6 Easy, Healthy Snack Ideas

Posted November 18, 2010 by

I recommend to all my clients that they eat 5 times per day to ensure a consistent flow of nutrients and energy to the body, to keep blood sugar levels stable and to reduce the chances of overeating—which is more common when one eats fewer, larger meals than when one eats smaller, more frequent meals. Additionally, eating 5 times per day allows my clients to still eat a standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, which works well for most people who work at an office and/or go out to dinner with their families sometimes, etc. All that my clients need to do is add in two small snacks in between the other meals and they are all set.

One common complaint is that it is sometimes difficult to bring all that food to work each day. My answer is always the same; simply pack a legitimate lunch, and the other two meals you bring can consist of small, easy-to-prepare foods that shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to pack. Below I have included some ideas for these snacks to get you started.

Almonds, a Banana and Protein Powder

1/4 cup of almonds contains 160 calories, which breaks up into 14 grams of healthy fats, 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of which are fiber. In other words, almonds are one of the healthiest, most well-balanced foods you can eat. Adding a banana to the snack will give you a great source of healthy carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all in about 100 calories. Finally, you can pack a serving of protein powder in a small ziplock baggy and make it with water in a cup at work, which will give you a great source of protein and BCAAs, also typically weighing in around 100 calories. So all in all, you’re looking at about 360 calories for the snack.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Before you jump out of your seat, I am referring to NATURAL peanut butter (in which the only ingredients are peanuts) and sugar-free jelly, on whole grain bread. In 2 tbsp of peanut butter there are around the same number of calories as in 1/4 cup of almonds, and a similar macronutrient breakdown. There are almost an insignificant amount of calories in the jelly, which is really just used for flavor and to break up the peanut butter’s texture. The bread is a great source of complex carbohydrates and will add about 130 extra calories to the meal. Additionally, whole grains and peanut butter, when combined, provide a good source of complete protein (each individually are sources of incomplete protein). All in all, you’re looking at around 230 calories for the snack.

Nonfat Cottage Cheese with Frozen Blueberries

Here’s a trick I learned accidentally. If you add frozen blueberries to your cottage cheese, they will thaw by the time you get around to eating the snack, and will partially break apart into the cottage cheese, giving you a well-combined, chunky and fruity treat that is high in protein and nearly fat-free. 1 cup of blueberries contains only 20 grams of carbohydrates, for 80 calories total, while a cup of nonfat cottage cheese contains 140 calories, including almost 30 grams of protein and only 10 grams of carbohydrates. Alternatively, you can use lowfat cottage cheese (what many people prefer the taste of) for only a minimal increase in fat. All in all, the snack weighs in at about 220 calories total.

Tuna and Triscuits

When I worked at an office, I ate this almost every single day. Triscuits are one of the few crackers that are appropriate to eat while on a healthy nutrition plan, as they are whole grain (just make sure you get the original or reduced sodium/fat varieties, not the flavored kinds). One can of tuna has about 100 calories in it, 100% of which are protein. 12 Triscuits contain 240 calories, including 8 grams of healthy, unsaturated fat, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. I like to add a grainy brown or spicy mustard, or even Sriracha (try it before you knock it!) to make the flavor more interesting. Just don’t forget to bring a can opener with you to work! All in all, this snack weighs in at around 340 calories total.

Baby Carrots, Hummus and Turkey Jerky

Carrots and hummus are the bomb! For those of you who usually eat your vegetables with ranch dip, hummus can give a similar experience but is much healthier than ranch dressing. 3/4 cup of baby carrots is about 40 calories, mainly made up of carbohydrates, with a little fiber and protein as well. 1/4 cup of hummus is about 110 calories, including about 5 grams of healthy, unsaturated fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. One serving of turkey jerky contains about 120 calories, including over 20 grams of protein, no fat and 12 grams of carbohydrates. All in all, you’re looking at about 270 calories total for this snack.

Yogurt, Grape Nuts and Raspberries

Rather than opting for the sugary yogurts that already include fruit in them, you should get plain, nonfat yogurt and add your own fruit and cereal to make a delicious parfait-style snack. Grape nuts are my cereal of choice, as they are whole grain, have no sugar added and more closely mimic granola (which has too much sugar in it) than most other types of healthy cereals available. One cup of nonfat, plain yogurt contains 110 calories, made up of 16 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of protein. 1/2 cup of raspberries contains only 32 calories and 4 grams of fiber. I would mash half of the raspberries into the yogurt to give it a nice pink color, and then layer the remaining berries with the yogurt and cereal. 1/2 cup of Grape Nuts contains 200 calories, including 48 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, only 1 gram of fat and 7 grams of fiber. In total, this snack contains approximately 340 calories.

So there you have it, 6 excellent, tasty and super-healthy snacks that are as easy as sin to prepare each day. Try some of them and see how you like them. As you can see, they all take less than 5 minutes of preparation to make and will provide you with a well-balanced pick-me-up between your major meals. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to drink a full glass of water with each meal as well!

Comments on 6 Easy, Healthy Snack Ideas »

  1. Eldon Rauser

    Great article. Thank you for sharing.