Feeling like you’re in an eating rut? Here are some ideas for quick, healthy snacks:
- Frozen blueberries, strawberries, melon balls, mango cubes, peeled grapes, bananas—eat as is, or blend up with some OJ & low-fat greek yogurt for a smoothie
- Cucumber or raw zucchini rounds with light cream cheese or nut butter—top with diced avocado, sprouts, cherry tomato, carrot circles. Combine colors and shapes—a fun activity with a toddler, too.
- Dried fruit—high in (natural) sugar, but often cures a sweets craving. Added benefits of high iron (dried plums, apricots) and fiber. Easily transportable.
- Whole grain pita wedges with hummus
- Low fat cottage cheese (can add fruit or nuts)—1/2 cup per protein-packed serving
- Nut butter mixed with oats, skim milk powder, ground flaxseeds and apple butter (or honey)—roll into balls. Eat as is or freeze first.
- Carrots, celery or apple with nut butter thinly spread
- Part-skim string cheese—string cheese is great because if you ‘peel’ it, it takes longer to eat than a same-size chunk of cheese
- Dried pineapple rings with a handful of pistachios—sweet and salty nirvana
- Edamame or Sugar Snap Peas—eat ‘em raw or very lightly steamed
- Frozen whole-grain waffle topped with berries or nut butter
- Low fat yogurt—as is, or add some bran cereal and berries or nuts for a full meal
- DIY trail mix- 1 cup whole grain oat or multi grain low-sugar cereal+1/4 c walnuts+1/4c dried cranberries (makes 2-3 snack servings)
- Whole grain crackers or pretzels
- No/Light Butter microwave popcorn
- Multi-grain tortilla with no fat refried beans and shredded reduced-fat cheese—microwave for 30 seconds.
- Oatmeal—Quaker makes a ‘weight control’ variety and a ‘lower-sugar’ variety in instant that are about 150 cal/packet. (Watch the sodium content.) These are great stashed in a desk drawer at work. Quick whole oats are an easy at-home option that are ready in less than two minutes.
- Raw nuts—try different varieties available in bulk bins at Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts—about 1/4 -1/3 cup is a serving
- Rice cakes with low-fat ricotta or nut butter—if you are a salty snack person, try the cheddar rice cakes. Not super healthy, but way better than chips!
- Laughing cow low-fat cheese wedges. Soft and easy to spread on whole-grain crackers or flatbreads. Easy to take with you.
- Whole grain cereal with skim milk or soy milk. Just watch the sugar content of some cereals.
The biggest key to healthy snacking is to have good choices available and ready-to-eat. Think COLOR—eat the rainbow every day for maximum nutrition from your foods. And don’t forget to HYDRATE, even when you’re not thirsty.
See www.choosemyplate.gov for a full range of healthy eating guidelines, including specific needs for perinatal women.
And while we’re talking about being healthy, remember that fitness classes for pre-/post-natal women start tonight!