Healthy Eating: Top 10 Healthy Snacks

10healthysnacks-impAt one time health experts told us the best way to maintain a healthy weight was to eat 3 meals a day and avoid snacking, now it seems that advice has changed.  Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day may be more beneficial and healthy snacks can actually increase your protein and vitamin intake if you snack healthy!

A breakfast with whole grains, fruit and calcium will fuel you until lunch when you can fill up on greens and vegetables but you’ll likely be looking for an afternoon snack.  The secret to healthy snacking is to have healthy options on hand.  Try one of these Top 10 Healthy Snacks and enjoy eating healthy!

Top 10 Healthy Snacks

1. Almonds

Almonds are a great snack when you just need something to munch on to fill that void between meals.  Full of vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats, a handful of almonds can be a staple go-to snack for kids and adults.

2. Hard Boiled Eggs
A perfect make ahead!  Hard boiled eggs will last in the fridge up to 1 week and are easy to take with you. Make a bunch at a time. Each hard boiled egg contains all the B vitamins, vitamin D, omega 3s and protein. Some say the egg is one of the most nutrient rich food and that is why it tops our list for a quick healthy snack

3. Roasted Chick Peas or Edamame

Fibre and protein rich, these beans are easy to roast at home and are perfect if you are in the mood for something crunchy. Buy canned chickpeas or frozen edamame beans, Rinse or thaw and then dry before sprinkling with a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until crunchy!

4. Yogurt

Probiotics will help with digestion and the extra protein in greek yogurt will help you feel full when hungry.  Try to avoid the sugary or artificial ‘non fat’ options and instead reach for plain yogurt and add your own frozen berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup if you need a little sweetener.  The berries are great anitoxidants and the yogurt is loaded with calcium..

5. Berries
Make your morning go to snack tiny fruit that is easy to pop in your mouth and will last in a container as you move through your day.  Full of antioxidants like vitamin K and C as well B1, B6 and fibre, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are powerful tiny treats that make great snacks.

6. Orange and Grapes
I had forgotten how much I love oranges. Chalk full of vitamin C (which I needed to keep me healthy over the long winter we just had), I found the time it took for me to peel and enjoy the orange made it a rewarding snack.  Add grapes for those times when you feel the need to just be munching on something.

7. Tuna & Cucumber

With 17 grams of protein, not to mention the benefits of Omega 3s, in a small 72 gram container, you get a great snack with tuna.  Mix with just a little extra virgin olive oil and some pepper to taste or add lemon juice, garlic or avocado and enjoy your tuna without the unhealthy fats in most mayonnaise spreads.  Use a slice of cucumber in place of a cracker and you have a filling healthy snack.

8. Cottage Cheese
This often overlooked soft cheese hides in it a meals worth of protein, calcium, and B vitamins in one serving.  Adding a cup of cottage cheese to your salad, your quiche or enjoy on its own with a few berries for a sweet treat and you will get 138mg of calcium and 28g protein with only 2 grams of fat!

9. Hummus & Veggies
Whip up your own hummus using canned chick peas, lemon juice, tahini sauce and a little extra virgin olive oil. Add in roasted peppers or garlic for a flavour treat and enjoy the fibre, protein and folate benefits of this legume.  Use carrots sticks, celery, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli or our new favorite, raw green beans, to dip and enjoy this healthy snack.

10. Oatmeal
A half a cup of rolled oats gives you 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fibre, plus 15% of your daily iron requirements with only 3 grams of fat. Easy to make by covering oats in a bowl with boiling water and letting sit for 3-5 minutes.  Add dried apricots, blueberries, raisons, cranberries and how about a tsp of flax, hemp seeds, and chai seeds! Or how about an oatmeal pancake from the toaster?  A super filling and healthy snack, oatmeal is one that doesn’t have to be just for breakfast!

The key to healthy eating begins with good food choices and healthy snacks are an important part. Make sure your snacks are high in protein, fibre, vitamins and calcium to ensure you are getting the nutrition you need instead of filling up on empty calories.

Have other favourite healthy snacks you don’t see on my list? Please share! Always looking for more healthy snacks.