Whether you are looking to lose weight or simply want to stay healthy, it is important to know about healthy snacks. Years ago when someone said “healthy snack” most of us thought of a simple apple or a cup of cottage cheese. Those snacks are fine but it will make you smile to be aware you’ve got plenty of choices. Here are some yummy healthy ones – from A all the way to Z!
A is for Almonds. Some think nuts are too fatty to be a healthy snack but not so! Nuts are heart healthy and good for you, but you do have to watch portion size. Choose unsalted, natural almonds and limit them to 20 at most.
B is for Bananas. One of the best things about choosing a banana as a snack is they are totally portable. You can put one in your briefcase, schoolbag or tote, they come in their own thick peel that protects the fruit. Bananas are potassium rich and a large one typically has about 100 calories.
C is for Chocolate. Now we know seeing this on the list really must surprise you as a healthy selection! But remember: portion really counts a lot. You’ll also want to select dark chocolate as it has anti-oxidants that have health benefits. About 2 ounces of dark chocolate is a tempting, indulgent and sweet snack.
D is for Dill Pickles. Many love pickles and one of the great ones to eat are the dills. Large and tart, they are known for having a great crunch! If you are craving potato chips, you may be able to hold this off by eating one or two dill pickles. This is a very low calorie snack but full of flavor!
E is for Edamame. This is another word for soy beans that come in their pods. Again, this is another snack that is full of crunch appeal. Because you are choosing a veggie snack, you can feel comfortable eating a large portion if you are hungry, knowing it is low calorie and very low in calories. Adding a small cup of salsa or hummus to dip your edamame in can be a nice treat too.
F is for Flavored Water. Now you can buy this at your local deli for a couple of dollars or you can make your own, using some of your favorite fruits or even vegetables. You’ll need iced water (cold!) and then slices of fruit such as watermelon, orange or lemon. Or try cucumber and mint for a refreshing taste.
G is for Grapes. Fruit makes a delicious sweet treat and grapes come in several varieties so there’s certainly one you’ll enjoy. Try freezing your grapes for a frozen snack or dessert that’s unique.
H is for Hummus. Made from chick peas, hummus makes a great snack or you can even create a sandwich from it. Get some of your favorite veggies and dip them in hummus. People wind up adding in too many calories often when they use crackers, it’s too tempting to keep dipping. Remember to also measure out your portion of hummus before you have your snack.
I is for Ice Pops. Now sometimes you hear the ice cream truck or you’re at the beach with the family and you’re tempted to have a sweet, frosty treat. An ice pop is one of the best cold snacks you can choose on a hot day. It’s very low calorie but will satisfy that craving. You can even have 2, as that’s often the permitted serving (read the box).
J is for Jelly or JELLO®. One healthy snack to add to your cabinet is Sugar Free JELLO®. It will please you to know this comes in many flavors and it is something your family may enjoy as a healthy snack as well. Most JELLO® that is Sugar Free, unless you add a whipped topping is about 50 calories or under per serving.
K is for Kiwi. Want to try a new fruit and to increase your Vitamin C intake? Then pick up some of these tiny Kiwis, they may be small but they pack quite a nutritional punch! They also have a yummy taste, somewhat similar to strawberries and a mix of citrus. 2 Kiwis is a snack serving and gives you lots of Vitamin C.
L is for Lettuce Wrap. Everyone makes a wrap a bit differently but typically a Lettuce Wrap has a whole wheat wrap, lettuce, vegetables and condiments preferred to taste. This is a crunchy and flavorful snack but is also low calorie.
M is for Mangoes. It may surprise you to learn that the Mango is the most popular fruit around the world, more people eat Mangoes than any other type of fruit! There are also many varieties of Mangoes – so if you’ve tried one and don’t like them, seek out another and give them a try. Full of fiber and Vitamin C.
N is for Nut Butter and Milk. Both Nut Butter and Milk are healthy snacks. With Nut Butters you especially need to watch portion control but this can be a great source of protein and energy. Nut Milk is a healthy snack many enjoy after a workout and an alternative to dairy. Try almond milk or nut butter for one choice.
O is for Orange. Just like the Banana, this snack is completely portable. It comes in a thick skin and you can carry it on the go wherever you need to be. A large Orange has less than 100 calories and is full of fiber and Vitamin C.
P is for Popcorn. Now this is a popular healthy snack with dieters, especially because one serving is 3 generous cups. That’s a lot of popcorn! Add flavor but no calories by seasoning with spices like paprika or pumpkin spices or a little salt and pepper.
Q is for Quinoa. This is a healthy grain that many cook to eat. It is full of fiber and is very filling.
R is for Rice Cakes. Many who stay healthy or are on diets turn to Rice Cakes. You’ll find these in plain, low salt and lots of flavors such as caramel. Most Rice Cakes are about 50 calories a serving. You can add a glass of milk and top with some Nut Butter for a filling snack.
S is for String Cheese. Choose this snack if you’d like to increase your dairy and you’d also like to encourage your kids to snack healthy too. This is often a healthy snack that kids like, because it is fun to peel the String Cheese! Two sticks of cheese is one serving of about 100 calories.
T is for Tortilla Chips. If you want something crunchy like potato chips, then baked Tortilla Chips are an excellent choice. Top with a little salsa to season them. Remember to always measure out your snack portion before eating.
U is for Unpeeled Fruits and Veggies. Always try to eat the peel on your fruits or veggies. A lot of the vitamins and minerals in them exists in the peel. Not every peel needs to be eaten, such as the banana or the orange. But many people save the orange peel to use it for seasoning to cook with.
W is for Walnuts. Walnuts are a terrific and heart-healthy nut snack to choose. Remember that portion control matters a lot with nuts, so the serving should easily fit in the inside of the palm of your hand.
X is for X-tra Water. If you are getting hungry at other times – and you’ve already had a healthy snack then it is time to have a big glass of water. Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty! We need 64 oz. of water each day.
Y is for Yogurt. We have so many choices to pick from with yogurt. One of the best that many enjoy is Greek Yogurt which is low-calorie but also has a rich, creamy taste and is full of protein. Most single servings of this yogurt have about 100 calories.
Z is for Zucchini (courgette). Whether you eat fresh slices or grill them with a little olive oil, this is a terrific healthy snack. Adults should have a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.