With the new year just around the corner, many people’s thoughts turn to losing weight or eating healthier. One way to make 2018 healthier is to choose better snacks. I wanted to share some healthy snacks, (or healthier snacks) so that you will be ready to start 2018 off on the right foot.
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HEALTHY SNACKS FOR THE NEW YEAR
Listed below are several healthy snacks to start your New Year off eating right. Some of these may not be the healthiest choices, but will hopefully be healthier than your current snacks. After all, eating better is a process, not an all-or-nothing event. Life is too short not to indulge occasionally.
Veggies and dip-Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower are the usual choices, but for variety don’t forget to try snap peas, red or yellow bell peppers, and cucumbers. For dips you can use ranch dressing, honey mustard dressing, or hummus.
Granola bars-Be choosy about the ones you purchase. Many have almost as much sugar as a candy bar (See here and here for more info). There are several good ones on the market or you can search online and find many recipes to make them from scratch.
Chips and Salsa-If you are used to eating a bag of chips for snack, at least try to upgrade to tortilla chips and salsa. You will be getting some nutrition from the salsa and because it can be a little messy, you tend not to mindlessly eat as many.
Peanut butter and crackers-If you usually pick up a pack of crackers for snack, try making your own at home. If you put some peanut butter between 2 crackers, you will likely put more peanut butter on the cracker than is on the store-bought pack. Thus you will eat more protein and stay fuller longer. You can also try peanut butter on apples instead of crackers. You get a dose of protein and a serving of fruit at the same time.
Cheese sticks-Cheese sticks make a quick, filling snack. You can add some crackers or a piece of fruit to this snack to fill you up.
Trail Mix-Most stores sell bags of trail mix but there is usually something in them that my family won’t eat. It’s very easy to make it yourself. You can choose your choice of nuts, a little dried fruit, and maybe a few chocolate chips and make it however you like. Just be sure to keep the dried fruit and chocolate to a small amount to limit the amount of sugar in your trail mix.
Popcorn-Popcorn also makes a great snack and is usually very filling. The healthiest popcorn is popcorn you pop yourself on the stove or with an air popper. However I won’t judge if you keep some of the microwave bags on hand too. (I sure do!) Just pick the ones with the cleanest ingredients you can find. My boys aren’t gonna drag out a pot to pop popcorn on the stove, but they all know how to microwave a bag.
One last way to eat healthier is to eat less. Try to sit down and enjoy your snack (or meal) and concentrate on the tastes and textures. Put down the cell phone while you eat. Pay attention to when your body tells you that you are full. Try to stop eating just before that point. It will take practice, but if you really concentrate on enjoying your food, you will tend to eat less.
Do you have any healthy snacks you enjoy? I would love if you would let me know what it is in the comments below.