Katie’s Healthy Bites: My Smarter Snack Picks

Some people think too much snacking can lead to weight gain, but the key is nibbling on the right things in the right amounts. Here are a few of my favorite choices.
Related To:

One thing I look forward to every day is my snacks. Some people think too much snacking can lead to weight gain, but the key is nibbling on the right things in the right amounts. Choose wisely and these daily treats can be beneficial, too.

Creating healthy snacking habits gives structure to your daily eating regimen — plus, these foods can add some important nutrients you might not get from your other meals. Better still, a healthy snack provides extra energy to get you through your busy day and it may curb your appetite, which keeps you from overdoing it at lunch or dinner.

So what do I eat? My snacks usually consist of about 1 serving of carbohydrate (about 15 grams), an ounce or so of protein and some fiber so it's balanced. Carbohydrates offer the energy, while the protein and fiber help keep me feeling full because they take longer to digest.

Here are a few of my favorite snacks -- all for under 200 calories:
  • 1/4 cup of trail mix: My combo is unsalted, roasted almonds or cashews with unsweetened, dried fruit like cranberries. This snack is packed with heart-healthy fats and antioxidants and super easy to pack when you're on the go.
  • 1/4 cup of hummus or white bean dip: Pair it with a cup of cut-up, raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers and peppers. With the beans and veggies, you get fiber galore, so drink a big glass of water along with it.
  • A piece of fruit and some cheese: Try an apple with a wedge or two of Laughing Cow, a light string cheese or a Bonne Bell light cheese.
  • 1/2 cup of edamame: Did you know that 1/2 a cup of shelled edamame has about as much protein as 2 eggs? And no cholesterol worries!
  • An apple, whole grain crackers or a slice of wheat bread with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut or almond butter: This combo can help curb strongest cravings. (To make your own: Add your favorite dry-roasted nuts to your food processor and let it run for about 2 minutes. Add a little water to get to your desired consistency, but I like mine as is. A pinch of sea salt, and it’s ready to go!)
  • Low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt: So creamy and fresh it can seem like a guilty decadence. The yogurt packs a good amount of protein and calcium to boot.
  • Kashi granola bars: Traditional granola bars are mostly carbohydrates, but Kashi adds some soy protein to their to make them more balanced and, again, easy to grab on the run.
  • A fruit smoothie: I stick to 6 to 8 ounces and mix in low-fat yogurt, tofu and colorful fruits, especially whatever is in season.
  • 8-ounce glass of milk: This sounds simple but one serving provides carbohydrates, protein, calcium for your bones and is easy to guzzle down when you don’t have a lot of time.

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, owns HealthyBites, LLC and competed on Season 5 of The Next Food Network Star.

[Photo courtesy of enzo & lulu / Flickr]
TELL US: What are your favorite snacks?
Keep Reading

Next Up

Katie's Healthy Bites: Kid-Friendly Road Trip Snacks

Rest stops, gas stations and the drive-through may seem convenient, but a little extra pre-trip planning can keep the kids (and you) happy, healthier and satisfied until you reach your destination. Here are some of my top pack-and-go snack ideas the whole family will love!

Camp Essentials: Ideas for Meals and Snacks

Keep your campers happy with these meal and snack ideas for summer camp.

Smarter Snacks: Picks for During & After School

When I tell my younger clients to eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 small, healthy snacks a day, they often look at me with a puzzled face and say, “I’m supposed to snack?” Well, yes, of course, but it's all about picking wisely. Kids should get 25% of their daily calories from snacks, so these mini-meals should be full of vitamins and minerals to help them grow. But the question is: what’s a healthy snack that your kid will want to eat?

Healthy Snacks

Tips for making healthy choices whenever a craving strikes

Smarter Late-Night Snacks

With a jam-packed refrigerator and holiday junk food lurking in every corner, late night snacking can blow your attempts at healthful eating out of the water. Here are some tips for those who like snacking after dark.

On TV

The Pioneer Woman

9:30am | 8:30c

Cupcake Wars

10am | 9c

Cupcake Wars

11am | 10c

Cake Wars

12pm | 11c

The Pioneer Woman

1:30pm | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30pm | 1:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

3:30pm | 2:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

4:30pm | 3:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

5:30pm | 4:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

6:30pm | 5:30c

Chopped

7pm | 6c

Chopped

8pm | 7c

Chopped

9pm | 8c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Beat Bobby Flay

10pm | 9c

Beat Bobby Flay

10:30pm | 9:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

11:30pm | 10:30c

Chopped

12am | 11c

Beat Bobby Flay

1:30am | 12:30c

Beat Bobby Flay

2:30am | 1:30c

Chopped

3am | 2c

Mystery Diners

4:30am | 3:30c

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.