Eating snacks in-between meals can help to tie you over until your next main meal, and may even help you not to overeat at main meals. When opting for snacks, I always choose a wholegrain or low Glycemic Index (GI) carbohydrate and/ or a source of lean protein, depending on how hungry I am and how long away I am from eating my next main meal. Here are some easy, packable snack ideas
- Fruit and nut trail mix
This snack provides healthy fats, some protein and a serving of fruit. It is easy to pack and convenient size to pack in your bag/ lunchbox. Try dried apple and a handful of almonds if you want to make your own mix!
- Fruit with nut butter
Fruit is always a good snack option. It provides fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pairing it with a nut butter ads healthy fats and a little bit of protein. Try an apple or pear with peanut butter.
- Veggie sticks and hummus
Whether homemade or store-bought, hummus is a yummy dip for almost anything! It contains protein, low GI carbohydrate and healthy fats. Veggie sticks can be bought at most supermarkets, or slice your own up if you want to save some money. Raw mushrooms, carrots, cucumber, mange touge and pepper strips all go well with hummus.
- Whole wheat biscuits/ crackers with peanut butter
This is a super easy snack and provides both low GI carbohydrates that fuel energy levels while the peanut butter provides protein and healthy fats. It is easy to prep and take with to work or school, or you can keep a jar of peanut butter at work and prep on the spot!
- Roasted chick peas
Legumes like chick peas contain both low GI carbohydrates and protein. Roast until crispy and enjoy instead of the usual packet of potato crisps – you will love it!
- Greek yoghurt and granola
This combination also provides healthy carbs and protein. Watch your granola portion, as it can be quite high in calories when consumed in large amounts. Keep the yoghurt separate in a cooler bag with an ice pack and mix when you are ready to enjoy your snack.
- Cheese stick or wedges with whole wheat biscuits/ crackers
This is an easy snack that provides healthy carbs and protein. Be careful of processed cheese and rather try mozzarella cheese sticks, that also contain a little less fat.
- Air-popped popcorn
This snack is a real treat! It is high in fibre, and is very easy to pack. Add a handful of nuts to incorporate some protein.
- Dried fruit bar and biltong
This is one of my favourite combos! Something sweet and something savoury. The Just Fruit dried fruit bar from Safari has a low Glycemic Index and is equal to 1 fruit portion. Be careful of the amount of biltong, keeping in mind that the actual amount of meat you eat has shrunk by 50% during the drying process: keep your portion to 15 - 30g (1 - 2 heaped tablespoons).
Like legumes, milk contains carbohydrates and protein. As long as you don’t add heaps of sugar, this can be a very uplifting mid-afternoon snack! And it contains calcium, which most of us are not getting enough of! Use unsweetened almond milk for an even lower calorie alternative!
Weight Loss Ideas
Whatever your snack choice, make sure it comes from whole foods that provides nourishing nutrients, instead of empty snack choices that just makes you want to eat more. Plan ahead, and make sure you have all the ingredients you need available. There are a few meal delivery companies that also supply snack items, if that would be an easier option for you!