How often are we stuck with no easy ideas to snack ? That too if the need is to eat a healthy, nutritious snack ? I hate the idea of snacking on 3-4 Marie biscuits or just 2 plain Khakhras! What’s that going to do for the body in terms of nutrition? Instead, one should reach for snack that is satisfying, fills up between 2 meals, gives energy, and should be yummy! Also it should be less than 200-250 calories, so that it doesn’t come in the way of “weight-loss” or “weight-maintenance”……not only that, the snack ideas that I have given is also great for kids, can be had on-the-go, can be had at work and can be quickly assembled or made in advance!
Healthy Snack Ideas
1) Apple wedges with Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
For my kids, I just cut a big apple into eight wedges and put about 2 spoons of peanut butter in a small ziplock bag….then I squeeze it all into a corner and cut the tip off, then glide the butter in neat lining on the wedges! It’s mess-free and looks presentable! You can do same with almond butter or carrot butter. (it’s just finely grated carrots and butter mixed together!)
2) Medium Banana with ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a very good protein source for vegetarians and I eat it all the time, my favorite way is to pair it with my favorite orange jam or strawberry jam. But if it’s not available, then best way to get that similar same taste and may be nutrition is to grate low-fat paneer and mix it with low-fat yogurt!
3) Berries with lightly-sweetened low-fat yoghurt
When the yogurt is too runny, you can let it sit in a damp cloth which is lined over a sieve and keep it in fridge for whole night. Next morning, you’ll have thicker yogurt which is more creamy and delicious. The water that’s drained out, can be used for making dough for chapattis or parathas!
4) Fruit and Nut Granola Bar ( for quick go-to snack)
Sometimes I love the crunch and chewy texture and having a granola bar satisfies my sweet tooth! Most of them are between 120-150 calories and just the right size to fit in a purse! Healthy and Great snack !
5) 1 cup of low-fat milk with 1 slice of bread & nut butter
This is perhaps the easiest way to snack or even have it in breakfast!!! I love nut butters! The easiest way to make it is take a heavy-duty food processor or food blender, and grind the nuts well, then add unflavored oil in slow drip, while the food processor is still running, till it all becomes thick and pasty. You can add a bit of sugar, salt to make it to your liking!
6) ½ cup low-fat hummus with whole wheat crackers
The quickest way to make hummus is to take a garlic clove, some olive oil, red chilli powder, boiled chhole beans, salt and pepper and blend them in blender till thick and pasty! I sometimes add lemon juice for a nice tang or green olives for added kick!
7) Whole wheat crackers and 1 low-fat mozzarella stick
This is my ultimate quickie healthy snack, when I really don’t have time to do anything and the kids are getting cranky! If I do have time, I make small pieces of mozzarella cheese, lay them on wheat crackers and then decorate them with a drop of ketchup for mini-pizza treat!! Lay a drop of pickle on each one to make it appealing to adults!
8) Steamed broccoli/carrot sticks with low-fat ranch dressing and roasted nuts.
This is just so tasty and nutritious for all! I love ranch dressing with veggies, sometimes I make a surprise addition like chopped suva bhaji (dill leaves) or chopped coriander leaves to ranch dressing, and its tastes so so so good! Try it to believe it!
9) ½ avocados with whole wheat crackers or steamed veggies.
Again a quick and easy one! Make sure you share an avocado…so it doesn’t go waste! A whole avocado is very calorie dense and full of good fats, so split if you are trying to lose weight!
10) ½ cup low-fat milk with ½ cup high fiber nut based granola.
This more like breakfast; milk and cereal but I have it when I go home after work! I love something crunchy and fibers in granola fill me up for an hour or so, so that I can summon energy to make dinner or run errands in evening.
11) 1 Thick low-fat Daal-Veggie Paratha with ½ cup yoghurt
This is more dealing with left-overs situation!!! If you have a good tasty daal leftover, then mix in some sabzi and use it with some whole wheat flour to make soft dough, roll it out, make a paratha and voila…a tasty treat!!!
12) 6-7 sauteed dhokla (made out of ½ daal ½ rice) with steamed veggies
Dhokla is one of my favorite Indian snacks!!! My mom used to put grated cabbage and carrots and onions in the batter for a quick change to usual white dhoklas! It tasted awesome and my sweet and spicy Maggi ketchup made it top-notch!
13) 3/4 cup veggie upma with ½ cup yoghurt
I remember when I was young, I used to take some upma in a bowl, invert it on a plate and it used to be perfect round mound to break my spoon into! I do the same for my kids! Only this time I have shapes like motorcar, heart, square, star……and they love it!
14) ½ grilled veggie-cheese sandwich with ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
Grilled veggie sandwich is my ultimate snack! Since I cannot have one without cheese, I just eat half and eat other half in next snack….hehehe….I know it sounds stupid…but hey! when you want to lose weight, that’s killing two birds with one stone!
These snacks provide carbohydrates, proteins and fats in one-go. In-between meals, they can help suppress hunger and give your body fuel when meal-time is little while away. These require little or zero cooking and can be kept handy in home or office for when hunger strikes at odd times.
These are healthy snack options compared to high-fat snacks like potato chips or tortilla chips or nutrition-empty snacks like popcorn or pretzels. Don’t eat foods like fried chips or fried nuts mindlessly; they pack in lot of calories and lot of unhealthy fats. But definitely feel free to indulge in your favorite snack once in a while! Do not deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Again, count them towards your calorie intake of the day.