Learn How to Snack Smart

March 2, 2017

Snacks can fit into a healthy eating plan and provide an energy boost between meals, if they’re planned right. Snacks for people who are less active should be 200 calories or less. To fuel more active teens and adults, snacks can contain 200 to 300 calories per serving.

Make snacking a smart habit by:

  • Snacking only when you’re hungry
  • Having snacks planned and portioned out ahead of time
  • Practicing food safety
  • Eating different combinations of foods to help curb hunger (examples: whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese, raw vegetables with hummus, or low-fat yogurt with fruit)

Need some ideas for healthy snacks? Here are some great ideas to keep you going throughout the day.

  • Make your own trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, nuts or seeds and dried fruit. (Hint: portion into ¼ cup servings)
  • Blend your own smoothie using 1 cup fat-free milk and frozen fruit.
  • Mix 3 cups air-popped popcorn with grated cheese or dried spices.
  • Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets.
  • Roast chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and season with spices.
  • Make a dip using low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for raw vegetables.
  • Mash an avocado with salsa and eat with low-fat baked tortilla chips or spread on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with low-fat cheese, then roll it up and enjoy.
  • Cut up fruit to make kebobs and serve with low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Prepare instant oatmeal using fat-free milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and ¼ cup dried fruit.
  • Dress up a salad with a hard cooked egg or edamame, tomato, and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing.
  • Whip up a quesadilla in the microwave using a whole wheat tortilla, ¼ cup black beans, 1-2 tablespoons low-fat cheese and 1 ounce of salsa.
  • Build veggie skewers with cherry or grape tomatoes and cubes of low-fat cheese or cooked tortellini and lean luncheon meat.
  • Make a tuna apple sandwich using a 5-6 ounce can of tuna packed in water, 1 small apple (peeled and sliced into chunks), 1 tablespoon light mayo, then spread it on 2 slices of whole wheat bread.

Get more ideas for putting your best fork forward during National Nutrition Month at www.eatright.org