It’s often said that all you really need to know is learned in Kindergarten. While your daily grind may not allow for recess or nap time, there is no excuse for skipping snack time! Healthy snacking is a great way to curb cravings in between meals and workouts. It also can improve your overall health by providing you with the energy you need to make it through your day.
See Also: 10 Foods that are High in Protein
Nutrition is an essential component of building a healthy lifestyle. Extreme hunger throws your body into famine mode which slows your metabolism and increases your chances of overeating. But eating small meals every three to five hours can actually resist your urge to raid the pantry, and will ultimately help you meet your fitness goals.
- Increases metabolism
- Improves glucose and insulin control
Are you sold on snacking but don’t know where to start? Here are five healthy snack ideas so easy a Kindergartner could do it (not really, but you get the idea)!
5 Snacks That Will Keep You Healthy
5. Baked Kale Chips
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and touted by many as one of the “world’s healthiest foods” and packs a serious punch of nutrition:
- Low in calories and high in fiber
- Zero fat and more iron per calorie than beef
- Chock full of calcium, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and many powerful antioxidants that protect against cancer
Kale may be a super green, but many of us are not champions of its leafy flavor. Thankfully, there are many ways to eat this Queen of the Greens (tip: steam kale to lock in all its nutrients) but we prefer a taste reminiscent of potato chips but with a more playful approach: Baked Kale Chips.
- One half pound of kale large stems removed, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces
- 1/3 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
- 1/3 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Or Your favorite seasonings
- Preheat oven to 275 ° and line two non-insulated baking sheets with parchment paper
- Combine olive oil and seasoning to medium sized bowl
- Add kale pieces to mixture and toss to coat evenly
- Spread leaves across two baking sheets. For ideal crispiness, try to flatten any folded-over pieces. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the tips of leaves are slightly crispy. Flip the leaves over and bake 8-10 minutes more, until crunchy and slightly golden.
Lacinato kale (aka Tuscan, Cavalo Nero, or Dinosaur kale) is an ideal choice because of its size and rigidity, but you can use any variety of kale that’s in season — any “curly” variety will be less bitter. Just make sure to remove the large stems so the leaves roast evenly.
Note: When baking your kale chips, timing is critical. If you take your chips out too soon, they will be limp. But if you bake them too long, they will taste burned. Make a small batch first if you’re unsure of how the final product should look.
4. Bagel Thin Halfwich
Regular bagels have up to 350 calories… and that’s without cream cheese. Choosing Bagel Thins instead and substituting protein for fatty spreads will save you from consuming a day’s worth of calories in a couple bites.Imagine your bagel thin as a canvas on which you paint your balanced snack each day. No really though, at only 55 calories, the opportunities offered by the Bagel Thin Halfwich are endless. That’s the real benefit to this healthy snack: versatility.
Add turkey, an one egg omelet and a slice of Swiss cheese for a tasty morning snack. Spread on some hummus for a quick pick-me-up after lunch. You could even get real fancy with it and go gourmet with smoked salmon, goat cheese and dill seasoning (pictured above). If you prefer your halfwich toasted, simply stick it in the oven under the ‘broiler’ setting for less than ten minutes.
3. Avocado Tuna Salad
Is it tuna salad, or guacamole? Avocado and tuna make a great team — avocado helps the body absorb nutrients and tuna is chock full of omega-3 and protein. Make early in the week and use as a spread on whole wheat crackers or bagel thins for the full snack experience. Best of all? This tuna salad replaces most of the mayonnaise with avocado. Set those calories aside for your cheat day.
- Two seven ounce cans of tuna
- Two avocados
- One tablespoon Mayo
- 1/2 diced red onion
- Two diced carrots
- Two diced celery Stalks
- One grated clove of garlic
- Lemon juice
- Strain the tuna and remove the avocado from the skin and mash
- Combine grated garlic and diced vegetables. Salt and add lemon juice right away to prevent browning.
- Add tuna and mix.
Note: if saving for later, be sure to push plastic wrap directly on the surface of the tuna to prevent browning.
See Also: Top 10 Fat Burning Foods
2. Frozen Blueberries and Greek Yogurt
When all else fails, keep it simple. Rinse some blueberries off and stick them in the freezer for an especially refreshing, healthy snack that requires no preparation! Blueberries are high in Vitamin C and fiber, both which help keep you fit! They’ve also been known to help protect the body from several kinds of cancer. As if that isn’t enough of a treat — they taste wonderful!
When you’re on the snacking track, don’t forget to balance you food groups. Because blueberries don’t contain much protein, pair your frozen treat with some Greek yogurt to ensure you don’t get hungry again too soon. Greek yogurt is high in protein, low in fat and is full of probiotics that keep your digestive health in shape.
1. An Apple and Skim Milk
When it comes to healthy snacking, you can’t go wrong with fruit. But pair it with protein to make it more satisfying. Choose one large apple and once cup of skim milk for a balanced pick-me-up with the protein, fiber and calories you need to sustain.
Eating multiple meals a day is the easy part — but keeping those meals small and healthy is where many of us struggle. Remember that you should never exceed your daily calorie requirements, even if you are snacking healthy. Choose snacks from more than one food group. This will help you consume a variety of different nutrients and will also keep you from getting bored with your routine. Here are some quick tips to help you successfully snack small:
- Match your input with your output and only snack during peak times. Maintain portion control to avoid mindless snacking, which can add extra calories
- Limit your options by keeping only healthy items in your kitchen
- Prioritize protein! Unlike fast-burning carbohydrates, protein will help sustain your hunger and energy for a few hours
- Set yourself up for success by only grocery shopping when your stomach is full
http://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/meal-planning/healthy-snacking-benefits.aspx http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/creamy-avocado-tuna-salad/751b44d7-8836-4019-b9b6-9662eec6b1d6 http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/