Healthy snacks are often part of a nutritious eating or weight-loss plan. Snacking during the day or evening provides an extra energy boost and spreads calories and carbohydrates over the course of the day. If you have diabetes, healthy snacking is a good way to manage blood glucose levels.
Remember to always carry a snack with you, especially when you exercise. The key to snacking well is to plan good-for-you, delicious snacks with total carbohydrates and calories that fit into your meal plan.
Consider this list of great quick and easy snacks:
20 Great Nutritious Snacks
- Whole-grain granola bars, fruit-and-grain bars, cereal snack mixes, ready-to-eat cereal and light popcorn are good to carry. Choose whole-grain foods as 3 or more of your carbohydrate choices each day.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables provide many needed nutrients. Keep baby carrots, celery sticks, frozen grapes, bananas, apples, kiwifruit or other favorites on hand.
- String cheese, cheese slices or chunks provide necessary calcium. Whenever possible, choose the low-fat or nonfat versions.
- Lower-fat crackers and pretzels and baked tortilla chips can be spread with roasted vegetable dip or salsa. If your food plan allows, enjoy with low-fat cheese or peanut butter.
- Cereal and yogurt are nutrient powerhouses. Choose a high-fiber cereal, such as Fiber One®, and calcium-rich Yoplait Light® yogurt. Or layer the two for a power-packed parfait!
- Peanuts or roasted soy nuts are great munchies, but their calories and fat can add up quickly. Mix with low-fat popcorn or sprinkle with savory herb blends.
- Dried fruits are packed with important vitamins, but they’re concentrated sources of carbohydrate, so keep portions small. Dried plums, apricots, dates and raisins are good choices. Stretch them by mixing with pretzels, low-fat popcorn or ready-to-eat cereal.
- Whole-wheat sandwiches of lean turkey, beef, ham, tuna or low-fat cheese make substantial snacks. Mustard and other nonfat condiments are great add-ons, but keep the mayo off or to a minimum. Load them up with your favorite raw veggies instead
- Yogurt smoothies with fruit can be a delicious treat as well as an excellent source of calcium, vitamins and other important nutrients. Blend Yoplait Light® with cut-up fresh fruit.
- Make smoothies super fast with Yoplait® Frozen Smoothies found in the freezer section of your grocery store.
- Sweet low-fat cookies, cakes or miniature candy bars may fit occasionally as a snack, but look at the food label for total number of calories and carbohydrates per serving. Then, adjust the serving for your food plan.
Having healthy snacks readily available is a valuable key to following your meal plan. Be sure to check the food label to make sure the snack is in line with your food plan or dietary needs. Keep these on hand and reach for them whenever you need a quick healthy snack.
- 1 granola bar (1 ounce)
- 3 graham cracker squares with 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 3 cups popped popcorn (no fat added) with seasoned salt
- 6 animal crackers
- 10 seasoned mini-rice or mini-popcorn cakes
- 15 mini-pretzel twists
- 10 to 15 tortilla chips (1 ounce) with 1/4 cup salsa
- 4 or 5 whole-grain snack crackers plus 1 ounce reduced-fat cheese
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cereal
- 1 small muffin or 3-inch cookie
- 1/2 cup sugar-free pudding
- 1 medium apple, orange or pear
- 12 to 15 cherries or grapes
- 1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit
- 3 cups raw vegetables with 1 tbsp dip
- 1 1/2 cups tomato or vegetable juice
- 3/4 to 1 cup low-fat yogurt (Yoplait Light® has 20-plus flavor choices!)