Whether you are trying to lose weight, controlling diabetic tendencies, or simply providing good nutrition for you and your family, healthy snacks are an important part of your diet plan. All diets recommend drinking plenty of liquids and avoiding large meals. Your body’s metabolism prefers that you eat smaller meals and include snacks as a part of your daily food intake. Therefore, knowing which snacks provide the most nutrition will help you make good food choices when you go to the grocery store, and having these snacks available for your family will encourage them to make healthy choices.
The easiest foods to have on hand are fresh fruits and vegetables because they require so little preparation. You can eat them plain or dress them up a bit, such as putting peanut butter on apple slices or celery sticks. Dried fruits, including raisins, pack well and can survive the trip to school or work without getting bruised.
If healthy snacks are a relatively new addition to your family’s eating habits, you may want to ease them away from some of the high fat snacks and empty calories that they are used to. For example, cheese and sausage are favorites to nibble on but are sure to tip the scale in fat grams. Instead, try substituting low fat mozzarella string cheese and beef jerky as healthier alternatives. Pretzels are lower in calories, fat, and sodium than cheesy crisps, and tortilla chips with salsa win the nutrition contest over potato chips with sour cream and onion dip. Snack crackers can practically fill a grocery aisle by themselves, so if you are new at making good food choices, you may need to read the labels and try a few brands before settling on those that offer the most nutrition without foregoing taste.
If you are having a party, you can also find simple recipes online to prepare for your guests. Hummus with pita chips, turkey meatballs, and sushi California rolls are just a few of the more unusual healthy snacks that you can make ahead of time and enjoy with your friends. Once you make the change to healthy snacks, your cravings for fat and salt will dwindle. It is your body’s way of saying ‘thank you’.