Whether you’re an athlete, busy mom or on-the-go student, having nutritious snacks throughout the day is an important tool in the quest for good health. If you are following the universal guideline of eating 2,000 calories per day, make sure that at least 400 of those come in form of two nutrient-rich snacks between breakfast, lunch and dinner (use ChooseMyPlate.gov for more calorie info and calculations). Here are some great ideas for simple, portable energy boosters that are around 200 calories each.
Bake It Up
If you like baking, you’re already half way to creating a bunch of healthy snacks. Here are some items that are easy to create and very good for you:
Granola bites: Using oats, soy yogurt, protein powder and nuts, you can create a baked treat full of protein and fiber.
Morning Glory muffins: These can include just about any nut, dried fruit and shredded vegetables you can think of, all baked using whole-wheat flour.
Krispy treats reborn: Forget about the marshmallow fluff. The newest iteration of these treats includes gluten-free brown rice cereal, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, dried fruits and applesauce as a binder. These are very versatile, so mix it up!
In the Blender
Smoothies are a fantastic option for a healthy breakfast or post-workout snack for active adults and energetic children. Although they aren’t the most portable when it’s hot outside, you can still carry them in a small cooler with an icepack.
Go Greek: Put a cup of nonfat vegan Greek yogurt along with protein powder and some frozen fruits, like blueberries, in a blender. If you need another liquid to make the smoothie less thick, reach for some coconut water. Don’t forget to add some lemon zest for a refreshing taste!
Veggie-matic: Green smoothies are all the rage. Start by putting the liquid – try sugar-free juice — in first, then slowly add greens and finally any additional vegetables or fruits. Remember a little sweetness may make the smoothie more appetizing, so add some honey for flavoring.
Quick and Dirty
If you’re on your way out the door and need to grab something quickly, here are some healthful and simple items to have on hand:
- A handful of almonds or other nuts
- A small bag of raw sunflower seeds
- A few cubes of your favorite vegan cheese
- A small cup of hummus and baby carrots
- Protein bar (check nutrition facts first)