It’s not always to keep everyone (including yourself!) happy when it comes to healthy snacks for busy families. Kids are usually drawn to the sugary, chocolate-based treats (thanks to some clever marketing!) and adults are often so short of time that the unhealthy choices just seem to be the easiest.
But it’s really not that hard to be prepared and have healthy, tasty food on hand, no matter how busy the calendar is. Try a few of these on the family and see which they love best…
- Cucumber and hummus
Cucumber is 90% water, super refreshing and, when combined with a healthy hummus dip, it makes a quick and easy on the go snack. Go one step further and make your own hummus and swap the usual dip (made from chickpeas) for something a little different, like beetroot.
- Beef jerky
Hard boil some eggs at the beginning of the week and you have an instant, healthy snack. Add them to a wrap, salad or just on their own for a filling and nutritious treat.
OK you knew this one, but did you know which nuts provide which vitamins, minerals and nutrients?
Almonds – for vitamin E and magnesium
Pistachios – low in fat and calorie content, high in vitamin B6, manganese and copper
Pecans – a 1oz serving contains 200 calories and Vitamins A and E, calcium, potassium and fiber. Also full of antioxidants.
Cashews – contain iron, zinc and phosphorus, and they keep you feeling full for hours
Hazelnuts – for a boost of manganese, thiamin, fiber and Vitamin E
Similar to nuts in their nutritious value and can add a crunch to salads, soups and sandwiches.
Pumpkin – for B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron and protein – leave them raw or roast/toast them
Chia – 11g of fiber per ounce – add to smoothies, yogurts, salads or veggies
Flaxseed/Linseeds – a source of soluble fiber and omega 3 fatty acids – great in oatmeal, smoothies and yogurts
Hemp seeds – a hit of omega 3, omega 6 fatty acids and protein, add to shakes and salads
Sunflower seeds – for B vitamins, folate and vitamin E – eat raw or add to muffins and salads
Sesame seeds – contain magnesium, calcium, fiber, zinc, iron, B1 and phosphorus.
Full of iron and guaranteed to keep you fuller for longer, these chewy delights are often referred to as nature’s caramel. Eat them raw as a snack on the go or whip up a surprisingly tasty and healthy dessert with this versatile fruit.
Think beyond the usual options and go for as many raw veg as you can – cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, sugar snap peas etc and get adventurous with the dips too – guacamole, salsa, salsa verde (even better if the dips are home made!)
Really short on time? Throw an avocado and spoon in the bag and you have an instant, healthy snack full of goodness. Avocados contain healthy fats and fiber that keep you feeling fuller for longer and can help to balance blood sugar and energy levels so you won’t be tempted to reach for the sugary foods.
- Nut butter and rice cake
Make sure the nut butter is the healthiest you can find (no added salt, sugar or oil), and a brown rice cake sandwich is your healthy go-to treat. Healthy peanut butter contains a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, protein and fiber.
- Sweet potato chips
Ideally the baked variety with little or no salt. Just don’t overdo the portion (you don’t need the whole bag in one go!) Here’s an easy recipe to try.