Our Best Healthy Snack Ideas!

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Whoooo – the weather woman described it best when she proclaimed it “juicy” outside this morning!

It was already 72 degrees by the time my Mom and I set out for our morning walk, and boy did we work up a sweat. The humidity is making it feel about 10 degrees warmer then it actually is! The forecast for the rest of the week is more of the same too. High 80s, with today’s high being 88 degrees. Eeesh! 8O

I tried to beat the heat with a nice, refreshing Green Protein Smoothie for breakfast!

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In the mix:

  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

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(You can really taste the difference between this stuff and the pre-bagged from the grocery store – so much more tender and flavorful!)

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  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter

Let ‘er rip!

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Amazing.

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Creamy-cold, oh-so-refreshing and packed with nutrients!

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I’ve got even MORE greens for lunch.

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8 cups of ‘em! 

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In the mix:

  • Mixed greens
  • Baby Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Deli turkey
  • Peanuts

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Served with some Trader Joe’s Soy Ginger Vinaigrette that I keep at work. I ab-solutely love this dressing and highly recommend it.

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Plus a Fat-free Raspberry Cheesecake Yogurt and Pink Lady Apple for the afternoon munchies!

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Speaking of munchies – during our walk today, my Mom and I both confesessed…

Our clothes are shrinking.

Or rather, we’re not! Yes, somewhere in the past couple of months, we’ve both managed to pack on a few extra pounds. Our clothes aren’t fitting as well as they used to, and we can just feel the extra weight. We commiserated for a few minutes, then decided to figure out the source of our problem. It really wasn’t that hard to identify…

Snacking.

We both eat very healthfully during the day, but excessive snacking can throw anybody’s good diet for a loop. For her, the problem is usually after work, for me, it’s after dinner.

It was easy to come up with a solution for my Mom. Normally, she doesn’t have an afternoon snack which leaves her starving by the time she comes home – reaching for anything in sight while cooking dinner. We thought incorporating a 2 or 3pm, 200-300 calorie, snack into her routine might help keep the afternoon munchies at bay. Here are some of the ideas we came up with:

  • Sliced apple with string cheese
  • Homemade trailmix of almonds, raisins and popcorn
  • Deli turkey, sliced cheese & pickle roll up
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cup of grapes
  • Sliced apple with 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • Carrot chips (which are more fun to eat than regular carrots, according to my Mom ;) )
  • Fat-free yogurt
  • 100 calorie bag of popcorn
  • Cottage cheese and fresh pineapple
  • Celery sticks with 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • Banana dunked in a fat-free yogurt
  • ThinBun with 1 Tablespoon peanut butter, 1 Tablespoon jelly

My issue is mostly with nighttime snacking. It’s not that I’m even neccessarily hungry, I just like something sweet after dinner. Life is too short to deny yourself dessert, so instead of choosing things like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Bars, we thought maybe I could try some smarter, 200-300 calorie options like:

We’re both going to give these ideas a whirl and see if our clothes stop getting “shrunk in the dryer”… ;)

Happy Monday!

~~~~~

Are you a snacky type of person?

What are some of your favorite, healthy (er), go-to snack and dessert options?

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Comments

  1. I am such a snaker. Fruit and nutbutter seem to always hold me over well. As does greek yogurt with fruit and cereal or a crumbled protein bar. For dessert, I’ve been loving banana soft serve with chocolate chips, coconut, and melted peanut butter on top!

  2. I always like something sweet after dinner too – my favourite after dinner thing is a blend of cereal (bran sticks), banana and cocoa powder. It sounds weird, but if you nuke it in the microwave, it tastes like chocolate cake! SO good!
    I always find yogurt and cereal to be the best snack – so satisfying :)
    Have a great day!

  3. Mellissa 05.24.2010

    I would much rather snack then eat a big meal, lots of fruit, veggies, yogurt, cheese sticks, tea and Larabars.

  4. Lindsay 05.24.2010

    Oh girl.
    Welcome to the club! I can “feel” the weight I have apparently gained in the last couple months too. Not fun :-( I, like you, have to have something to “cleanse my palate” after dinner. Lately I have done that by eating half a carton of ice cream. I like your idea of trying to eat fruit instead or sometimes especially now when it is getting warmer and I want something light and refreshing. I vow to start eating better today!!

  5. Megan 05.24.2010

    I too want something sweet after dinner…my new favorite is the new Skinny Cow mini ice cream cups. They are incredible! I also like to eat 94% fat free popcorn sprinkled with 1-2 TB mini M&M’s. YUM!!

  6. Margaret 05.24.2010

    I don’t snack during the day but as a result tend to have your mom’s temptation of snacking while making dinner. I also like the sweet treat after dinner, too, though! If I have veggies washed, cut up, & waiting in the fridge, I’ll readily grab those. For a sweet snack, I really like yogurt and Grape Nuts.

  7. Jen 05.24.2010

    I am definitely a snacker! Recently I’ve been snacking on raw broccoli and hummus. Or a hand ful of almonds.

  8. Molly 05.24.2010

    love the Minnesota glass :)
    Its suppose to be 90 up here today, and feel way hotter. So crazy. I wonder what August will look like!

    Molly
    http://www.givinganythingbutup.wordpress.com

  9. Marina 05.24.2010

    I could be snacking all day long, seriously. My snack are usually fruit, nuts, yogurt, dried fruit or handfuls of cereal.
    Ah….warm weather is a bliss :)

  10. Dawn Hutchins 05.24.2010

    I am a snacker as I tend to eat smaller main meals. For some more snack ideas..
    -100 calorie packs of natural almonds or cocoa roasted,
    -hard boiled egg whites with salt and pepper,
    -make up big bag of mixed veggies on Sunday and grab some each day: Carrot, celery, grape tomoato, sugar snap peas
    -for something sweet 1/2 cup slow churn ice cream (vanilla is only 100 cals!) with 2 Tbsp baileys or kahlua over the top

  11. Anna 05.24.2010

    We are feeling the heat! My fantastic boyfriend is heading to Target at 9 a.m. pronto to buy us an A/C. I can’t take it any longer!
    Sounds like you guys have a lot of good snack ideas already. I’m such a snacker. You and your mama look fantastic so don’t worry about it. :)

  12. Daisy 05.24.2010

    I’m not super snacky (but everyone has their days!) Thanks for the healthy tips!

  13. Amanda 05.24.2010

    Great sack ideas!! One of my favorites is Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar (2 in pack) and 1T. chocolate chips. Break up the bars and add in the chocolate chips & enjoy! 260 calories and it gives me my chocolate, sweet, crunchy fix.

  14. That sounds like a good plan to me! I always want something sweet after dinner too. Have you tried Vita Tops? They are AMAZING! I looove the chocolate chocolate chip one, delicious!

  15. Jenny 05.24.2010

    I’m such a snacky person, and those are great tips to keep my clothes fitting well!

  16. Sara 05.24.2010

    Great snack ideas. I’m not so much snacky during the day, but like you, I enjoy something sweet to snack on after dinner.

  17. I have been REALLY snacky lately. I’ve also had a problem where I just don’t enjoy cooking as much in the summer. My meals aren’t as well planned and, therefore, I’ve gained a few pounds too. Ick!

  18. Banana soft serve is by far my favorite! Just 1 tsp. cocoa powder and a little agave and its PERFECT!

  19. That big salad looks awesome.

    I do have a tendency to mindlessly snack given the opportunity. If I am mindful then I don’t really think about it unless I am truly hungry. I’m more of a overeat during meals type of person, lol.

    Jenn

  20. Brynne 05.24.2010

    I love popcorn at night – I’m an after-dinner snacker too :0) But instead of using the microvable bags with gross ingredients, I’ve been air popping plain kernels (in a stapled brown lunch bag or a microwave air popper) and topping the plain popcorn with cinnamon and sugar or salt and pepper – depending on whether I’m in the mood for sweet or salty. MUCH more satisfying and healthy!

  21. Tess 05.24.2010

    In my opinion there is NOTHING better than apples and pb (or bananas : ))! I just found these Special K crackers which I LOVE, they are really good (a little salty but I like them that way). The best part for me is that you can have 23 little crackers for only 120 calories! I’m alllllll about the bulk so these are perfect for me. Sometimes I even mix it up and put some sugar free jam on them : )

  22. Tess 05.24.2010

    ps I JUST tried this last night but it is insanely delicious and just the kind of sweet treat I was looking for. If I hadn’t “made it” myself I wouldn’t have guessed that its not cookie dough! It’s not my recipe, but here is the link to it: http://foodsofapril.com/?p=3837

  23. LAURYN 05.24.2010

    Well…I love those lara bars too but they tend to be high in fat :( Im doing WW’s and they are like 4 pts…and if you can only have 18 pts a day thats a lot! lol…but reduced fat triscuits with one wedge laughing cow cheese really satisfies me!! And 100 cal bag kettle corn with cinnamon sprinkled over is great!!!

  24. Machelle 05.24.2010

    Snacking after I just ate supper is a tough one for me. It’s more bordom than anything. I always gain weight in the winter, hibernating in the house & making heavy/starchy comfort foods makes me swell up! I usually lose it in the summer from working in the yard. One of my favorite evening snacks is a cup of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal w/milk. Or ice cream in the summer, although as I get older..ice cream is bothering the ole digestive tract a bit! About 1 scoop is all I can tolerate…which is really not a bad thing! Ha!

  25. Melanie 05.24.2010

    Great suggestions! Love an apple with some extra sharp cheddar cheese. I’m also a big fan of frozen grapes!!! :)

  26. Beth 05.24.2010

    I am SUCH a snacker at work! I bring all my groceries for the week in on Monday….so I have all this food at work that I can snack on. Not good. I may need to start bringing individual lunched everyday instead!

  27. Emily 05.24.2010

    I definitely relate to you on the late-night snacking. I find that the best way to keep snacking over-indulgence at bay is to tune in to what I really want to eat, which in most cases is a little sweet and a little salty. By eating a few chocolate covered pretzels or a bag of 100-cal popcorn with a few M&Ms thrown in, I satisfy both cravings! That way, I don’t get to the bottom of a cup of ice cream and realize I STILL want potato chips…

  28. i love love frozen yogurt – like actually yogurt…frozen! it’s such a simple and healthy treat. great for the late night munchies. also, frozen jello is awesome too! watch it to make sure it doesn’t get solid, but a semi-frozen sugar free jello is the best! im making 2 of your meals this week! the spring rolls and the bean burgs! i’ll let you know how they turn out. cant wait!

  29. Tara 05.24.2010

    I’m totally a snacker – especially right after work and while cooking dinner. But my most fav. snack is one that’s consumed after dinner: yogurt and special dark chocolate chips. Oh yum. My roommate and I always try to keep special dark morsels in the cupboard and yog in the fridge. I tend to prefer Dannon fit and light yogurt b/c its low sugar and packed with 5 grams of protein. My sweet tooth is always satisfied after this sweet treat.

  30. Becky 05.24.2010

    I am really snack-y! I love a mix of sweet and salty…like homemade trail mix! I have a serious weakness for dessert, too. My favorite after dinner dessert is warm cinnamon apples with PB. It’s like apple pie filling, YUM!

  31. Amy 05.24.2010

    I was just thinking about this this morning! And oh man, the time right after work and before dinner is the WORST. Luckily, lots of amazing fruit is coming into season, so that will soon be my go-to snack. I also like kale chips; frozen grapes (thanks to someone up there ^ for reminding me!); a banana with crunchy pb; seeded spelt crackers with a cheesy-ish, chickpea-based dip; some raw almonds or cashews; or half an avocado mashed onto Ezekial toast with smoked salt and maybe tomato slices. Yum!

  32. Kim 05.24.2010

    Do you ever have trouble getting your green monster blended? It seems to take me forever to get my blended. Maybe I need a higher quality blender.

  33. Anna (twelve22) 05.24.2010

    Love the Vikings glass! I wouldn’t consider myself a snacky person, but I suppose maybe a couple of my meals could be called ‘snacks’ — I usually eat something small in the afternoon and after dinner. But I don’t wander into the kitchen and just grab something. If I get hungry between meals, I try to think about what would satisfy me and take the edge off instead of going crazy.

  34. Rachel 05.24.2010

    This is a great post! It’s always nice to read someone else’s suggestions for good snacks, since it can definitely get boring to eat the same thing day after day. I love a sliced apple with cheddar cheese or a handful or almonds and dried cranberries.

    For that after-dinner sweet tooth, I try and go for a piece of fruit (especially now that strawberries and watermelon are in season)–and then if I’m still craving more sweet, I try to convince my boyfriend to split something small with me :)

  35. Jen 05.24.2010

    Someone else mentioned Skinny Cow. A friend got me hooked on the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. My boyfriend is an ice cream sandwich freak and these are a much better option for him… and he even admits they are just as good as regular ice cream sandwiches. Reading your blog has gotten me hooked on apples and peanut butter. I am trying to be healthy about my snacking and eating!

    Also since I started reading your blog I have been dying to go to Trader Joe’s. The closest one is over an hour away but yesterday I gave into temptation! It was my first time there and they DEFINITELY need to put one closer to me!!! I got some of the things you recommend (brownie PURE bar, sesame soy ginger dressing, peanut butter with flax seed) and also some other stuff to try.

  36. emily 05.24.2010

    Air popped popcorn ~ Greek yogurt with chopped fruit ~ apples with nut butter ~ turkey cheese crisps (sliced turkey with a little bit of cheese on top placed under the broiler) ~ crunchy raw veggies

  37. Dawn 05.24.2010

    I snack all day long – I think my lunch and dinners could be considered snacks in most peoples eyes. Love PB and Apple. Favorite. Popcorn is good (airpopped) but am finding it really hard to digest. ?? I need to find an alternative to it.

    A little greek yogurt here, a bit of oatmeal there and my morning is good. Fruit, cheese and pretzels in the pm.

    LOVE melted PB with apples, so yummy! I get weird looks when I nuke it, but its soooo delightful!

    Love frozen grapes and bananas in the summer too.

  38. Kaitlin 05.24.2010

    I am definitely a snacky person, and its the nighttime snacking that gets me too. I may have to try out a few of your dessert ideas and see how they work to hold over my sweet tooth.

  39. kate 05.24.2010

    I agree with your Mom about the carrot chips!

  40. Sara 05.24.2010

    Great snacking ideas! I love that neither one of you were too hard on yourselves – it’s so discouraging to read some blogs where girls feel like they have to seriously amp up their exercise and restrict calories. You and your mom are right, life is too short! Those snacks all sound great and I certainly wouldn’t feel like I was missing out ;-)

  41. I had apple and cinnamon with a homemade soy chai latte after dinner today – perfect! I find that having a milky drink like rooibos tea, cocoa with some agave nectar or chai tea with agave can be nice and satirfying, and helps make you feel sleepier. I tend to use light soya milk, but skim milk is good, too. I did just have a little almond biscuit too, though. Doh! Jx

  42. Mich 05.24.2010

    Chips are the death of me. I swear they sprinkle crack on those things! I don’t even buy them, but my fiance does… and then I steal them. Your snack ideas are awesome – I’ll try to put down the Doritos and try something less artificial :)

  43. Fats tend to hold me over pretty well. Nuts, avocado and nut butters with some fruit or whole grain carb work great.

  44. Katherine 05.24.2010

    my favorite idea: greek fro yo
    I’ve tried doing it myself before but was not as successful as you were

  45. Rachel S 05.24.2010

    I have the same problem as you–I eat healthy during the day, and after dinner is usually where things go downhill for me. I must have something sweet! Usually something chocolate related. I also LOVE ice cream but it’s too easy to go overboard, so I find the individually-packaged treats like Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches work best for me. They sure are tasty! I’ve also recently discovered the wonders of dark chocolate–usually, if I tell myself I can have a square of it, I’ll stick to that amount…it actually fully satisfies my chocolate cravings, usually!

  46. I’m such a nighttime snacker! Bowls of yogurt and cereal are my fallback snack. Also, apples and PB are just about the perfect protein/carb mix, in my opinion!

  47. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin, Kristin and Steve Bell, Award Baking . Award Baking said: RT @iowagirleats Our Best Healthy Snack Ideas! http://ht.ly/1Pbkv …Favorite dessert ideas? – How about some Oblaten & a cup of joe? […]

  48. […] dessert makeover was a success last […]

  49. Carrie 05.25.2010

    Now that the weather is warmer, I’m worried about putting on weight. I tend to lose weight in the winter and put it back on in the summer because of the social activities. Plus, I love to be outside, which usually means a walk or bike ride instead of being in a gym, busting my butt lifting weights or doing kickboxing.

    I’m going to have to really try to keep it in check this summer. Snacking isn’t so much a problem as overindulging during social outings, which triple in the summertime.

  50. Lindsay 05.25.2010

    I love to eat, but I really dont snack. I am a person that would much rather sit down for a meal instead of grabbing a bar or something to go. I think that I have always eaten this way because I was in grade school my mom would always make home cooked breakfasts and pack us lunches so I was never hungry for snacking!! But I am sure that having dessert will not hurt you that much!! :)

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