Freshen Up Your Snacking Habits All Year Long


The long, busy and active days of summer are finally here! This is the perfect time to freshen up your snacking habits.

Snacking – when managed properly – is integral to a healthy diet. It is a useful tool in keeping energy up, blood sugar balanced and extreme hunger at bay. Unfortunately, many Americans choose snack foods that are not so healthy.

Snacking smarter is not hard to do if you plan ahead a little and choose healthy ingredients. Here are a few on-the-go summertime snacking tips and ideas that you easily can incorporate during your busy day.

Tip #1 – Plan ahead: take it with you!

When a snack attack occurs, try to avoid vending machines or convenience stores. Most of the food choices are packaged or processed, and loaded with sugar and salt. In order to make the best snacking decisions, you have to have the best foods available, and that means planning ahead. Just as we habitually leave our homes with our car keys, wallet and cell phone, we could benefit from habitually leaving the house with healthy snacks. The next time you’re running out the door, grab an apple and a quarter cup of almonds to have as your snack.

Tip #2 – View snacking as an opportunity to improve your dietary intake.

Snacking should be viewed as an opportunity to eat the recommended servings of important food groups such as fruits and vegetables, or key nutrients such as fiber or calcium that you may not be getting enough of during the day. Ask yourself what good-for-you nutrient can you use more of, and focus on that at snack time. For example, if you’re struggling with your daily intake of vegetables, choose some raw veggies with hummus or a green smoothie. If you worry about your calcium intake, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are great sources of calcium.

Tip #3 – The best snacks are real, whole foods; think veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds.

As a society, we need to get away from food “products” and get back to eating real food. As a mother of two young children, I’d much rather have them eat homemade trail mix with nuts and seeds and dried fruit instead of cheese-flavored, fish-shaped crackers that are nothing more than processed grains that are high in sodium and low in hunger satisfaction.

Tip # 4 – Say “no” to snacks made of refined grains.

Processed grains (e.g., chips, crackers, pretzels, cookies) offer few if any health benefits. Most are devoid of fiber as well as B vitamins. Refined carbohydrates are not filling and quickly turn into sugar, which can have a negative impact on blood sugar as well as our appetite. In addition, most of these snack foods are manufactured food “products” with a long list of ingredients. A great rule to remember: the shorter the list of ingredients, the better the food.


Here are a few easy-to-prepare summertime snack ideas:


  • Raw veggies & hummus
  • Raw veggies & black bean dip
  • Raw veggies & veggie dip made with Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of nuts & ¼ cup of dried fruit
  • Apple & cheese
  • Fruit & Greek yogurt
  • Fruit & cottage cheese
  • Fruit & ¼ cup nuts
  • Banana & 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Fruit Smoothie (see recipe)


EASY Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups milk (unsweetened almond milk or cow’s milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs honey (optional)

Blend until fully blended; pour and enjoy!



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