It’s 3 p.m. You’re feeling a bit sluggish. You hear that familiar rumble in your stomach. Must be time for a snack!
Snacking is a normal healthy eating activity. It’s a great way to keep our energy up between meals and the perfect time to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Unfortunately, many pre-packaged snack foods are missing the things our bodies need, giving us added sugar, salt, and fat instead. They may be convenient, but they aren’t very filling, and may be doing more harm than good. Fortunately, there are plenty of convenient, easy to prepare, and easy to pack real food snacks. Here are 10 tasty and simple ideas to get you started on your way to smarter snacking:
- Cut up vegetables (such as carrots, celery, peppers, or cucumbers) with your favourite dip – try this vibrant Dilly Beet Hummus!
- Low-fat yogurt topped with granola and blueberries.
- Cheddar cheese and whole grain crackers.
- Homemade trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, cereal, and chocolate chips.
- Grab and go fruit – think apples, bananas, oranges, or pears.
- Avocado toast – fork mash 1/4 of a ripe avocado on whole grain toast, season with salt and pepper.
- Homemade whole grain muffins.
- Peanut butter and banana on rice cakes.
- Hard boiled eggs.
- Smoothie made with frozen fruit, yogurt, and milk.
Sometimes I like to swap my veggies and dip for fruit and dip instead. In this recipe, Greek yogurt pairs with nutty peanut butter and maple syrup to create a dip that eats like a meal. The cinnamon gives it a subtle spicy kick that will have you licking the bowl clean! Plus, it’s easy enough for everyday snacking and fancy enough for guests. Give it a try!
Maple Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Dip (makes approximately 1 cup)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (no salt, no sugar added)
- 2 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix until well combined.
- Allow to sit for an hour to let the flavours meld…if you can. Otherwise, grab your favourite fruit and start dipping!
Tell me, what are some of your favourite smarter snacks?
About Marianne Bloudoff
Born and raised in BC, Marianne moved from Vancouver to Prince George in January 2014. She is a Registered Dietitian with Northern Health's population health team. Her passion for food and nutrition lured her away from her previous career in Fisheries Management. Now, instead of counting fish, she finds herself educating people on their health benefits. In her spare time, Marianne can be found experimenting in the kitchen and writing about it on her food blog, as well as exploring everything northern B.C. has to offer.