Healthy Snacks

Tips for making healthy choices whenever a craving strikes

Think of a snack not as an indulgence, but as a "little meal"— an opportunity to consume some good quality protein, vitamins, fiber, and heart-healthy fat. Have nutritious food in special "snack spots" in your pantry and refrigerator, so when hunger strikes you can easily make good choices. Choose organic whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and low-fat dairy products as the basis for healthy snacks. Avoid white flour and choose whole-grain breads and crackers. Here are some quick ideas.

Jiffy Protein
Avoid those highs and lows: there's nothing like protein to give you a steady supply of energy and keep you going when you feel like taking a nap.

  • Low-fat cottage cheese with diced cucumber, radishes, and dill

  • Low-fat cottage cheese with chopped tomatoes, red onion and zucchini, seasoned with salsa

  • Low-fat cottage cheese with unsweetened canned pineapple chunks and fresh mint

  • Boiled edamame

  • Chicken Pita: Diced cooked chicken tossed in low-fat hummus and stuffed into wholegrain pita with shredded lettuce

  • Baked tofu and chopped watercress in a wholewheat wrap

  • Ricotta-Fruit Parfait: Low-fat ricotta sweetened with orange juice concentrate and layered with sliced strawberries and fat-free granola

  • Wholegrain, unsweetened breakfast cereal with soy or skim milk and slivered almonds


Cool and Refreshing

You return home from a jog or a walk and what you want is a quick cool-down. Here are some make-ahead snacks to welcome you home.

  • Low-fat fruit smoothie

  • Wheat grass and carrot juice

  • Popsicles made from any kind of fruit juice

  • Granita made from freshly squeezed or storebought fruit juice

  • Chilled watermelon wedges

  • Iced herbal or green tea

  • Tomato juice spiked with fresh lemon or lime juice

  • Unsweetened fruit juice combine with club soda or crushed ice


Warm and Comforting

These snacks are for those difficult days when you need something soothing and familiar.

  • Oatmeal with Raisins

  • 7-grain porridge with honey and walnuts

  • Brown Rice Pudding (you can substitute cooked brown rice with any low-fat rice pudding recipe that calls for cooked rice)

  • Zesty Bean Wrap: Mash beans with salsa and some shredded low-fat cheese, wrap in wholewheat tortilla and heat

  • Refried Beans and pickled jalapenos in a corn tortilla wrap

  • Wholewheat tortilla wrap brushed with olive paste and stuffed with diced chicken and shredded radicchio

  • Quick Pizza: Spread tomato sauce on half of a wholewheat pita, sprinkle with low-fat mozzarella and oregano. Microwave until cheese melts.

  • Miso soup with tofu cubes and seaweed (wakame) flakes

  • Low-Sodium Chicken Broth with Edamame

  • Green tea

  • Chai with vanilla soymilk

  • Hot chocolate with skim milk


Quick and Crunchy

Here are some healthy alternatives to have around the next time you've got the "crunchies."

  • Wedge of iceberg lettuce with low-fat tofu dressing (try blending low-fat tofu with oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil)

  • Cucumber "boats" filled with low-fat red pepper hummus

  • Jicama strips with dip of salsa stirred into low-fat sour cream

  • Low-fat granola stirred into low-fat yogurt

  • Baked soy or blue corn chips with salsa for dip

  • Brown rice cake topped with peanut or almond butter and sliced banana

  • Wholegrain cracker topped with low-fat cream cheese and smoked salmon or mackerel

  • Spicy baked tortilla strips or pita chips with low-fat hummus

  • A small handful of spiced walnuts, tamari almonds, or dry-roasted soy nuts

  • Vegetable sticks with quick low-fat dips, such as yogurt blended with curry powder and lime juice


Sweet and Satisfying

Aim for quality nutrition by choosing sweet snacks that rely on Mother Nature's sweetener: fresh and dried fruit or concentrated fruit juice.

  • Low-fat fruit-sweetened energy bar

  • Low-fat whole-grain, fruit-sweetened bar cookie

  • Low-fat granola and diced apple stirred into low-fat plain yogurt

  • Low-fat granola stirred into applesauce and a little low-fat sour cream

  • Medjool dates stuffed with walnuts and sprinkled with cinnamon

  • Wholegrain bagel with honey and sliced banana

  • Wholegrain toast with almond butter and sliced apple or pear

  • Fresh fruit salad with minced lemon verbena

  • Pear slices with crumbled blue cheese

  • Low-fat bran muffin with raisins

  • Unsulphered, no-sugar added dried fruit


Veggies

It's fun to vary vegetable snacks by thinking in colors. Have a green snack today, an orange one tomorrow and a red one the next day.

  • Roasted or grilled veggies lightly coated with salsa and wrapped in corn or wholegrain tortilla

  • Mixed veggie sticks with low-fat dip

  • Skewers of cherry tomatoes, diced zucchini and cubes of low-fat mozzarella or other cheese

  • Avocado, diced and tossed with lime juice, cilantro, and hot sauce

  • Cottage cheese with diced cucumbers, radishes and sliced scallions

  • Baked potato with low-fat sour cream and chives

  • Slow-roasted tomatoes with a dab of pesto

  • Baked sweet potato