Food Friday: Snack Time
First a story - When my son was young he played baseball. It was so cute to go to the games to see a bunch of 6 year olds attempting to play baseball. At this age the kids are so young that several parents / coaches would be out on the field directing the players. One boy on the team hit the ball and was running the bases but when he saw one of the dads on the field he stopped running the bases and ran up to him and with extreme excitement said, “My mom brought snack.” Now that’s a boy after my own heart - I am all about snack time!
I seldom leave the house without packing a snack. It works best for me to eat smaller amounts throughout the day. When I get too hungry it isn’tpretty! I’ve learned if I want to stay energized, focused and happy, I need to bring snacks with me. Do any of you get a bit cranky when you are really hungry??
I also find that if I let myself get too hungry I will eat anything in site and lots of it. I actually end up eating less if I eat more often.
The challenge for most of us is to find something healthy to snack on. It’s a bit easier to make healthy choices when you are at home, but when you are gone for the day it’s hard to think of good things to pack.
First thing I’d suggest is buy a mini cooler and ice pack. It opens up your snacking options if you can bring things that need to be refrigerated.
my Top 5 Snacks when you are on the go
It is so hard to find a healthy energy bar so please read the ingredients before you buy one. Most of them are really justlike eating a candy bar and a vitamin and they don’t have many real food ingredients. I often make my own bars and here’s one of my favorite recipe for what I call the “Ultimate Bar”
If you are short on time here is a truly healthy bar from Nuts.com
2. Hard Boiled Egg:
Some stores now sell organic hard boiled eggs which makes it so easy. If you're store doesn't, here is a recipe for a perfect hard boiled egg. Once the eggs are cool, put an egg in a baggie, sprinkle a little salt and pepper in it, seal the bag and it’s ready to go. Great source of protein.
3. Chicken Lettuce Wraps:
When cooking chicken for dinner, make extra (turkey, lean beef or fish work too). When you are done eating dinner, slice extra chicken into strips. When you need to pack some snacks, put a chicken strip and a slice of cucumber and red pepper in the center of a big piece of lettuce, squirt in a little mustard and roll it up. If I am taking it with me, I like to wrap it then in plastic wrap or foil so it stays wrapped up.
A small handful of nuts can actually fill me up. I eat all types of nuts but for snacking I usually go to almonds. When you buy some nuts put 1/3 a cup into a few baggies so they are ready when you need to grab a snack quickly
5. Vegetable Strips:
Everyone once in a while I really want something crunchy to snack on and veggie strips are great for that. Slice carrots, peppers, cucumbers, celery and then add some snap peas and you have a great healthy snack. If you want to dip them into something try our healthy dip recipe.
Snacking can be a great way to help you to eat a more balanced diet, it can help you to avoid overeating AND if you are like me it can improve your relationships because you don't get cranky from being overly hungry!
If you add snacks to your daily menu, you should cut back on the quantity you eat at meals.