I am big fan of snacking. I sometimes create whole meals out of snacks. Truthfully, I think snack is a useless word. If you’re going to eat; eat, right? The food industry has created an entire market around “snack items” which I think is total bull****
The highly processed, sugar-laden, refined carbohydrates that they stuff in a colorful can or a bag and call “snack packs” are about as filling and nutritious as a foam peanut. And yes, that includes packaged granola bars which are basically candy bars with fancy names. I feel strongly about being tricked into buying small-sized items out of convenience that majorly lack nutritional value. ESPECIALLY because most snack items are marketed directly at kids.
Take charge and make up your own snacking rules! Slice and chop up some fresh fruit and veggies and store in the fridge for the week. Make them easily accessible by storing in clear containers in the front of the shelves. Use hummus, pesto, yogurt and nut butters as kid friendly dips. Try food items you wouldn’t normally consider snacks; 1/2 cold baked sweet potato, green smoothies, overnight oats, a pita stuffed with hummus and sprouts.
I made a meal out of this rice cake snack the other night by topping with hummus, cottage cheese, sliced avocado and a sprinkling of seasonings.
I know what you’re saying “Carole-Ann, rice cakes taste like foam peanuts, they have no flavor, they are awful, blah blah blah” I hear your complaints, but does THIS look awful? Naturally salty, crunchy peanut butter topped with golden raw local honey oozing over the sides?
Maybe you have to use your imagination and work a little harder to make rice cakes interesting but they are a great canvas for snack art.
I also love using whole wheat tortillas for quick small meals. I cut into half and fold into quarters. I packed this one to take to work with peanut butter, thinly sliced apples, and cinnamon.
It folds up neatly and is easy to eat without being too messy, unlike the honey dripped rice cake.
Be creative- add raisins, nuts, sunflower seeds, sliced bananas, almond butter, etc.
My other favorite snack is baby carrots- either plain or dipped in hummus or pesto. My dogs love them too!
Make your own “instant oatmeal” by packing whole oats, cinnamon, nuts, raisins, etc. into individual containers and take one out when you need some healthy carbs. Here is a jar of overnight oats I prepared for a client. All she had to do was add almond milk and honey and refrigerate overnight.
Eat when you’re hungry, forget about the correct “meal time” and feed your body what it needs. Don’t let yourself get famished between meals in the name of “no snacking”- that is counter productive to maintaining a healthy metabolism. But for the love of real food- please stay away from vending machines. Save your money and carry your own!