In our quests to eat well, it can be easier to do a better job with meals than with snacks. Snack time can feel like an opportunity to indulge yourself a little and eat a well-deserved treat. And while occasional indulgences are okay, eating less-than-healthy snacks most of the time can throw off your healthy diet. With a little planning, your snacks can be as healthy as your meals – and delicious too. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Start with a Fruit
Building your snack around a fruit ensures that you won’t just plow through a stack of chocolate chip cookies. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try an apple with peanut butter, or a banana and plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with a few chocolate chips.
2. …Or a Vegetable
Build your snack around a vegetable, and you can come up with a sweet or savory treat. For something sweet, bake black bean brownies or chickpea cookies. Or dice up a small tomato and an avocado, and mix with lime juice and onion for healthy guacamole that you can eat alone or enjoy with baked tortilla chips.
3. Plan Ahead
If you know that you tend to eat less healthy snacks at certain times, like when you get home from work or before bed, set out healthy snacks where they’ll be hard to miss – either on the counter or in the front of the fridge.
4. Avoid Temptation
Know what your weakness is (ice cream? chips?) and avoid keeping much of it in the house. If you do decide to treat yourself, buy and enjoy a single serving. It’s okay to eat these foods occasionally – just enjoy in moderation!
5. Rethink Your Meals
If you find yourself so hungry for snacks that you eat the first thing in sight, you may need to eat more often or eat more for meals. Eating a low-calorie lunch doesn’t do you any good if you eat a full bag of chips in the afternoon!