Healthy Snack Ideas and Tips
Snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the day can easily cause you to consume too many calories and go way over the recommended levels of salt and sugar. However, snacking doesn’t have to be an unhealthy habit you indulge in. There are plenty of healthy and nutritious foods you can nibble on which will keep hunger at bay without compromising the healthiness of your diet.
It’s easy to give into cravings for chocolate or cake, but there are healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Snacking on fruit will allow you to enjoy the taste of something sweet while getting part of your five a day. There are lots of different fruits and plenty of different ways to eat them. You can of course eat your favourite fruits alone as they are, or you can try:
- Dried fruit
- Frozen fruit, e.g. frozen grapes
- Low-fat fruit yoghurt
- Raisins or sultanas in reduced sugar cereal
- Fruit smoothies
Many popular savoury snacks, such as crisps and pork scratchings, are high in salt and fat so are best avoided. Instead, try:
- A small handful of unsalted nuts
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Baked crisps
- Homemade popcorn (without sugar or salt!)
- Unsalted rice cakes, corn cakes or oatcakes
- Pitta strips, carrot sticks or celery sticks with low-fat dips, such as salsa or reduced fat hummus
Again, some of these snacks count towards your 5 a day, and will give you a good dose of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients.
A Few Tips
As well as picking healthy snacks to eat, it’s important to avoid over-snacking. Here are some tips that will help you keep your food intake throughout the day down to a healthy level:
- Always drink plenty of water throughout the day. Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger so staying hydrated will allow you to recognise when you really are hungry.
- Make sure you have three regular meals a day. Having any less will only encourage you to snack more and you’ll be more likely to consume an excessive amount without realising it. Good nutritious meals will keep you fuller for longer and will often make snacking unnecessary.
- Don’t buy unhealthy snacks! If you have them in the house, you’re likely to eat them. Keep them away from you if you want to avoid giving in to temptation.
What you eat between meals matters more than you might think, so it’s important to make healthy choices. Good snacking habits will benefit your energy levels and general health. They’ll help you to maintain a healthy weight and give you more opportunities to meet all of your nutritional needs.