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Healthy Snacking

Posted: September 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Healthy Snacks | 1 Comment »


When packing a lunch, it helps to pack a healthy snack for midway between lunch and dinner. The key here is to eat something light, low in calories (about 200, ideally less), high in nutrients, and preferably slow burning, to tide you through the afternoon, when we are prone to sleepiness and a drop in productivity.

Fresh fruit – Try grapes, or a few small plums, a nectarine, a small banana, an apple – are all good options. Fruits have natural sugars which give us a lift. Don’t overdo it with these though – keep your portions about the size of one small to medium fruit, to avoid a sugar overload.

Dried Fruits – Try apple rings, dates, and don’t forget prunes! Just keep the portions small, and remember that dried fruits naturally have higher calories than fresh fruit, and not as much volume. There is a great line of dried fruits called “Just Tomatoes, Etc.” that produces dried fruits and vegetables that are organic with only one ingredient on the label. They are healthy and tasty.

A small handful of nuts (about 15 almonds, or just a few tablespoons): Also try soy nuts, cashews, almonds, or walnuts. Sometimes, just having these in your bag, and knowing that they are there in case of emergency is enough to ward off hunger in the afternoon.

Edamame (fresh soybeans – 1 cup in the pods, 120 calories) Squeeze on some lemon, or a sprinkle of salt to give these a little kick. You can buy them frozen at Trader Joe’s or in the supermarket in the freezer section. You can also make a nice little salad out of these with some lemon vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Wasa Crackers with cottage cheese (2 wasa crackers – 70, 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese – 80) Wasa crackers are crunchy and filling, and are perfectly paired with cottage cheese.

A sliced apple, with peanut butter to dip, or consider cashew butter or almond butter. (Medium apple – 120 calories, 1 tablespoon peanut butter – about 95)

Plain yogurt with walnuts or almonds, and a drizzle of honey – nonfat yogurt is fine, but if you can spare the calories for the day, you might want to try whole milk yogurt – it’s delicious. Or, in place of honey, stir in some fruit jam. (170 calories for 8 oz. whole milk yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey- 60 calories)

2 cups of freshly popped popcorn: The idea here is to avoid the prepackaged varieties particularly with added butter, fake butter, and lots of salt, and stick to all natural kernels. You can pop your own by putting 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag with some dried herbs such as oregano, pizza seasoning, rosemary, or red pepper flakes (optional), rolling down the bag a few times, and microwaving for 3-4 minutes. (60-100 calories)

A hardboiled egg: (about 80 calories). For a kick, mash with a squirt of mustard and a teaspoon of mayo, salt and pepper. Call it a “not quite deviled egg”. (Kids also love making these. Give them a fork and let them do the mashing themselves. )

What are your favorite snacks?

Pjoto: (nkzs)

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One Comment on “Healthy Snacking”

  1. 1 5 Tasty and Healthy Summer Snacks | Healthy Lunch Ideas - Make Your Lunch Great! said at 3:14 pm on June 23rd, 2010:

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