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Healthy Snack Ideas

CoachMel Healthy Eating 62 Comments

Many people avoid snacking when trying to lose weight. But, believe it or not, for some people small snacks between meals can prove to be a great help in keeping feelings of hunger at bay, and thus help to keep them from overeating at mealtimes.

Personally, I’m a ‘grazer’ – I normally eat small and often, and I find that this works well for me. By eating a few small, healthy snacks during the day, you can avoid binge eating when you do finally sit down for lunch, or dinner.

Even if your main meals are well balanced, it’s easy to put your total diet out of balance with a few poor choices in snacks.

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They must be healthy snacks…

The most important thing to be aware of is the type of foods you’re snacking on. It’s wise to allow no more than 10% of your total daily calorie intake for high fat, or sugar items – that would be around 194 Kcal’s for women, and 255 kcal’s for men.

The truth is, one or two well chosen snacks can actually help to improve your day’s total nutritional intake.

Choose foods that don’t contain too much fat, sugar or salt, and look out for those that provide you with more calcium, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Take a look at your food labels and try to choose those containing:

  • Fat content up to 3 grams per 100 grams
  • Sugar content up to 2 grams per 100 grams
  • Sodium up to 0.1 grams per 100g

Here 20 of my favorite healthy snack ideas:

1. A handful of frozen grapes or raspberries, or a small bowl of fresh fruit salad

2. Small bowl of wholegrain cereal with semi-skimmed milk

3. 2 wholewheat crackers spread with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter or low fat cottage cheese

4. A small handful of mixed unsalted nuts

5. A bowl of frozen berries with low fat yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of honey

6. 1 slice of lean roast beef on 2 multigrain crackers, topped with tomatoes and cucumber

7. 4 mini rice cakes with 1-2 tablespoons of low fat cottage cheese

8. 1/2 cup 100% pure orange juice, frozen and eaten as sorbet

9. 1 pita, warmed, and filled with salad leaves, tomatoes and hummus

10. Chopped raw vegetables with 1/4 cup of low fat dressing

11. 3 handfuls of unbuttered/unsweetened popcorn, seasoned with herbs

12. Small carton of low fat yogurt or fromage frais

13. Small bowl of tossed salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mozzarella and 1/4 cup of balsamic and olive oil dressing

14. A bowl of low fat yoghurt with 1/2 cup unsweetened granola

15. 1 tablespoon of dried fruit

16. 2 slices of wholegrain/multiseed bread with sliced banana

17. 1 slice of crusty wholegrain bread with a thin scraping of low fat spread

18. 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1 slice of wholegrain bread, toasted, and cut into 4 strips for dunking

19. A mug of low calorie hot chocolate

20. A fresh fruit smoothie made with semi-skimmed milk

The above healthy snack ideas are simple to do and are intended to exclude the need to follow a complicated recipe.

Here are some more healthy snack ideas, from weight management consultant, Darlene Nicholson:

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for here, I’ve another 25 Healthy Snack Ideas for you to enjoy, as well as 10 Easy SnacksPlenty for you to enjoy, and more than enough to spark your healthy snack imagination.

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Comments 62

  1. Paul

    Great ideas for someone like me who has had a heart attack and therefore has to pay attention to what I eat but resents having to “give up” foods that I enjoy!

  2. Melanie

    Paul – thanks for dropping by! Yes I agree, it’s very important that we enjoy our food, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle!

  3. Melanie

    Adam – thanks for commenting. Yes, I agree with you totally, raw veggies are a wonderful snack option to keep handy.

    BDWL – thanks for commenting. Yes, healthy snacks between meals are a great way to stay on track, and avoid snacking on unhealthy foods later.

  4. Paulina Jenkins

    I have given up on diets be it Atkins, high proten or “fit for life”. I have tried them all and more. Counting calories I just hate that! I do not eat food loaded with sugar, fried food, nor drink wines or soft drinks. I run 6km six days a week and there I was putting on weight when I turned 50! Apple cider vinegar helped me to lose the extra pounds and helps me to maintain my weight. It is so simple and effortless. Try apple cider vinegar and see for yourselves.

  5. Diabetes Blogger

    As a diabetic, I need to check all the labels for carb content.

    You would be amazed how many ‘so-called’ diet products are only marginally different from the normal. Sometimes the ‘low sugar’ version from one ‘big brand’ is actually higher than the normal version of another ‘big brand’.

    Really pays to read the small print – slows your shopping down a fair bit though 🙂

  6. Melanie

    SWLP – thank you for your support, if you have any suggestions for other topics please let me know, I’d be happy to consider them.

    Paulina – thanks for commenting. Just wondering, do you find your blood sugars are low after your 6Km run, or are they consistently low throughout the day?

    Diabetes Blogger – welcome, thank you for commenting. You are spot on about labeling, it drives me crazy! We really do need to have more stringent regulations on what manufacturers can claim. Do you find reading labels gets easier/quicker as you become more aware of what to look for etc?

  7. Melanie

    Paulina – I’m just wondering if you are eating enough carbohydrates at lunchtime, as this may by why your blood sugars are dropping low each afternoon.

    WL4H – thanks for your tip. Cottage cheese and strawberries – this is a new one for me, but it sounds rather good!

  8. Paulina Jenkins

    For breakfast I have a glass of fruit juice made from 1 kiwi fruit and 2 oranges, 2 wholemeal crumpets with low fat, no added sugar peanut butter and cup of soya bean milk.
    Lunch I could have the same wholemeal crumpets with peanut butter and few pieces of fruits and drink plain water. Sometimes I have 2 slices wholemeal bread with avocado and alfalfa sprout instead of crumpets. If I have over ripe bananas I would make a pancake using the bananas, wholemeal self-raising flour, an egg and artificial sweetener.

  9. Paulina Jenkins

    I have always have a problem with maintain my weight even when I was much younger. As I reached menopause my metabolism must have slowed down and with hormone imbalance my weight just creedped up without overeating. As I said in my earlier post, apple cider vinegar has become my saving grace.

  10. Melanie

    Paulina – it sounds like your diet is exceptional, well done! Many people struggle to maintain healthy eating, do you find it easy?

    Claire – thanks for commenting. Yes, the crunchy oat cereals are delicious, some are a little high in sugar, but fine if small amounts are eaten.

    I noticed you linked to Naturally Green, do you recommend milk as part of a healthy diet, or would you suggest something alternative?

  11. Paulina Jenkins

    After years of eating this way, no fried food, no food loaded with sugar or fat, carbonated drinks and stick to simple basic food like brown rice, wholemeal products, fruits, stir-fried vegetables, and grilled lean meat it just become natural. I do not count calories or weigh my food.

  12. Paulina Jenkins

    Everyone of us is different and when you find something that works for you stick with it. It’s tailored to your body’s metabolism and your life style. I have long acknowledged that fact that I am just not one of those lucky born skinny people and I always have to work hard to stay slim. I could never be skinny unless I am very sick and not eating or dying!

  13. jennyq

    Intersting article – I’m paying a lot of attention to food labels at the moment, but it’s sometimes hard to judge the best stuff to eat – I have a lot of allergies though so my choices are limited anyway.

    I’m fed up of diets, so I’m going for sustainable weight loss through small changes that will last me a long time – rather than yo-yo diets.

  14. Diabetes Blogger

    Yes, reading the labels does get somewhat quicker as you go on. Mostly I end up just buying the trusted brands and avoiding those that have let me down on the labels previously.

  15. Paulina Jenkins

    I love nuts. The ones in shells are the best for you. They are healthy but you must not over do that or you will end up with all the extra weight again. I eat them sparingly so I don’t feel deprived. Moderation is the key I believe.

  16. Melanie

    Hi Paulina,

    Absolutely agree, moderation is the key, and I think self-control is something people struggle with most when trying to eat healthy.

  17. Paulina Jenkins

    Melanie, most people have little self control. I have a friend she always says, “I am getting fat” but does nothing about it. At the table the first food that goes into her mouth is always cakes or dessert. She is complaining about problem with her knees and is waiting to have an operation on them. The first thing I would do is to lose the extra weight and her complaint would be halfed! You got to want to be healthy nobody can do it for you.

  18. Mirko

    Hi, I like to eat japanes or chinese food in the evening.Not only veggies, just rice and chicken made in a wok with soy sauce. Maybe is only my opinion but I lost 20 pound with this method. For me it is the quickest way to lose weight till now.

  19. AMANDA

    I snack on fat free cottage cheese with kashi go lean crunch, fat free cottage cheese with berries, wasa crispbread with carrots, quaker weight control oatmeal(banana bread falvored) with fat free milk, and for an occasional treat i have fat free duble churn breyers ice cream, or peanut butter:D i am a huge fan of pb so i just eat it with a spoon, or i have celery sticks or apple slices with it just to make it more fun.

  20. AMANDA

    oh and i also like rice crackers with yoplait yogurt(fat free) on it. yes this might sound strange but i like it and what fits me goes.
    i also like to have allbran cereal with fat free milk and half a banana for breakfast.

  21. Melanie

    Hey Amanda,
    Fab snack ideas there, thanks for those!! I particularly like your rice crackers with yoghurt tip, I’ll have to give that a go! 🙂

  22. Brittani

    I had been trying to quit smoking for awhile but everytime I tried I’d gain weight so my dad gave me unsalted sunflower seeds. They give me some to do with my hands to keep me from smoking and I didn’t gain tons of weight.

    1. donna

      I quit smoking years ago, and I did it cold turkey. I had been a chain smoker, smoking 2 and 1/2 packs a day. For the first couple of weeks I slept all I could. That got me past the first hurdle.

      Next, when I felt the craving (constantly) I waited 5 minutes. By the time the 5 minutes was over, I was usually doing something that kept me distracted for a while. When I felt the need to smoke, I again waited 5 minutes and the process was repeated until the craving abated. Eventually, I was able to be more comfortable not smoking.

      Now, I am very uncomfortable being with people who smoke, although for a few years, I would bum a cigarette from someone in the group, have a couple of puffs, be terribly turned off by the taste, and put the cigarette out. The smoke in the room causes my eyes to burn and I have trouble breathing properly in that atmosphere, and I’ve very relieved to leave and go home.

      Hope that helps someone. 😉

  23. Gail

    Hi again Melaine,
    Ive had an allergy to diary my entire life and didnt know it until Dr Myhill did my mitochondrial function test for CFS! This animal food has been contributing to my impaired brain my entire life! We take soya products! This is one of the biggest allergy problems, this is the most likely cause of colic in babies, then leads to further more health problems as life continues! Its played a big role in my CFS since I was a child!

    1. Melanie

      It’s good to have soy as a back up. I’m all in favour of that if diary isn’t viable for you. Are you taking the calcium enriched products?

  24. Giulia

    Congrats for your article! I think that the problem of an unhealthy diet is a lack of information! Your blog can do it, it’s doing it!
    Well Done!
    .-= Giulia´s last blog ..Professione Personal Trainer: ecco Marco! =-.

  25. Caroline

    My favorite snack would definitely have to be two Wasa crackers topped with Laughing Cow cheese then a layer of fresh salsa – it’s quite tasty and only a hundred calories! I find it much more appetizing than those 100-calorie packs of cookies or other junk food. Sometimes I use granola or chopped veggies in place of the salsa.

  26. Heather

    I am getting older and my metabolism has slowed considerably (not hit menopause yet). I have gradually gained weight all over but my biggest area of concern is my stomach. Any tips on great foods to rev up metabolism and banish belly bloat? Thanks a million!!

    1. Melanie

      Hi Heather,
      I don’t believe in specific foods to speed up metabolism, but there are other things you can do.

      If you want to increase your metabolism, you need to take more exercise. The harder you work, the faster your metabolic rate. So, do some aerobic exercises, as well as some strength training exercises on a regular basis.

      You should also eat regularly, and always have breakfast.

  27. Albert@wedding planner malaysia

    Great ideas indeed! I have this bad habit of snaking during the evening time and normally it consists of chessy biscuits and chips. After reading your post I got lot of ideas and specially eating unsalted nuts is a wonderful idea.

  28. jackie

    what do you suggest for someone who dislikes veggies (except corn, potatoes and cucumbers), all seafood and ground beef?

      1. jackie

        that is my problem. i dont like any veggies except the ones noted. when i became pregnant at a young age with my first child i tried the veggie eating and even dipping them in salad dressing. to me, salad dressing smell so much better than it tastes. this is a problem ive had my entire life. im the worlds pickiest eater. there is no need to take me out for an extravagant dinner, i wont eat it. i even get frustrated with myself when trying to plan the weekly meal plan for the family.

  29. Michelle

    My favorite snack is very simple. Mixed nuts! I buy lots of different types and mix them in a big bowl. I snack on them periodically during the day. I really enjoy the taste and the health benefits they provide.


  30. Åsa

    A more substantial snack I have sometimes is a good helping of cottage cheese mixed with chopped fruits such as grapes, apple and orange. I also like to add some raisins and chopped hazelnuts!

    This is a really lovely website by the way which I only came across today when trying to help my husband who needs to put on weight.

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