I highly suggest brown bagging your lunch and snacks if you work outside the home. Heck, I moved our office into our house and I still pack my meals! Packing it fresh can save you $2000 a year if you work outside the home. That’s a lot of money!
Snack attacks usually hit us either out of boredom or because we are hungry, 2-3 hours after our meal. To prevent unhealthy snacking by raiding your pantry or paying a visit to the vending machine, here are some of my favorites go-to snacks:
1. Vegetable Plate • You know those pre-cut fancy vegetable trays sold at the grocery? You can make your own mini plate! I fill a small container with pepper slices, sugar snap peas, carrots, and cauliflower. Not only is it bright and colorful to the eye, it offers a variety of tastes and flavors.
2. Fresh Fruit • Always pack one piece of fresh fruit. If you can spare the extra minute, make yourself a berry fruit salad. I combine diced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and grapes for a sweet and delicious snack. Fresh fruit goes bad at your house? Mix up frozen fruit! It stays cool and will be thawed out and delicious by snack time.
3. Cottage Cheese • A half cup of low-fat cottage cheese is less than 100 calories. It’s low in fat and carbohydrates but high in protein; making it a perfect creamy adult snack.
4. Pop It • Another great option is popcorn. It can be a low calorie, heart smart, and nutritious snack option. It’s also rich in fiber. “Naked” air popped or microwave popcorn is only 30 calories per cup.
5. An Apple a Day • Applesauce is not just for kids! 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce is a great 100-calorie snack. Apples contain complex carbohydrates so they energize faster than eating something high in sugar. Plus, applesauce naturally has no fat or cholesterol.
6. Salty Something • Try topping a lightly salted rice cake with a tablespoon of peanut butter or your favorite PB alternative. It will help curb your salt cravings, as well as provide a deliciously filling protein snack.
7. Go Greek • Non-fat Greek yogurt has half the sugar and sodium of regular non-fat yogurts. High in protein and low in carbohydrates, this rich treat is great paired with fresh fruit or real cocoa powder.
8. Chocolate Cravings • There are days I’m at the office and all I want is a candy bar. Chocolate can make the worst day taste delicious in moments. That is until I see the nutrition label—yikes! To get your chocolate fix, try sugar-free chocolate pudding. Typically around 40 calories for a 1/2 cup serving. A delicious chocolaty treat without all the guilt. A better alternative is a square of real dark chocolate. This takes care of all the cravings instantly.
9. Egg-cellent • Hard-boiled eggs are easy to make ahead of time so you can grab one out of the fridge before you leave in the morning. A great source of vitamin B12 and protein, hard-boiled eggs are filling and a great option at around 80 calories each.
10. Dip It • Hummus is a fantastic high protein, high fiber snack! Paired with pita chips or veggie tray above and it’s double the nutrients!
As you can see, these 10 healthy snacks aren’t that difficult to make. The key here is to prep and plan ahead. Investing 20 minutes a week in washing your produce and preparing healthy snacks will save you time and money!