Snacks… My top tips on better choices 

Snacks… we all like to snack and it can be the thing that stops us living a healthy lifestyle. Its too easy to grab a snack and lose count of how many you have consumed throughout the day. I used to be a cereal snacker. I would justify it by saying things like I skipped breakfast, lunch or even dinner so its ok. Sometimes our lives can be that busy it is easier to snack than sit down for a proper meal. If you are one of these people that like to eat lots of small meals throughout the day then this is fine but make sure they are healthy choices and keep a close eye on what you are putting into your mouth. The calories can soon add up. I am not a calorie counter…I have spent too many years doing so. I prefer to stick with 3 main meals a day and no more than 2 snacks. All homemade, whole foods with occasional treats of something I really like.

Snacks are probably one of my biggest challenges. That along side lunch ideas. Trying to find snack ideas that are quick, easy and healthy is no easy task. I want something I can grab out of a packet and eat while I move….There is no reason why this can not be done with healthier snacks if we prepare.

I do not keep anything in the house that I know I will binge on either. This used to be for selfish reasons but actually as time went on I was very much in the opinion that the kids would have better habits too. I often get asked what they eat as a snack… To be honest they are not massive snackers on school days. I do keep crisps in the house but they could easily go days with out asking for them. I try to encourage them to have some fruit. At weekends however it is usually a trip to the shop turning our “Treat day” into a “Treat weekend”. I can cope with this. They are really starting to grasp this whole healthy eating lifestyle but they are kids and they do like all of us enjoy sweets and chocolate.

There are literally 100’s of snacks you could grab straight from the supermarket shelf and even the ones that lead you to believe are healthy likely aren’t at all. The ones that claim to be low fat are usually full of sugar and can even contain more calories than the full fat version. I used to love the snacks found in the health food section of supermarkets. The kind that are all natural ingredients like dried fruit and nuts. The problem with these snacks is they are really high in sugar. It may well be “natural sugar” but it is still sugar none the less and it has had all the water taken out of it meaning there is far more fruit compacted into that little bar than you would consume if it was whole fruit. They may be far better for you than say a chocolate bar but you end up eating them daily as they are seen as “healthy”. They are fine to have as an occasional treat but they should not be eaten every day.

Comparison…

nakd-bar

 

  • 106Kcals, Fat 2.7g, Sugar 12.5g

 

or…

dairy-milk

 

  • 240kcals, Fat 14g, Sugar 25g

 

 

  • ski114kcal, Fat 3.3g, Sugars 15.8g

 

 

 

or…

  • yogurtnatural yogurt with fruit

38kcal, Fat 0.5g, Sugars 3.8g (berries)

66kcal, Fat 3.5g, sugars 4.1g (yogurt)

 

crispy-slice

  • 164kcal, Fat 1.7g, Sugars 14.6g

3 biscuits is 43.6g

 

 

or…

go-ahead

 

  • 171 kcal, Fat 3g, Sugar 16.2g

3 biscuits is 43.5g

So the “healthy” option has more calories, double the fat and more sugar…

 

  • crisps 171kcal, Fat 10.4g, Sugar 0.1g

 

 

 

or….

  • baked104 kcal, Fat 2.1 g, Sugar 1.3 g

 

 

 

The baked version have added sugar but they are a lot lower in fat and less calories. I’d opt for the baked version as the sugar is likely low but have them on occasion not daily.

Snack ideas:

  • Handful of nuts
  • Homemade dip e.g.humous or salsa with vegetables sticks/wholemeal pitta
  • Nut butter with a piece of fruit
  • Piece of whole fruit
  • Cheese with some nuts
  • Natural yogurt with frozen berries (mix it up in a processor and you get frozen yogurt)
  • Rice cakes with a nut butter, tuna or soft cheese
  • Mini cucumbers or cherry tomatoes
  • Try to go for baked crisps or popcorn if your a crisp fan but check the ingredients and compare against your usually ones to check for added ingredients like sugar. Plain crisps tend to be safe but choose the ones lower in fat…and do not eat every day.
  • My recipes for occasional treats….Coconut caramel bars and Christmas pudding bites or why not make some Homemade Nutella to spread onto a rice cake or piece of fruit or drizzle over some natural yogurt and fruit.

I made some oven roasted chickpeas from Clean eating Alice’s new book. They were yummy and pictured below. I need to work on them though as they were not as crunchy as I’d have liked.

The links below have some really good ideas for snacks for yourselves as well as your children.

Change4life snack swaps for kids.

Change4life snack ideas for kids but adults can enjoy them too.

BBC good food have some great ideas of snacks for adults.

BBC good food Quick snacks.

BBC good food healthy snacking.

 

I found this on the BBC good food page. Its a really good visual way of understanding the amount of sugar we should have and some swaps or at least a low sugar swap. sugar-infographic-resized

I hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions leave a comment.

Jaimee x

 

 

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