Snacking. Let’s face it, the humble snack has gotten a bad rap. Visions of late nights on the couch cuddled up to a tub of ice cream or a bag of potato chips seem to come to mind for many when you mention the word ‘snack’. And there’s some truth to this: poor snacking choices can be the demise of anybody’s healthy eating goals!
All that being said, smart snacking can really work in your favour. Healthy snacking can keep your metabolism going, give you continued energy throughout the day, boost your nutrition and help prevent over-eating at meal times. As a new mom (I have a 4-year old son and a newborn baby), snacking is a big deal to me. I’m a bit of a grazer, and find myself needing to be refuelled constantly throughout my busy days to keep up my energy and get me back into shape after having a baby a few weeks ago. But it takes a bit of planning!
I partnered with Genuine Health to provide a snack guide for busy moms (and non-moms, I just happen to be in the thick of ‘mommy world’ right now!) to help you better navigate the snacking world and give you some ideas for how to snack smart and achieve your health goals. As you can tell from my posts, I’m a big fan of their products. There are so many options out there for protein products and supplements, it’s sea of confusion! I love that Genuine Health uses quality natural ingredients in all of their products and truly cares for the environment (they donate 5% of all of their earnings to support causes such as the David Suzuki Foundation, Food Banks and The Whole Planet Foundation).
1. Mason Jar Veggies & Dip
We can all eat more veggies! Place a few tablespoons of your favourite dip (I love making mine out of Greek yogurt and a spice blend that I buy, or hummus – my easy recipe here– is a great option) in the bottom of a mason jar or Weck jar (pictured below) and simply stack your cut up veggies length-ways in the jar. No more messing around with little containers of dip. Kids love this one!
2. Trail Mix
Don’t be afraid to eat nuts. Yes, they are high in calories, but they are PACKED with healthy fats, protein and fibre, making them a great snack option! A couple of handfuls of trail mix (skip the ones with the chocolate) can give you the energy boost you need and can actually help you lose weight! I keep a bag of trail mix in my purse, diaper bag and car for emergency snacking. You can make your own out of your favourite nuts and fruit. Try my favourite: almonds, pistachios, dried blueberries, pumpkin seeds and flaked unsweetened coconut.
I know it’s nothing new, but since smoothies are such a staple in our house, I would be negligent to leave them out of this post! Smoothies are such a great way to get quick nutrition, especially when you’re running out the door. To try this Blueberry Cream Smoothie, simply blend:
- 1 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 c. milk (almond, soy or cow’s milk)
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+ Powder, vanilla
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 c. spinach or kale leaves
4. Almond Joy Energy Bites
Whoever invented ‘energy bites’ is a pure genius. I love this concept! They are so easy to make, and the possibilities are endless! I whipped up this Almond Joy version and am completely addicted. They freeze beautifully, and I can package them in individual portions (usually 3 bites) to throw in my purse or diaper bag on the way out the door.
Makes 24 small bites
- ½ c. old fashioned oats
- 1 c. toasted whole almonds
- 1/3 c. cocoa
- 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 1 c. + ½ c. shredded sweetened coconut (divided, see instructions)
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 scoops Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Proteins+ Powder, Natural Vanilla
- 1 c. pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
- ½ c. + 1/3 c. coconut milk (divided, see instructions)
- Reserve ½ cup of the shredded coconut and set aside in a shallow bowl. Do the same with the coconut milk, reserving ½ cup of coconut milk in a shallow dish.
- Place all other ingredients except the coconut milk in a food processor and process until it is smooth and starts to stick together, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining (1/3 c.) coconut milk in a stream until it the mixture holds nicely together when pressed with your fingers. You may not need all of the coconut milk.
- Roll a tablespoon of the mixture in your hands to make a ball, immerse each ball in coconut milk (so that the coconut sticks), and roll in the shredded coconut to coat. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
5. Mason Jar Yogurt Parfait
Living in the Okanagan, we are surrounded by fruit. It makes an easy healthy snack especially when topped with some plain Greek yogurt to add protein to help fill you up and give you a more sustained source of energy (you can use a soy version if you’re avoiding dairy). You can add a scoop of granola for extra crunch (my recipe for easy homemade granola is here). Mason or Weck jars are perfect to take along and you can pre-portion these and keep them in the fridge the night before a busy day!
6. Protein Bars
I’m a big fan of homemade food, but there are days that simply don’t work that way! For that reason I have protein bars on hand for these types of snacking situations. I always have a protein bar in my purse and in my car, they’ve saved me from making poor choices out on the road on a number of occasions! Genuine Health makes both a Vegan and a new Greek Yogurt version (all gluten-free and GMO free) that I alternate between (try the new Cherry Almond Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+, it’s to die for!).
7. Mason Jar Bean Salad
Prepared in advance, bean salads can make for a fantastic snack! Mason jars save the day again in our house, where I prep my favourite non-lettuce salads complete with dressing ahad of time (leafy greens go soggy, so I keep them out of these salads). The beans are a great source of protein and fibre which helps keep you full for longer. Try my Santa Fe Bean Salad by layering corn (roasting is optional), cilantro, cherry tomatoes, feta (optional) and black beans (you can also add avocado). You can simply jazz it up with a squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil and shake to combine, or if you’re feeling more ambitious you can make my vinaigrette dressing here, substituting lime juice for the lemon and honey for the sugar.
8. Oatmeal in a Jar
Call me crazy, but I don’t limit oatmeal to the morning! You can either prepare oatmeal in advance and put it in glass jars topped with your favourite fresh or frozen berries or even make your own oatmeal at work if you have a microwave (just add the quick oats and water to your jar, top with berries and microwave according to the directions once you’re at your destination). Oats contain healthy soluble fibre that helps keep us full longer. You can top it with a spoonful of almonds or a scoop of protein powder if you want to add extra protein!
Hummus is one of those foods that I never get tired of! I love the flavours, and it’s so versatile. You can spread it on a sandwich instead of mayo or simply eat it with veggies or whole grain crackers as a snack. Loaded with fibre, protein, potassium and heart-healthy oils, it makes a perfect snack and is so simple to whip up. My homemade Hummus recipe is here, or of course there’s nothing wrong with buying a pre-made version from the grocery store!
10. Fruit & Nut Butter
I love this combination with apples & almond butter, but you can use your imagination! A crisp pear with almond butter, or a crisp nectarine with hazelnut butter would also work. You can add some shredded coconut or some chopped nuts to add texture should you wish! Such a great way to get some extra protein, fibre and antioxidants!