two orange smoothies beside lemons and flowers

Feeling snacky? Odds are, you are!

Canadians have fully embracing snacking and have gone from a three-squares-a-day kind of folk to a culture of munchers. Which is fine, unless you fall into one of these two snack traps:

You eat unsatisfying snacks that have enough calories to qualify as a meal…and you still eat your next meal.

You only eat ‘snack foods’ – usually a glob of white flour, sugar and/or salt. No fresh veg for you!

Snacking can help keep energy levels up and keep you from overeating – and making the wrong, hunger-induced choices – at the next meal. But snack time should also provide you with the opportunity to better nourish your body. Choosing wholesome, fibre-filled options at snack time will help fill you up instead of filling you out and natural plant foods come packed with nutrition. So here are some of my favourite choices for snack time: natural, jazzed up or bought in a pinch!

1. Nuts and Seeds

Snacking on raw almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds fuels your body with healthy fats and energizing minerals. Always buy raw nuts and seeds and store large quantities in the freezer to preserve the quality of the fats. Eat a small handful, 1/4 – 1/3 cup. Choose almonds for more protein; pumpkin seeds for immune-boosting zinc or walnuts for brain-food omega 3 fats.

Tired of Plain Nuts? Make it interesting:

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Three Ways (Recipe)
Spicy, Smoked Paprika Almonds (Recipe)

Store-bought Cheats:

Prana Go Nuts Organic Maple Nuts
Eden Organic Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2. Fruits and Veggies

What a shocker that this dietitian is going to tell you to eat more veg! But getting your 7-10 half cup servings of produce can get pretty tough if you don’t cram a few into snack time. What you’ll get in return: fibre, vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory phyto-chemicals. Hydrating. Energizing. A texture and flavour for each craving. So pack an apple in your bag for sudden snack attacks; munch chopped veg during a stressful day instead of hitting the chips. Keeping some pre-chopped veg in the fridge makes snacks a cinch. Use kohlrabi like a cracker; freeze grapes for a sweet treat.

Need some extra flavour? Make it interesting:

Frozen grapes…with a couple of easy, adult additions (Recipe)
Homemade strawberry fruit leather…it’s easy! (Recipe)
Quick refrigerator pickles (Recipe)

Store-bought Cheat:

Made in Nature Organic Dried Pineapple
Level Ground Golden Berries

3. Legumes

Beans…on your coffee break? Yes you can! Chick peas are usually the star snack food as they taste amazing roasted or whipped into a hummus. White beans make an incredible dip and spread too. Beans are better snacks because they pack fibre, protein and heart-healthy minerals like magnesium and help make the distance between meals seem a little less daunting.

Bored of the Basics? Make it interesting:

Roasted Chick Peas (Recipe)
Delectable White Bean Artichoke Dip (Recipe)
Crazy Good Pumpkin Hummus (Recipe)

Store-bought Cheat:

The Good Bean Roasted Chick Peas
Humm! Hummus

4. Raw Truffles

Sometimes you want a sweet treat that is still make from real food. You know, nuts, dried fruit and stuff without feeling like you are eating another handful of trail mix. Not that I don’t like trail mix…enter the new raw truffle or power ball. Sweet, melt-in-your-mouth and still some nourishment to spare. Elevate your sweet tooth with a few of these finds.

Make it yourself and make it interesting:

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (Recipe)
Pineapple Coconut Energy Balls (Recipe)

Store-bought Cheat:

Hippie Cookies Lemon Coconut

5. Ice Pops

It’s summer…and what would summer be without ice pops! No point really. But what counts for a nostalgic treat is usually a combination of fake colour, fake flavour and well…nothing real. Considering how easy it is to make an ice pop out of just about anything, there is no excuse. So cool down with something truly healthy!

Make it yourself and make it interesting:

Kiwi Pineapple Ice Pops (Recipe)
Mango Matcha Pops (Recipe)

Store-bought Cheat:

DeeBee’s Tea Pops

As always…this isn’t a sponsored post; just my best tips for you! And a big thank you to my friend Amy for the post idea 🙂

Happy Summer,