The Secret to Healthy Snacking
I’d be lying if I blamed back-to-school for making snacking a new issue in my home. In truth, it’s a challenge 365 days of the year, and the kids aren’t the only ones who struggle to make good choices when it comes to snacking.
As soon as someone utters the word “snacks,” I instantly think of chips, dips, crackers, bars, pretzels, drinks…and of course there’s the uber-salty, sweet, highly processed foods that fill the “snacks” aisle of almost every grocery store. Without a doubt, if that’s what I kept in my house, that’s exactly what would be eaten!
The trick to healthy snacking is to make nutritious foods in advance. If they’re easy to grab, they will be. I call it The Cucumber Phenomenon. Every year, my garden produces more cucumbers than we know what to do with. The kids get so sick of cucumbers, they refuse to eat even one more. At the mere suggestion of cutting up a cucumber, I get moans and dirty looks. And yet, peel and slice a cucumber, set it up nicely on a plate with dip for when the kids get home from school… and they devour it with no hesitation. It works with just about any prepared food, whether made fresh for this very purpose, or pulled together from last night’s dinner.
Recently, my family has been snacking on a new recipe from EAT CLEAN. LIVE WELL. (due out 11/1) – Peach, Avocado and Forbidden Rice Nori Rolls! Follow the recipes as is, or substitute your own favorite combination of rice and vegetables for endless combinations!
And when you’re ready for even more, here are 20 nutritious snacks ideas as inspiration for healthy snacking. I’ve included some links to my recipes that have been featured on this and other sites over the years, and many are featured in my books… so it’s time to start flipping through the pages!
1. Cut-up raw veggies and salad dressing
2. Cut-up raw veggies and bean dips (hummus, black bean dip, cannelloni bean dip…)
3. Summer rolls (wrap up grated raw vegetables with pesto or dip in a soft summer roll)
4. Burritos (rice, beans, avocado, salsa, lettuce…)
5. Burrito pizzas (put a little pesto on a burrito, top it with last night’s sautéed greens and broil)
6. Roasted veggie dip (run last night’s roasted veggies through the food processor with olive oil and spices)
7. Soups…any and all varieties welcome
8. Fruit crisp (Place sliced fruit in casserole, top with rolled oats mixed with coconut oil and maple syrup, bake and serve.)
9. Baked sweet potatoes
10. Nutritious cookies, bread, muffins and cakes (zucchini, banana, carrot…)
11. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables (kale chips, beet chips, root veggie chips, crispy chickpeas, fruit leather, banana chips, dried apple rings…)
12. Lacto-fermented pickles and dilly beans
13. Nuts and seeds (and combinations of such as trail mix)
14. No-bake nut and seed bars
15. Cut-up seasonal fruit and berries
16. Peanut or sunflower butter on celery or apples
17. Homemade granola (with homemade almond milk)
18. Sugar snap peas (in season)
19. Smoothies (vegetables, fruit, cacao and nut butters are all yummy add-ins)
20. Leftovers. any. period.
Let’s keep this conversation going. Share YOUR favorite healthy snacks, because who knows where the next go-to snack idea will come from! And as always…