Healthy snacks for moms, do they exist? if they do what do they look like you may ask.
First of all, a snack is usually between 100-250 calories, eaten between meals. Consider the serving size as a mini meal. It can be the same as 6oz low-fat yogurt with 1 tbsp of granola or an apple with 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
Snacks can be of two varieties, the healthy type and the high calorie with low nutrients type.
Depending on your choice of snacks will determine if you gain weight or not.
Fret not momma, If planned out well healthy snacks for moms are possible.
Benefits of choosing Healthy Snacks for Moms
-If you are a busy mom with errands and forget to eat a meal, snacking can hold you over until your next meal.
-If you didn’t eat enough, you can have a snack for a boost of energy.
-It can help curb your appetite, and help you control your portions at the next meal.
-You can carry it in your diaper bag for convenience.
Check out this article from Today’s Dietitian about additional Snacking Benefits
Downside (really! for healthy snacks?)
-You can gain weight if you choose foods that are high in calories, are snacking too much, serving size is too large that it resembles a regular sized meal.
-Snacking too often can reduce appetite at meal times, you miss out on important vitamins and minerals.
-If you are stressed, you can start with stress snacking.
That is why knowing a handful of to go healthy snacks for moms can mean the difference between eating healthy or overeating at your next meal.
The cool thing about these healthy snacks for moms is that you can share them with your children or partner.
1. Greek Yogurt and Granola
6oz Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp of granola
If you have ever tried greek yogurt, you have noticed its creamy thick consistency. The reason for this difference is that it is strained of the liquid with a fine mesh. Concentrating protein and probiotics. The regular yogurt is not.
But why would I recommend it? It’s just so tasty, packed of proteins, vitamins, potassium, Vitamin B12, calcium.
By adding granola, you add some carbohydrates and crunchy texture.
2. Bread and Hummus
1 slice of bread, 2 tbsp of hummus
Hummus is a good source of protein. It’s made of chickpeas, tahini (crushed sesame seeds), lime and a variety of flavors. Spread it on a whole grain slice of bread that has more than 5 grams of fiber.
3. Fresh Fruit and whole grain crackers
1 fruit; 4 whole grain crackers
You can choose any of your favorite fresh fruits for carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and pair with 4 whole grain crackers. Fresh fruits are the best choice, but If you don’t have access to them the fruit in a cup in its own juice or water is also a good choice. Avoid store bought dried fruit as they tend to have added sugars. If you buy crackers, make sure they are unsalted.
4. Vegetables and Peanut butter
1 vegetable, 2 tbsp peanut butter
You can choose celery, carrots, cucumbers or any other vegetable that will pair nicely with peanut butter. Veggies tend to be low in calories and you can choose more of them by the handful, like a handful of carrots or a handful of celery sticks. Peanut butter will give you protein, vitamins, minerals and some calories to boost your energy.
5. Tortilla and Protein source
1 tortilla, 3 oz of protein source
Tortillas can be 6 inches, made of flour, corn, rice for carbs. The protein source can be cheese, 3 ounces of cheese, chicken, soy chorizo, turkey slices, 3 scrambled eggs.
6. Cottage cheese and whole grain crackers
4 tbsps Cottage cheese, 4 whole grain crackers
Cottage cheese is lower in calories compared to other cheeses, it is higher in protein and lower in fat. You can put some on whole grain crackers. But the cool thing about cottage cheese is that it can be paired with other things such as yogurt, fruit, toast, salads, used as dips, and used instead of mayonnaise.
1 cup mixed salad, 2 tbsps mixed nuts, lime, olive oil, pepper
Who said salads are only to be used as side dishes or as main meals. They can be used in this context as well. Get a small bowl of mixed salad leaves, add some mixed nuts such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, walnuts. As a salad dressing you can add a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil, squeeze a lime, a little pepper and voila you have a crunchy snack. Alternatively, you can also add cottage cheese as a dressing instead.
8. Granola bars
1 granola bar
The industry that sells bars is huge, the possibilities are endless. To know which one is the healthiest one can be tough. But the best thing to look for are granola bars with the most natural ingredients and that they are between 100-250 calories. If you have a bar that is more than 250 calories, consider only eating half.
9. Trail Mix
1/2 cup trail mix
There are a variety of trail mix out there, the best you can choose are the ones that have nuts, pretzels and dried fruit. Avoid the ones that have the m&ms, raisins covered in “yogurt”, very salty nuts.
2 slices of bread, 1 slice of cheese, 1 slice of protein source
A simple sandwich with a slice of cheese and some type of protein meat like chicken, turkey or ham can do the trick to satisfy your appetite. But this sandwich can also be vegetarian style such as, peanut butter and jelly, almond butter with honey and banana, egg and cheese or any other fun combination you can think of.
Just because you are busy being in charge of your kids, your home, your significant other. Does not mean you cannot enjoy healthy foods between your meals. Remember, if you are adequately fueled you will be sharper, energized and ready for the life of a busy mom brings on.
Until Next Time,
Blanca Garcia, RDN
Are you expecting and recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Check out his article on Gestational Diabetes Diet for Vegetarians.