Got a busy schedule but don’t want to rely on junk food snacks? Then READ ON 🤩👇
We know how it is: you’re up early and out all day, with very little time indoors. The temptation is to nip into a shop and buy a chocolate bar or something similar.
But there’s always the niggling feeling that you should have something healthier, more wholesome.
That’s why we asked our registered dietician to put together a list of quick and healthy snacks. These are perfect to put in your backpack or pocket, ready to eat when you get that urge 🥗
All the snacks on this list were chosen to fit 3 criteria:
- Easy to make
- Full control of what goes in
- Healthier than store-bought equivalents
There’s some information about what makes a healthy snack at the bottom of the article, or you can read on and enjoy 😋
1. Homemade trail mix
We’ll start with something easy, and also something expensive and full of unnecessary salt and sugar when you buy it at the shop.
Trail mix is great because you’re in complete control of what goes in. Don’t like raisins? Skip them. Love macadamia nuts? Chuck in an extra handful.
Whatever you go for, a self-assembled mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other tasty tidbits makes a great snack. Just fill up a bag or a container, stick it in your backpack and you’re good to go.
2. Homemade flapjack
If you like the trail mix vibe and want to take things a little further, why not bake some homemade flapjack?
This is another snack that is loaded with sugar when you buy it in a packet. You also pay way over the odds for the ingredients.
So instead of buying flapjack, look for a recipe that combines rolled oats with some mixture of nuts and seeds. These are packed with vitamins and other nutrients, and they’re tasty to boot 👌✨
Bind it all together with a little honey (or maple syrup, if you’re feeling exotic), bake for a while, and enjoy.
Bonus tip 💡 You can freeze flapjack, so if you bake a big batch they’ll keep you going for months.
3. No-bake energy balls
Like the sound of flapjack bars but don’t fancy baking? Then no-bake energy balls are for you.
Just like trail mix and flapjack, you have control of what goes into this snack:
You’ll need a base (oats, chickpeas etc), something to hold it together (honey, maple syrup), and then some fillings (seeds, raisins, nuts etc). Once you’ve got the ingredients, just whizz them up in a food processor, mould the mixture into balls, and pop them in the fridge.
These are fantastic: small enough to be easily portable, and packed with vitamins, minerals and protein to keep you energised 💪
4. Stuffed dates
If you don’t want to do any prep at all, fear not. Not all of the snacks on this list need it!
Dates are subtly sweet and high in fibre, making them a great choice for a quick and healthy snack. You can either eat them straight out of the packet or if you want to spice them up a bit, cut them open, remove the seed, and replace it with peanut butter or cottage cheese.
Experiment with fillings, too: both sweet and savoury flavours work, thanks to the dates’ gentle sweetness.
5. Fresh fruit
Strangely controversial, some people will happily chow down on a nice piece of fruit, while others can’t think of anything worse.
If you’re in the first camp, we don’t need to say much more. Just grab a couple of your favourites and you’re good to go.
If you’re not yet a fruit convert, let us encourage you to try something new. Never tried blueberries or a kiwi before? Pick up a couple next time you’re out shopping. Experiment until you find something you like, then try to incorporate it into your diet.
Fruit is high in sugar, so make sure you’re aware of that. Compared to sweets though, it’s far healthier. Lots of fibre, lots of vitamins: all the good stuff you need to keep you energised ⚡
Not a fan of eating fruit? Then why not blend it to mush and drink it instead?
Smoothies are delicious. They’re an opportunity to flaunt your creativity as well and, most importantly, they’re super portable. Great to take with you wherever you go, and they’ll stay fresh all day.
You can just blend up some fruit, but adding oats, seeds, juice, or other exciting ingredients lets you play with a whole new set of flavours (and nutritional components).
If you’re stuck for ideas just plug “smoothie recipes” into Google and see what you can find.
7. A PB&J
We love a PB&J. For something so simple, they’re so delicious.
And guess what? You can make a big batch at once then freeze them, ready to defrost the night before you’re planning to eat one ⛄
For us, this is a big deal. Finding time to make a packed lunch every single day isn’t easy. Finding time to make a bunch of sandwiches though, is a little easier.
And if you’re not a fan of the basic PB&J, experiment with other nut butters. Almond butter with cherry jam for example, is heavenly 🤍
8. Chia seed pudding
This one is so easy. Just add a quarter cup of chia seeds to a cup of milk, and leave to soak. Throw in some fruit if you want a little extra flavour, or just eat it as is.
These seeds are packed with protein and fiber, and depending on the milk you choose you can get even more (hint: soya milk is a good choice).
Compare the nutritional values with a store-bought pudding and you’ll quickly discover that making it at home is far healthier.
9. Roasted chickpeas
While they may not look like it at first glance, chickpeas can be made into a healthy and delicious snack. Just soak them overnight, dry them off, and roast them in the oven. Add a sprinkle of herbs or other seasonings, and enjoy the crunchy roasted goodness.
With a whopping 7g of protein and fiber per half cup, chickpeas are healthy as well as tasty. And we love this one because you can make a huge batch very easily, then dip into it over time.
10. Hard-boiled eggs
If the list so far has tended a little too sweet for you, then here’s something distinctly savoury to end on. With 7g of protein per egg on average, these little snacks pack a filling, energising punch.
There’s a knack to boiling an egg, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to get them perfect in just a few minutes. Boil a bunch, stick them in the fridge to keep cool, then tuck in whenever you’re hungry.
And if you want to mix it up a bit, you can easily incorporate a boiled egg into a salad, a sandwich, or plenty of other meals.
What makes a healthy snack?
Tons of snacks claim to be healthy, but as you probably know it’s a very loosely defined concept. When putting together this article our registered dietician used the following criteria to define healthy:
- Each snack has fewer than 200 calories per portion: This is enough to keep you sated and energised but not too much that they’ll disrupt your daily caloric intake.
- None contain artificial flavours, colours or sweeteners: We opted instead for snacks with natural ingredients, as usually natural, unprocessed foods are healthier and more wholesome.
- Unsaturated fats were prioritised: These fats are considered to be healthier than saturated fats as they occur naturally and are linked with lower cholesterol levels.
- Complex carbohydrates were prioritised: Your body breaks down complex carbohydrates more gradually meaning longer, more consistent energy delivery. This is much better at keeping you going through the day.
That’s why you’ll notice that all the sweeter items on the list are fruit-based. There’s no chocolate or candy in sight: just tasty, natural flavours.
When is the right time to snack?
Generally speaking, it’s best to eat 3 meals a day. One in the morning, one around midday, and one in the evening.
This distribution gives your body consistent energy and nutrition throughout the day, and allows plenty of time for digestion.
Snacks are intended to fill the gaps between mealtimes. Their smaller size and lower nutritional content work best to complement meals rather than replace them.
A good snack does the following things:
- Prevents overeating: By topping you up between meals and thereby reducing the urge to eat a larger portion later on.
- Stabilises blood sugar: If you feel tired or shaky you may be experiencing low blood sugar: a snack is a great way to nudge your levels in the right direction
- Fuels your body: As an active woman this is likely the most important outcome: snacks give you a boost to keep your energy levels up, helping you to stay active
There you go: ten quick and easy snacks to fit around an active lifestyle. No need to spend hours in the kitchen, and no need to rely on overpriced, over-sugared snacks from the local store.
Disclaimer: The information on the Powher blog does not constitute medical advice and should not be used as such. If you would like to learn more about your dietary requirements and related aspects of your health, speak with a registered medical professional.