HEALTHY SNACKS

Healthy Snacks for Adults

It has been scientifically proven and accepted that eating small and frequent light meals throughout the day is helpful in enabling adults to maintain optimum weight and also at times lose weight in an effective manner.

This is true because eating frequently tends to ensure that one has an active metabolism, however snacking by adults is beneficial only if one opts for healthy snacks for adults and not the usual snacks such as soda, candy bars, chips etc which are high in preservatives and empty calories. There are also certain heart healthy snacks for adults such as vegetable sticks that if accompanied with a low fat dip are a great option as they require no or minimal cooking and are hence easy to prepare besides being highly nutritious and rich in fibers as well. A cup of fresh fruits is also one of the excellent heart healthy snack ideas.

This may include a cup of strawberries or grapes or even a whole apple. Those healthy eating adults who prefer having vegetables may also add some peanut butter to the diced vegetables or celery sticks as this will also increase the protein content of the snack. Heart healthy snack recipes for adults will also include plenty of protein rich ingredients as proteins are required to keep the body strings and also the muscles healthy.

Hence one should include cheese slices, olives. Yogurt with granola, peanut butter crackers, trail mix with nuts etc in the various healthy snack options for adults. One need not stick to the traditional thought of having only finger foods as snacks. Instead, adults can also prepare an extra sandwich for themselves and slice it into fourths and this sandwich can then serve as a couple of snacks during the rest of the day. One may also have small servings of leftovers or a cup of soup or a side salad as healthy snacks for adults. Similarly while one is preparing diner one may also wash and then slice a few large potatoes lengthwise. These potatoes may then be tossed into some sea salt and oil and roasted while one eats dinner. Once cooked the roasted potatoes may then be stashed in the refrigerator and used as a snack for the next day. For those who adults who do not have the luxury of time on account of busy work or travel schedule but still want to have heart healthy snacks, they may opt for protein bars which have a low sugar content or even baked bagel chips, prepared tuna salad or low fat cottage cheese.

Yogurt is yet another one of the healthy snacks for adults’ especially low fat yogurt which is rich in nutrients such as vitamins and proteins and that can be consumed plain or in the form of a smoothie. Additionally yogurt is also available in a variety of flavors thereby preventing adults from getting bored with the same snack option. Popcorn can also serve as a very good healthy snack for adults as it is sugar free, low in fat and calories and also rich in fiber besides being tasty and satiating, However one should not defeat the purpose of a healthy snack by adding too much of butter or salt to the popcorn. Another option for healthy snacks for adults are nuts which includes almost all types of nuts as they are rich in proteins , however one should be careful not to consume more than three tablespoons of nuts at a time. Some other options for healthy snacks for adults include, hard boiled eggs, sugar free jelly and low fat peanut butter sandwiches, oranges fruit smoothie etc.

Healthy Kids Snacks

Children require healthy foods in their growing ages.

Their growing bodies and minds need the right kind of nutrition. Unfortunately, this is also the age when children get swayed by commercials and may start to enjoy junk foods more than they should. To make sure that your child continues to eat healthy and does not get obese at such a tender age, you should introduce him/her to healthy kid’s snacks.

Children love finger foods, and the best way to keep them healthy is to give them snacks which are nutritious. This not only keeps their hunger under control, but also improves their immunity and teaches them to eat healthy from a very young age. There are a lot of healthy snack ideas kids will simply love. Breads, cookies, and biscuits cannot always be good for them.

These are foods that they should eat only sparingly. Also make sure that you do not give them foods with added colors, artificial flavors and emulsifiers, as those too can be harmful for young children.

The best healthy kids snack recipes are those which are closest to their natural state. Given their way, children would love to grow up on a diet of bread, biscuits and junk food which are all addictive. So let’s make junk healthy.

Eat foods which are as close to the natural state, which promote growth, immunity and energy. Following are some interesting recipes for healthy school snacks:

Protein Pancakes: soak a tea cup of yellow lentils overnight and grind it into a paste in the morning.

Add to this two finely chopped tomatoes and one small finely chopped onion. Sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley or coriander and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix the batter well and on a non stick pan, make pancakes out of this batter, using virgin olive oil. You can serve this with a dip made of hung curd and freshly ground mint leaves.

Spinach Cutlets with Vegetables: shred a bunch of spinach leaves and add to this one half of a grated radish and carrot. Boil two potatoes and mash them completely. Mix these in a mixing bowl and make a soft dough. You can make balls from this mixture or use a cookie cutter to make interesting shapes. You can give your child the cutlets without cooking them, or bake the cutlets before serving. Serve them with tomato ketchup or hung curd.

Vegetable Rosti: boil about 250 gms of potatoes and keep aside. In a mixing bowl, add one chopped tomato and one chopped capsicum to the potatoes. To this, add a quarter cup of boiled corn, a chopped onion, 100 gm chopped mushrooms and two to three olives. Mix all of these well. Now, to the boiled potatoes, add some salt and tomato puree. Mix well. Now make a flat pancake from the boiled potatoes and add the toppings on it. You can bake this for 20 minutes, till the potato turns a little brown, or serve it as it is. This makes one of the best healthy kids party snacks.

Cottage Cheese Wrap: grate about 100 grams of cottage cheese. Boil 100 grams each of beans and carrots. Chop a coriander sprig of parsley and chop an onion coarsely. Using 100 grams wheat flour, make a soft dough.

Roll these into pancakes using a rolling pin. Sauté the pancake in olive oil. Now take the pancake off the heat and apply a layer of salsa or green mint sauce. Mix together the onion, cottage cheese, carrots, French beans and parsley well together. Spread this on the pancakes and fold the pancake to make a wrap. The vegetables and the pancakes make this extremely filling, making this dish one of the best healthy creative kids snacks.

Healthy Late Night Snacks

Most people tend to stay up late at night either watching TV, working or reading and while doing so they may even start feeling hungry and actually start craving a late night snack.

It is commonly observed that most late night snack cravings tend to stem from boredom whereas sometimes late night snack ideas may arise on account of genuine reasons such as an early dinner, low salt levels , low sugar levels, dehydration, lack of proteins etc. Hence since the hunger needs need to be satisfied even at odd hours in some cases, it is best to opt for healthy late night snacks and not just opt for whatever is easily available. A late night snacks diet should always include plenty of drinking water as dehydration and thirst is one of the primary reasons for late night cravings and hunger.

If water alone is not sufficient in satisfying ones cravings then one may consider other healthy late night foods. One should first decide whether the late night craving is for something salty, sweet or spicy and then accordingly choose the best late night snack that will be healthy and also satisfy the craving. However one should be careful not to eat anything too heavy late at night as it will make the person miserable and uncomfortable thereby affecting the quality of sleep.

While choosing the best late night snack one should try and give first priority to protein rich foods and not carbohydrates as proteins tend to take a longer time to get digested whereas carbohydrate rich foods tend to get digested very quickly thereby resulting in a return of the hunger pangs. In fact it is always advisable to have a special late night snack stored in the kitchen or the pantry that it is easily available when the late night hunger pangs strike. This way one need not feel guilty about having a let night snack as it would he a healthy late night snack and not one that just adds empty calories. Late night snack ideas depend on what one is in the mood for i.e. something comforting or refreshing, sweet or quick, satisfying or munching etc. One of the late night healthy snack recipes include mixing together some red onions, tomatoes, low fat cottage cheese and zucchini and then add some salsa as a final touch. One may also prepare a protein rich late night snack by adding some cooked and diced chicken to some low fat hummus and along with some shredded lettuce add this mixture into whole grain pita bread. Another idea for a late night snack is to toss together some diced radish, cucumber, low fat cottage cheese and to top it with some herbs like oregano for seasoning and some olive oil. A comforting late night snack can be prepared by adding some walnuts and honey to a 7 grain porridge.

Similarly one can prepare a late night snack by adding some chocolate to a glass of hot skimmed milk or by spreading some olive paste on a whole wheat tortilla. This can be made even more healthy and wholesome by adding some lettuce and shredded chicken to form a delicious and healthy wrap.

Those who are looking for a refreshing late night snack or drink may have some chilled slices of watermelon which may be seasoned with some pepper and salt as per ones preferences. One may also have a healthy and refreshing late night snack in the form of a glass o tomato juice to which some lemon, pepper and salt has been added to further enhance its taste.

Healthy Snack Recipes

Snacks are basically defined as drinks or foods that one may consume between meals. This habit of eating often between meals can be healthy if one has healthy snack foods or low calorie snacks that are low in fat, salt and sugar but high in dietary fiber.

In fact nowadays there are plenty of easy to prepare low calorie snack recipes or healthy snack recipes easily available which can be availed of to prepare homemade snacks that are healthy and also satiating. Snacking, especially on healthy foods are beneficial for those who otherwise have a small appetite as these snacks can help meet their nutritional requirements. Additionally those who also have an active lifestyle on the professional front may also require snacking often rather than only depend on their meals to meet their nutritional requirements.

One of the healthy snack ideas is to eat food that is rich in fiber which helps one feels full longer and also benefits the digestive system keeping it active and toned. While planning on preparing snacks from healthy snacks recipes one should try and limit the intake of snacks to not more than three per day. Additionally one should also try and include foods from at least two to four of the food groups as per the balanced diet pyramid while snacking and these may include fresh fruits, raw vegetables, seeds, nuts, cereal etc.

Similarly the intake if carbonated water and fruit juice should decreased whereas the intake of whole fruits and fresh drinking water should be increased as they provide the body with the necessary vitamins and nutrients and also keep one hydrated. Healthy snack foods include berries, bananas, pretzels, unsalted nuts, soy milk, baked tortilla chips, low fat granola bar, angel food cake, low fat yogurt, sherbet etc. One should realize that choosing a healthy snack to be consumed while snacking is just as important as deciding what should go into a healthy meal.

Healthy snack recipes tend to help one prepare healthy snacks that add nutrients and fiber to ones daily diet without the added burden of unwanted calories. Additionally healthy snack foods also help in preventing the individual from overeating during mealtime and provide him with an energy boost during the day. While deciding on healthy snack foods one should try and determine which are the times during the day when they are most likely to snack and then accordingly add a healthy snack food to their daily diet plan which will correspond to this snacking time. This sort of planned snacking on healthy snacks enables the individual to avoid overeating and also empty calorie snacking. Additionally by not skipping meals, there is a lesser possibility of the individual snacking on high calorie foods. Some healthy snack foods are grapes, nonfat cottage cheese, sliced chicken breast, protein bars, broccoli florets etc.

Snacking is not always a bad thing especially if it involves healthy snack foods as it helps in binge control and thereby actually results in the individual consuming fewer calories in the day. Additionally snacking on healthy foods also lets the blood sugar levels be maintained at healthy levels. Ideally health snack foods are those that include plenty of nutrient dense foods such as unprocessed foods which are excellent snacks as they help in fuelling the body throughout the day and thereby provide the individual with the necessary energy to perform during the day. Hence one should strictly avoid ready to eat common snack foods such as potato chips, candy bars or cookies as they only supply one with empty calories that do not have any nutritional value and instead lead to accumulation of fat in the body and also adversely affect the insulin levels.

Healthy Snack Ideas

Healthy snack foods form an important part of any healthy diet as choosing healthy snack foods is just as important as choosing the diet plan for mealtimes.

This is because while adopting a healthy diet plan one may find oneself craving even more for foods that are sweet, slated, fried etc which if consumed excessively may jeopardize the healthy diet plan. Healthy snacks which can be easily prepared and stored by simply following any of the healthy snack recipes or low calorie snack recipes easily available over the internet today can also add nutrients and fiber to ones diet without any unwanted calories. Additionally, healthy snack ideas for kids and adults also help to provide an energy boost during the day.

These healthy snacks also prevent one from overeating at meals. The first step towards introducing healthy snacking as a part of ones lifestyle is to clear ones kitchen of all unhealthy snacks such as chips, cookies, cakes, bagels etc which in turn tends to reduce the temptation of such high sugar and high fat snacks. There after one should stock ones fridge and pantry with healthy and nutritious foods for snacking such as whole wheat crackers, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and almonds, yogurt, air pop corn, soy and skim milk, whole wheat bread, corn chips and salsa, low sugar cereal etc.

These foods can then be converted into a healthy snack by cutting and peeling the fruits and vegetables into bite size pieces and storing them in airtight containers in the fridge so that the individual and family members may consider them as a healthy snack option. One can also prepare ones own healthy trail mix from low sugar cereal, dried fruit and nuts which can snacked upon while watching TV. Another healthy snack idea is to prepare home made granola bars that are crunchy and sweet and prepared from dried fruit and whole grains. While preparing these granola bars one should remember to keep the quantity of honey or sugar on the lower side for it to actually be a healthy treat. Fresh fruits such as apples, grapes, oranges, watermelons, bananas etc are also an excellent healthy snack idea as they are rich in vitamin C and fiber and are instead low in fat as they have no added sugar. However one should remember not to consume fruits that are tinned or canned in sugar syrup or even dried fruits like raisins and prunes excessively as they may increase the risk of cavities especially in kids. Some more healthy snack idea are to prepare a homemade fruit smoothie or popsicles made of 100 % pure fruit juice that will be especially appreciated during the hot summer weather. For those who do not like vegetables they may try to have some raw vegetables such as celery, broccoli, carrots etc along with somehow fat dressing or dip to enhance the taste and make it more palatable. Some of the commonly known benefits of snacking are the addition of extra nutrients and energy in ones diet which may be overlooked otherwise as busy schedules prevent one from enjoying the health benefits of traditional made at home meals.

Additionally snacking on healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits also keeps one full and hence will prevent bingeing or overeating during meal times. Regular healthy snacking is also beneficial in keeping the hunger pangs at their minimum and also controls ones blood sugar levels keeping them at optimum levels. Hence with proper and correct portions and healthy snack options, snacking may actually benefit ones healthy diet program rather than jeopardize it thereby also promoting permanent loss of weight as well.

Low Carb Snacks

It is not uncommon to feel hungry even after a full, healthy meal.

When you are at work, or at home, hunger usually bothers you between meals and all you can think then, is how good a pick-me-up snack would be for you. More often than not, the foods we turn to between our meals, are not really healthy. How many of us would really want to eat a piece of fruit instead of a muffin or a piece of chocolate as a snack? Unfortunately, when we gorge on unhealthy snacks, our children learn from us and teeter towards junk food and other finger food which is not always healthy.

Flavored popcorns, cakes, candied cereals, and cookies are not the best choice for snacking. However, one can’t always turn to fruits too.

Low carb or low calorie snacks are in fact perfect for mid meal snacks. There are a lot of ways to have delicious snacks and still cut down on the calorie content. So the next time you feel like grabbing a bag of chips or getting yourself a tin of cookies, think of how many calories you will be putting on unnecessarily.

Most low carb snack recipes contain protein, fiber, and a small dose of healthy fat in it. For instance, eggs along with a few vegetables are ideal for a snack.
If you prefer beef jerky, you can add some vegetables to it and you have yourself a healthy snack.

Some of the other healthy low carb snacks include tuna salad and celery, cheddar cheese with pickles, grilled cottage cheese, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, cottage cheese sticks, low carb shakes, berries and cheese, sugar free yogurt served with fruits, low sugar beef jerkies, sugar free jellies, egg sandwiches with lettuce and hard boiled eggs, cereal bars, low fat cheese spread and mushrooms, fruits and seeds with ricotta cheese, lettuce or celery with peanut butter or bean dip, and hard boiled eggs. You can also use some of these food items to come up with interesting low carb breakfast ideas. For instance, whole grain bread, toasted and served with a spread of hung curd and mint sauce, is an ideal low carb, high fiber breakfast.

Cereal bars are usually the most convenient low carb fast foods. These can be carried with you wherever you go. They can be slipped into your bag and purse and you can also keep a small stash in your desk drawer at work. However, be sure that you choose a low sugar, low fat cereal bar which does not pile on additional calories. Some cereal bars may also contain alcohol sugars. These not only make the cereal bars difficult to digest, but also cause the buildup of gas in the stomach.

You can also make low carb cookies at home, using a low carb cookie recipe of the low carb cookie ready mixes available commercially. These do not taste exactly like your average Nestle or Oreo cookies, but at least they contain lesser calories. Low carb chocolate chip cookies and low carb peanut butter cookies are some cookies that you can make at home. The sugar content in the cookies can be balanced out with the help of butter and eggs.

Even when you are planning to buy some low carb products, you can check the carbohydrate amount and percentage by checking the labels at the back.

Apart from the total carbohydrate content and the carbohydrate content per serving, also check the glycemic index of the food to make sure it is healthy. You can also prepare some low carb shakes to drink whenever you are hungry. These delicious shakes can help satiate you for a longer period of time.

Popcorn Snack

Individuals on a weight loss diet have to eat small portions every two hours.

Mealtimes are easy to tackle with great ideas for diet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Snack time for weight watchers can prove a hassle with most store bought snacks being high in fats and calorific content. A lightweight and easy to make popcorn snack can be a quick addition to your diet menu.

However, not all kinds of popcorn can pass off as diet snack.

Excess oil, butter or salt in regular popcorn will derail your diet. Flavoured or caramel popcorn snack recipes do not count as well.

So, let us consider why is popcorn a good snack and how you can make it even better.

  • A popcorn snack is easy to make and full of dietary fiber.

Made from corn kernels and whole grain, a single serving can contribute to your recommended dietary fiber allowance per day.

  • Due to its high fiber content, a popcorn snack will keep you full and satisfied for longer.
  • Whole grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains. This makes a popcorn snack a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
  • The antioxidants found in green tea, chocolates, and popcorn snacks can fight cell damage and heart diseases.
  • A regular popcorn snack can also improve gastrointestinal function and aid better digestion.
  • Individuals suffering from diabetes and obesity will find the popcorn snack a healthy alterative to snacks that may be high in sugar or fat content.

How you pop the corn is almost as important as the snack itself. Some studies reveal that the Teflon lining in microwave popcorn bags may not be good for you. If that is a cause of concern, you can always purchase an air popper, which will do the job just as effectively.

While butter imparts flavour it is high in calories. Substitute it with extra virgin olive oil for a healthier popcorn snack recipe. Drizzle olive oil and a pinch of sea salt on already popped popcorn snack for flavor. You may also try a combination of dry herb powders (oregano, paprika, Provence de herbs) or your favourite spices for added flavour.

Add a handful of dried nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans to your popcorn snack for some delicious goodness.

You can include popcorn snacks to other snack time favourites such as fruit salads, healthy soups, toasted oat cereals, low calorie granola bars and so on to complete a diet menu which will keep you satisfied at snack time.

 

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