You may have heard that eating four to six smaller meals in one day may be a healthier way of eating. Experts say that it may keep your metabolism up and prevent huge hunger swings throughout the day.
This philosophy may sound great in theory, but when it comes to practice, many argue that it is a challenge…and rightfully so. Coming up with 4 – 6 small meals in one day sure sounds like a lot more work than preparing three bigger meals. The truth is, however, it doesn’t have to be. All it takes is some planning.
Assuming you have the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner meals covered, here are six ideas for healthy snacks that you can enjoy that are well-balanced (incorporating all three macro-nutrients: carbs, protein and fat), full of fiber and healthy nutrients to keep you energized and your metabolism in high gear all day long.
- Baby Carrots and Hummus: Carrots are loaded with Vitamins A, B6 and E… and fiber. Hummus is a great source of protein and healthy fats. Keep a tub of hummus and a bag of carrots at work for a great afternoon snack. Serving Size = 1 cup carrots and 1/3 cup hummus
- Whole Grain/Multi Grain Toast and Low-Fat Cheese: Whole Grain or Multi-Grain bread is packed with nutrients and fiber. The Low-Fat Cheese gives you the protein you’ll need to keep you satiated. Serving Size = 2 slice of multi-grain bread and 2 slices low-fat swiss cheese
- All Natural Peanut Butter and an Apple: When I say Peanut Butter, I mean the all-natural kind that is made purely from peanuts. If a peanut butter has sugar in it and other ingredients or preservatives, it isn’t all natural. The apple provides you with all the sweetness you need, so getting added sugar in the peanut butter is unnecessary. Serving Size = 1 large apple (with skin) and 1 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
- Plain Yogurt, Berries and Granola or Oats: This is one of my favorite ‘second breakfast’ snacks. It is loaded with fiber and antioxidants, plus will give you some healthy protein. Serving Size = 1/4 cup oats, 1/2 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup berries
- Almonds and raisins: Almond and raisins are FULL of vitamins and minerals and provide you with great anti-aging benefits, not to mention fiber and healthy fats. Serving Size = 11 almonds and 1/4 cup raisins
- Nutrition Bars: Although I’m a proponent of eating whole foods as much as possible, there are a lot of healthier snack bars out on the market. Some to consider trying are Kashi Crunch and Roll Bars. Also Odwalla and Balance Bare bars. Most of these are between 150 – 250 calories each and provide you with a healthy and satisfying ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein. Serving size = 1 Bar
Eating throughout the day can be easy. Lay in all of the above to switch it up day to day! Do you have any favorite healthy snacks? Any you’d like to share? Have you had any of the above?