15 Snack Ideas that Pack a Punch!

For some, snacking feels foreign or forbidden. For others, nibbles between meals consist of trips to the candy dish or vending machine. And still, others are just tired of the same old snacks day in and day out.

Here’s What We Know

Establishing a rhythm of eating every 3-5 hours leads to stable energy levels and prevents ravenous hunger (often followed by overeating at the next meal). However, not many are ready to eat dinner at 4:00 in the afternoon. Snacks work double duty by filling longer intervals between meals and closing “nutritional gaps” or providing additional opportunities to nosh on a wider variety of foods and nutrients. 

Most people need one to three snacks per day. Follow this formula: carbohydrate + protein and/or fat = optimal satiety, balance, and variety. No matter the craving or occasion, these snacks hit the spot.

Craving a creamy cooldown…

Mix frozen fruit like blueberries, pineapple, or mango into regular or Greek yogurt. The yogurt freezes around the fruit, making a frozen sweet treat.

A snack that travels…

Create your own trail mix. With endless assortments of flavors and textures, you’ll never burn out on combinations of nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, and sweets. A personal favorite: salted cashews, walnuts, dried cherries, and dark chocolate cranberries. 

On the run…

Try squeezable packets of almond or peanut butter with an apple or banana. No knife needed.

Drinkable…

Blend yogurt, frozen fruit, a little juice or milk, and ice for a refreshing poolside smoothie.

For a sippable snack during an afternoon meeting, look for new grab-and-go Greek yogurt drinks.

An 8-ounce glass of milk packs carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat for a surprisingly satisfying snack.

Craving crunch…

Toss popcorn with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary. It’s shareable too!

Feeling fancy…

Plate a combination of olives, prosciutto, cheese, fruits, and veggies for a mini charcuterie board.

Creative in the kitchen…

With a little planning and prep, make your own energy balls instead of rummaging at the bottom of your bag for a crushed granola bar. There are hundreds of recipes online.

Needing Staying Power…

Roll up slices of turkey around cheese and/or avocado slices. For extra energy, wrap it all up in a tortilla.

Dippable…

Portion out a handful of tortilla or sweet potato chips and dunk in a mini cup of guacamole.

Budget Friendly…

1-2 hardboiled eggs + summer berries or a banana.

Sweet & Savory…

Try a snack pack like Balanced Breaks or create combinations of dried fruit and nuts with cheese in pre-portioned containers.

Desk Drawer Snacks…

It can’t hurt to keep a stash of jerky or protein bars at the office.

Breakfast Part 2…

Perfect for mid-morning snacking: a frozen whole grain waffle or mini bagel with a little cream cheese and sliced fruit.

Veggie Delicious…

Roasted chickpeas come pre-packaged, but making them at home is pretty easy, too.

Raw veggies + hummus or homemade salad dressing can quell your appetite long enough to get dinner on the table.

Sweet Treat…

We love some of the new protein cookies hitting grocery store shelves!

Remember: Different food satisfies hunger for varying periods of time. Experiment with different combinations and portion sizes based on the time since your last meal and how long the snack needs to sustain you. With a little practice, you’ll become a pro at gauging which snack is right for which scenario.

Blair Mize, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN is co-owner of Memphis Nutrition Group, a nutrition & lifestyle counseling practice operated by registered & licensed dietitians/nutritionists. Memphis Nutrition Group believes in a non-diet approach that promotes overall health and optimal performance without compromising the enjoyment of food. For more information call Memphis Nutrition Group at 901.343.6146 or visit http://www.MemphisNutritionGroup.com.

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