Although I love to cook and enjoy trying new recipes that will tick the nutritional boxes, I very rarely have time to prepare any snacks that require more than one or two ingredients.I'm more of a no-fuss kind of person when it comes to planning snack foods for myself or the family. Here is my list of easy to prepare healthy yet simple snack ideas, that can be taken with you on the go and carry you through to the next main meal :
1) Fresh fruit. Any. All fruit contains fructose (a natural sugar) but there's no need to avoid it. In fact the fibre in fruit can get your digestion going so much that the energy cost of digesting it is more than the energy content of the fruit. So you are better off for having eaten it.
2) Handful of nuts. Which nuts? A good mixture. Think variety with everything you eat. All nuts contain fat but the majority of this is unsaturated fat which is good for you. The protein also helps to fill you up. I make sure to only take 1 serving with me ie 30-40g or the size of a box of sultanas as they are so easy to overeat.
3) Raw vegetables with low fat hommus, cottage cheese, low fat cream cheese, tzatziki, salsa or mashed avocado dip. Celery, cherry tomatoes halved, carrots, mushrooms and capsicum work well.
4) Vita-weets with cheese and vegemite
5) Olives. Again, full of monounsaturated fat, an essential component of the Mediterranean Style diet.
6) Plain low fat greek or diet yogurt. Add your own berries for some natural sweetness. Add a tablespoon of almond meal if you want to fortify the protein content.
7) Bowl of soup. Handy to cook up a batch of vegetable soup using chicken or vegetable stock and the vegetables you want to use up from your vege drawer in the fridge. Freeze it in individual portions, though the size of a portion really doesnt matter.
8) Smoothie made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, yoghurt and one serve of fruit. Or make it on water and throw in one serve of fruit to four serves of vegetables such as spinach, celery, beetroot or carrot. This could be made in advance and kept in the fridge at work.
9) Wholegrain Ryevita with almond, cashew or peanut butter.
10) Cob of corn. This is a good one to use up leftovers from dinner.
Remember that planning snacks for between meals is a good way to prevent excess hunger when it comes to meal times. Over-snacking can also be a problem when it comes to weight management and dental health so remember to eat mindfully and think about your hunger level before you snack.