeal chocolate chip are also available.

Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips

Identifying and sticking to one healthy snack brand is an easy way to simplify the process of deciding when to snack. For Kirkpatrick, Quest snacks fit the bill because they offer both sweet and savory options, like these protein chips.

Atkins Caramel and Almond Keto Cluster, 8 Pieces

The Atkins caramel combos that Kirkpatrick recommends are basically a candy bar, which makes them a great snack option for people with a serious sweet tooth.

SkinnyPop Popcorn Single Size Snack Bags, 40 Pack

Kirkpatrick also loves popcorn as a healthy snack option, and for people looking for a fast food option, she recommends the SkinnyPop brand. Their individual snack bags come in both white and original cheddar flavours.

Health Warrior Dark Chocolate Bars, 15 Pack

“Some great packaged snack options are seeds, nuts, nut mixes, and granola bars,” Gonzalez says.

Nature Valley Gluten Free Toasted Granola Bars, 12 Pack

Granola bars are snack foods that can seem healthy when they aren’t, and so it’s especially important to read the nutrition information in order to make smart choices. Nature Valley granola bars are a good choice for a balanced snack.

Old organic buckwheat pastry from Hannover

Gonzalez also loves whole-grain pretzels and seed or whole-grain crackers, when you’re craving something crunchy and salty. “Remember my tip about including at least two macronutrients? Consider pairing a prepacked pretzels or crackers with a protein-rich dip to make a more nutritious and satisfying snack.”

.

Leave a Comment