We hear all the time that to lose weight you need to cut out the snacks. You need to reduce some calories that you eat during the day. But this can leave us hungry and crave all the wrong foods.
Some of the snacks that we do have aren’t exactly healthy for us. They leave us with energy highs and then sugar crashes. We’re left feeling unsatisfied and crave more food. On top of that, these snacks are usually high in calories, so you end up eating far more calories than you really need to on throughout the day.
What does this leave us with? Stored calories and fats. We’re left gaining weight with an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s no wonder that we’re recommended to avoid eating snacks completely.
But what if you could opt for healthier snacks? What if you could end up finding snacks that aren’t just good for your weight loss and your lifestyle, but will keep you feeling full and satisfied until the next meal? Yes, it really is possible to find healthy and filling snacks.
They’re not boring or hard to make either. Many of them are easily transportable, giving you and your family something to eat on car journeys, while at school or work, or just when you want something in the house.
Here are six deliciously healthy (and filling) snack recipes to try while you’re at home. Get your kids involved and teach them how to follow a great diet that will keep them feeling full but help them stay at a healthy weight. Many of these are also fun to make, so the kids see past the healthy element.
Nutty Power Boats
This is an excellent snack if there are no nut allergies. If you do have to deal with allergies, there are alternatives and we’ll discuss them very soon.
Let’s start with the main Nutty Power Boat first.
All you need is some celery, peanut butter, and some nuts and raisins. Choose the nuts that you and your children love the most. You can opt for walnuts, peanuts (okay, not nuts but they’re often lumped in with the nut family), and even Brazil nuts.
Chop your celery sticks into halves or thirds. You want them long enough to hold but not too long that they struggle with the weight of the peanut butter and nuts. Thirds are usually the preferred amount for kids since they don’t need as much in the way of snacks as adults.
Fill the middle of the celery with some peanut butter. Pack it in so it completely fills it. With the celery cut into thirds, you’ll usually only need a tablespoon or two to get the middle of the celery full. Top it off with your nuts and raisins; two or three will be enough.
Lay out your snacks on a plate and enjoy. These are portable, but they are much better eaten at home.
If there are nut allergies, substitute the peanut butter for some seed butter instead. There are various options that will suit your preferences. You can then just opt for raisins or other dried fruit in place of the nuts on the top.
Makeup a Trail Mix
Trail mixes are excellent for snacks. They’re packed with protein to keep you feeling full throughout the day. You can also make these in bulk since they will last for a few weeks when stored in an airtight container or packet. Trail mixes are one of the most portable friendly filling snacks you can have.
The best part is you get to choose the types of ingredients you throw in. Have a mixture of nuts, dried fruits, and seeds. Walnuts, pecans, and cashew nuts tend to be the most popular options when it comes to making these with nuts. If there is a nut allergy in the family, you’ll want to add more dried fruits and seeds to the mix. You could also add some granola to the mix to create something with a little more fibre.
Raisins do tend to be the most popular option when it comes to the dried fruits but don’t forget dried pineapple, dried apple, dried cranberries, and even dried papaya is available. All of these will add some fibre to your trail mix and will be able to offer some extra nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K.
Chop your nuts and some of the dried fruit up into smaller pieces if you’d like. Pop everything into a small, sealable bag and take it on the go with you. You’ll only need a handful or two of this for each snack to feel full.
Do watch out for eating too much trail mix. It’s very easy to gorge without actually realising. Listen to your stomach and eat slowly to avoid excess calories.
Berries and Cream Cheese on Toast
Who said that healthy snacks had to be fancy? A slice or two of toast with the perfect toppings is just what you need. And yes you can pull out the cream cheese for this healthy snack.
When it comes to the bread, brown or rye is going to be your best option. Brown bread is full of fibre, unlike the white versions. You may be able to get half and a half, which is a mixture of brown and white flour. It’s not as good as brown bread, but it will offer some of the fibre lost from just choosing white.
Cream cheese is full of protein to keep you full between meals. You can then top with a mixture of berries of your choice. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are great options. You can also top with some basil to some extra flavouring.
When you make this for the kids, lay out the fruit and basil into shapes of faces or animals. They will love this sort of presentation, and it doesn’t take that long to do.
Peanut Butter Granola Balls
Peanut butter and granola are two highly recommended ingredients for healthy snacks. The granola offers the fibre, while the peanut butter offers the protein and healthy fats. Put all these three food groups together, and you have a snack that breaks down slowly and keeps you feeling full.
The balls are easy to take on trips or pop in lunch boxes. They can also be made quickly to enjoy something at home when needed. In fact, once the ingredients are mixed, the baking only takes 8 minutes. Kids will love to help make these, too, since it means getting the hands messy.
- ½ cup of peanut butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of granola
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with parchment paper
- 2. Mix all the ingredients except the granola together in a bowl
- 3. Now mix the granola
- 4. Roll into small balls and place on a baking tray
- 5. Bake for 8 minutes
Allow the balls to cool before serving, especially for little mouths.
If there are peanut allergies, you can use seed butter instead. If you do use the peanut butter, it’s completely up to you whether to opt for smooth or crunchy. Crunch peanut butter is great when mixed with the granola.
Peanut Butter Apples
Who would have thought that peanut butter could work with fruit for a healthy snack? Peanut butter gets a bad reputation for being fatty and bad for you, but we’ve already seen with a few of these snacks that it can be excellent for something filling between meals. In fact, it’s better to have it on your snacks than to use too much during a meal.
Yes, there is a fatty element to peanut butter. When you only have a tablespoon or two in a day, though, you’re going to find that your calorie count isn’t going to go too high.
Fruit also sometimes gets a bad reputation. Sure, it’s great for nutrients, but it also has a lot of natural sugars and acids. In small portions, the fruit is going to be one of the best things for you when it comes to snacks. Fruit is full of fibre, which breaks down slowly and leaves you feeling fuller for much longer.
Slice apples up in edges and layer a bit of smooth peanut butter on one side. You can then top with some grapes that are sliced in half.
If you’re not a fan of apples, you can also chop a banana into chunks and layer one side with peanut butter.
There’s something about peanut butter covered fruit that makes it seem naughty, even though the snack is going to be good for you. Kids also forget about the healthy fruit, because they’re so focused on enjoying the peanut butter.
If you are allergic to peanuts, there are seed butter available so you can still try out this snack if you would like.
Tomato and Feta Crispbreads
Children and adults love this snack. It is portable, but it tends to be better travelling with it in separate bags. Make up your crispbread snacks when you get to your location. The problem with transporting the crispbreads as a whole is that the tomato juice will soak into the crispbreads and make them soggy.
There are various flavours of crispbread available. Some are topped with seeds for extra nutrients and others include nuts. Look for the ones that you prefer the most. You’ll also be able to find plenty of crispbread options in your budget range.
Top your crispbread with some sliced tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese. Feta is one of the healthiest cheese options out there for this sort of snack, as it’s full of protein with less fat. The cheese will also help to balance out the acidic levels in the tomato to keep your teeth protected from enamel erosion.
If you want a little bit more of a Mediterranean feel, then sprinkle it with some dried oregano or basil.
You can put your ingredients on the crispbread to make a face for the kids. These also make great snacks for serving when you have company.
Snack as Part of a Healthy Diet
Now that you have six delicious recipes to try, it’s important to get your overall diet and lifestyle in order. If you want to lose weight, the healthy snacks will only help when you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Think about the meals you’re serving and don’t forget about the portion sizes. Even the healthiest meals won’t be good for you in large portions—you’ll still end up eating far too many calories.
You’ll also want to think about the fluid that you get. Being fully hydrated is a great way to keep yourself feeling full and boosting your weight loss efforts. Drinking ice cold water will help to burn more calories, and drinking before meals and snacks will help to keep a number of calories you consume down.
Exercise and an overall lifestyle change will also be important. Food is just 80% of the journey to lose weight.
Which Healthy and Filling Snack Will You Try First?
Now it’s time to create your snacks at home. Which one will you try first? Why not find out more about your kids’ favourite foods and find ways to incorporate them into healthy snacks? You’ll be surprised at the type of food that sounds bad for you but is actually really good.
If you just want to start with something simple and quick to make, any of the six above are excellent choices. My favourite is the toast with the berries and cream cheese. There’s just something about this mixture that feels naughty and bad for me but is actually really good. That is when I use the right ingredients! Brown bread has the fibre to help work with the protein in the cream cheese to make me feel full until lunch or dinner.
So, which one will you and your kids try out first?