Sometimes I feel like my girls are Pavlov’s dogs. If they are strapped into their carseat or stroller, they immediately start to salivate and call for snacks. But they aren’t the only ones that suffer from a snack attack. Since my busiest fitness days can include two or three workouts, I snack to ensure I’m giving my body enough fuel. Like gasoline, there are different grades of snacks. Here is a short list of my favorite go-to snacks the whole family enjoys to ensure you are filling your tank with the premium octane!
1. Larabars– Not all packaged bars are created equal, but the Larabars meet my high standards. I can pronounce all the ingredients because they are real foods like apples, peanuts, dark chocolate (yes, I approve!) sea salt and dates. Most contain less than five ingredients, a good rule of thumb for finding less processed snacks. And they are portable. Most people seem to make unwise food decisions because they are more convenient. You can eat healthy on the go if you are prepared. Simple Bars are another good option that pack more grams of protein.
2. Fruit and Nuts/String Cheese– Mother Nature must have known mommies would be too busy for their own good and threw us a bone with nutritious, perfectly portioned and packaged fruits! Nothing beats a crisp, juicy apple when you are craving something sweet, and pairing it with 8-10 almonds or a string cheese full of protein will help you feel full. And what about that ever popular banana that even the pickiest eaters seem to love, paired with a tablespoon of peanut butter. A very satisfying, borderline indulgent, snack.
3. Justin’s Almond Butter & Whole Grain Crackers– If you have never tried almond butter, please start with Justin’s. Justin is a man after my own heart by sweetening his with real maple syrup. The guy’s a genius because he sells them in individual packages. Throw some whole grain crackers like Kashi’s and voila, you have a seriously delicious snack the kids will fight over…okay so maybe that shouldn’t be a selling point.
4. Greek Yogurt– Talk about a cool refreshing snack packed with protein, one small container boasts between 13-20 grams…twice as much as regular yogurt. I personally like to top it with berries, chopped walnuts or a tablespoon or two of Kashi cereal for a little crunch.
5. Hummus & Carrots/Celery– Like Greek yogurt, hummus comes in a variety of yummy flavors and is an easy way to add some vegetables by spreading over carrots or celery. Sabra even has individual cups of hummus with a few pretzels if you want to go that route.
Do not be afraid of healthy snacking! Many times people skip snacks in an effort to cut calories. Most of the research I’ve read out there shows that snacking keeps you from reaching that point of dangerous hunger. If you feel like you are starving by meal time, you will typically overeat. Like much of motherhood, planning ahead helps. Stick some of your favorite snacks in your car or purse to have on hand for those days when you forgot your snack, opted to run another errand instead of eating a sit-down meal, and for the times when you are “sharing” your entire snack with your children. Make the most out of your munchies and remember food should be enjoyed!