Snacking can and should be a part of a healthy balanced diet – the idea behind snacking is to provide the body with fuel in between bigger meals. Snacking is definitely not mandatory for a healthy diet but it can often support it because it helps us to balance blood sugar levels which can prevent us from overeating or craving overly salty, sugary and fatty foods later on. If you tend to be very active, meaning running around all day, working out very regularly and just being on your legs a lot, you might need a snack to stay on top of everything. If you live a more sedentary lifestyle, you might not need any snacks to stay energized. Listen to obvious signs and to your body: headaches and afternoon fatigue can be linked to a lack of fuel and might be a sign to get a snack, assuming you eat balanced meals during the day. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a craving (which can happen if you skip meals or don’t eat balanced ones) and needing a snack for energy and fuel.
Unprocessed snacks are usually best: anything like a fresh piece of fruit or a veggie can offer a lot of vitamins and minerals and provide some nice fuel in the form of sugar. Raw nuts are great too and they offer healthy fats. Now that doesn’t mean that I am against processed snacks. Especially kids can be hard customers when it comes to snacking. So below are are my top 5 processed but healthy (and kid friendly) snacks:
– Chocolate sesame butter from Soom: soooo delicious! The perfect and healthy alternative to your conventional store bought chocolate nut butter. Great on toast or just by the spoon 😉
– Larabar Original: they have no added sweetener, only nuts and dates/raisins and come in tons of flavors.
– Alter Ego Chocolate: I am not the biggest chocolate fan but this brand is delicious because it’s not too sweet and comes in different flavors. Careful though, some of them are not vegan as they contain honey and dairy.
– Soy yogurt from Nancy’s Soy: comes in different flavors and is sweetened with coconut sugar which has a low glycemic index (my favorite is vanilla flavored)
And if you are looking for homemade snacks, here are 2 great ideas:
– My Granola: wonderful just as is or on top of some almond milk or soy yogurt – keeps forever in the fridge!
– No bake granola bars: a raw (and cheaper!) alternative to store bought bars.
– Tahini cookies (from Sweet Potato Soul): these are my favorite! I usually replace the nuts with soft chopped up dates.