Dietitian-Approved Tips For Healthy Snack Planning
If you live life on the go, you’ll love our dietitian-approved tips for healthy snack planning.
Healthy snack planning is a challenge when time is short. The lure of convenient fast-food options can foil our best intentions to make nutritious choices. And denying ourselves the snacks we crave in favor of choices that support good health is tough. Also, we may not be armed with reliable information about what makes for a good and good-for-you snack. Here are some dietitian-approved tips to plan tempting and body-boosting snacks.
The rule of three in snack planning
Nutritious eating is a habit that begins with understanding your choices. One rule of thumb for meals as well as snack planning is to combine carbs, protein, and fat. When you snack on foods that include these three elements, you’ll feel full and satisfied for a longer time. You’ll also be giving your body the balanced fuel it needs to perform at its best.
Prepare snacks in advance: save time and avoid temptations
When we are hungry and pressed for time, we all want to reach for the easiest option. That’s what makes advance snack planning so important. It’s easy and efficient to prepare a week’s worth of smart snacks in one quick session. Then, when hunger strikes, you’ve got a healthy option at your fingertips.
Suggestions for make-ahead snacks that provide good nutrition on the go
- Banana and peanut butter
If you have a jar of peanut butter and a bunch of bananas, you’ve got a perfect midday snack that delivers the carb-protein-fat combo your body craves. And who doesn’t love peanut butter and banana?
- Salsa dip with veggies and whole-grain tortilla chips
Salsa is a delicious snack. If you mix tomato salsa with yogurt instead of sour cream, it packs a nutritious punch. Prepare snack-size portions of bell pepper spears and whole-grain chips as dippers. Now you’ve got a creamy crunchy snack that will keep you full until your next meal.
- Pre-packaged nuts
This is an easy make-ahead option that you can take anywhere. Purchase snack-size bags of mixed nuts or cocoa-dusted almonds; these combinations feel more like a treat. Preparing take-with-you packs works well because it prevents you from overindulging.
- Roasted edamame or roasted chickpeas
Prepack these delicious legumes for another great on-the-go option. Edamame and chickpeas are excellent sources of fiber and protein. These options keep your snack planning healthy and provide variety to keep things interesting.
- Brew up your own signature trail mix
Prepared trail mix often contains more sugar than we need. Mixing your own is a great alternative, especially when most grocery stores contain bulk bins. When you mix up your own favorite combination of dried fruit and nuts, you can please your palate while avoiding too much added sugar.
Schedule your snack planning
Many of these ideas involve foods that aren’t particularly perishable. They are designed to be kept in a purse, glove compartment, or desk drawer. Find a time in your week that works for you, and use it to prepare and package your snacks for the week. With a little advance snack planning and healthy food combinations, you’ll be well armed whenever hunger strikes!
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