Healthy Snacks For Your Family

A BIPOC mom cutting up watermelon for her sons

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For many, hearing the word “snack” elicits ideas of “unhealthy,” “bad for you,” or even “cheat day treat" foods, but it can be the complete opposite of those things. In fact, snacks can be healthy.

Furthermore, snacks can actually be an excellent way to enhance a healthy eating plan.

Healthy Snacking

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, healthy snacking can help to curb mindless snacking. So, instead of reaching for a bag of greasy, sodium-packed chips in between meals, you might choose to have a handful of nuts instead. Maybe you can try eating some apple slices served with a tablespoon or two of your favorite nut butter.

It's easy to give into temptation and indulge in those unhealthy and unfortunately delicious snacks, but we've rounded up a list of some nutritious snacks that are also tasty to get you started!

Nut Butters

Long gone are the days when peanut butter was the only kind of nut butter in town. Now, there are varieties of nut butters that include almond, cashew, walnut, and if you are feeling fancy—pistachio butter.

One of the best ways to enjoy them (and other protein-rich foods) is to combine them with a carb like some fresh fruits.

Tip: Fruits work great with nut butters. Pair a medium sliced apple with a tablespoon of walnut butter and, for about 200 calories, you get a crispy (and tasty) mix of fiber, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Seed Butters

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), more than six million Americans are allergic to peanuts and nearly four million are allergic to tree nuts. If you are among them, a seed nut may be a good alternative for you.

There are several brands that make sunflower seed butter and other seed butters, which are low in sugar.

Tip: Spread two tablespoons of your favorite seed butter on a slice of whole wheat bread and top with a chia seed-based jam for a good dose of calcium, vitamin E, and fiber.

Yogurt

We have all heard how yogurt can spruce up our gut health because it contains probiotics. But it's better to avoid versions that are loaded with sugar.

Yogurt is a nutritious option because it can keep you full for a long time helping to curb any cravings.

Tip: Mix your yogurt with with ½ teaspoon of honey and top with blueberries and walnuts for a snack that functions well as breakfast too.

Protein Bars

For days when you are short on time, a quick grab-and-go snack like a protein bar will have to do. Unfortunately, some on the market tend to be high in fat, sugar, and lots of hard-to-pronounce names.

Tip: Choose protein bars with fewer ingredients, less saturated fats, and low amounts of sugar. If you're looking for an easy alternative, try a handful of nuts and a banana.

Pre-Packaged Fish

If you have recently visited the supermarket, you may have come across packs of tuna. While it can be a good option for a sandwich, it can function great as a snack.

The next time you hit the couch with the family for a binge-fest of your favorite Netflix show, instead of fried chicken wings, choose something less greasy instead.

Tip: Create a buffet of olives, cut broccoli, carrots, and whole wheat crackers. You can choose a pre-seasoned tuna pouch or can that is wild, sustainably caught, and comes plain or in flavors such as cajun, citrus pepper, chili lime, or garlic herb.

Cereal

A no-fuss bowl of cereal is the perfect snack to tie you and kids over, though finding one that isn’t drowning in sugar and artificial colors is a chore.

But, there are brands that can be a healthy and tasty snack for you and your family. Look for cereals that are low in fat, high in fiber, and pack a fair amount of protein.

Tip: Add milk or a milk alternative like almond or oat milk to add some more variety to your cereal snacks. Also, you can even eat some cereal without milk as a snack. If your kids want some additional sweetness, try adding a little bit of honey, but be sure to stick to the serving size.

Chips

We know that there are days when you just want the crunch of a chip but not the guilt that it can come with it. But kale or seaweed chips can be a great alternative.

But, if you decide to treat yourself to some chips, try a baked version or snack on some rice chips.

Tip: Try experimenting with some different flavors of baked chips or rice chips to add some more variety to your snacks.

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Article Sources
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  1. Clark P. 5 Tips to Curb Your Late-Night Snacking. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eat Right. Published April 9, 2020.

  2. Food Allergy Facts and Statistics for the U.S. Food Allergy Research & Education.

  3. Tsuchiya A, Almiron-Roig E, Lluch A, Guyonnet D, Drewnowski A. Higher satiety ratings following yogurt consumption relative to fruit drink or dairy fruit drinkJ Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106(4):550-557. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2006.01.004