Spring is the perfect time to practice a little self-care and reboot your healthy-eating plans. If better nutrition is the goal, you’ve probably gathered some recipes for nourishing meals. But have you considered snacks?
Planning what you’ll nosh on when between-meal hunger strikes is a smart move, according to Jennifer Anderson, registered dietitian at Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte. It also makes staying on track much easier, she said.
To that end, Anderson offered a slew of snack options to help you stock your pantry with healthy goodies. Keep this list on hand — maybe print it out and post it in your kitchen — and you may never again find yourself in front of an open fridge wondering what to eat!
Delicious, lower-calorie snacks (100 calories)
- Half an apple with 2 teaspoons nut butter.
- One orange with four to six dry-roasted nuts. Try eating them mindfully — they’re surprisingly satisfying!
- 1 cup melon and 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese.
- 1/2 cup fresh fruit with 4 to 6 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt.
- 1 ounce 2% cheddar cheese with half pear. Sweet and salty is always a great combo.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and 1 slice whole-grain bread.
- Half a small avocado.
- 1/3 cup mixed raw vegetables with 1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing.
- 1 cup original unsweetened Cheerios. Without milk — they make great finger food.
- 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese with three whole grain crackers.
- Three reduced-fat Triscuits with 1 1/2 teaspoons nut butter.
- One string cheese (made with 2% milk) with two whole grain crackers.
- Eight tortilla chips with 2 tablespoons guacamole.
- One Lundberg Brown Rice Cake with 1 tablespoon hummus.
- 13 cashews or almonds.
- 2 ounces lean turkey, chicken or fish.
- 1 1/2 cups tossed salad with tomato, cucumber and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing.
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Healthy, higher-calorie snacks — generally 100-300 calories
- PB&J sandwich made with whole-grain bread; 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter; 1 tablespoon low-sugar jelly.
- Mini pizza made with 100% whole wheat English muffin, 2 tablespoons tomato sauce and 1/4 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, baked in oven until cheese melts.
- Turkey breast slices rolled around one piece of 2% string cheese.
- Celery sticks spread with natural peanut butter or light cream cheese.
- Fresh fruit with nut butter, 1% cottage cheese, or low-fat/nonfat yogurt.
- A mix of raw veggies with hummus, light pimento cheese or light/fat-free cream cheese.
- Reduced-fat string cheese (2% or skim-milk varieties).
- 1 cup of 1% cottage cheese.
- Whole grain cereal with 1% milk. Try using an 8-ounce coffee mug for portion control.
- Whole grain crackers with hummus, low-fat cheese or tuna salad made with light mayo.
- 100-calorie cup of prepared guacamole with 1 serving whole grain tortilla chips.
- 1/4 cup serving of homemade trail mix made with whole grain dry cereal, nuts, no-sugar-added dried fruit, and whole grain pretzels. Get creative with a variety of fruits, nuts and seeds!
- 1/4 cup of walnuts, almonds, peanuts or soy nuts.
- Half a banana, sliced and frozen, with nut butter or 2 tablespoons of nuts.
- Apple slices with cinnamon, cooked in the microwave.
- Toasted whole wheat English muffin spread with 1 teaspoon low-sugar jelly, topped with 1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- 1/2 cup dry old-fashioned oats (prepared as directed) with half a banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
- One small baked sweet potato with a dash of paprika and 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream.
- Millenials, you can stop here. You already know about this next one. Avocado toast: one slice of whole wheat toast with half of a medium avocado spread on it.