With our busy schedules we often end up eating snacks that come out of vending machines, like chips and candy bars. That’s neither healthy nor good for our waistline. Yes, snacking is important, as our glucose and energy levels drop after a few hours have past from our last meal. A snack gives us the energy boost we need to make it until the next big meal of the day. Unfortunately chocolate, prepackaged cakes, energy drinks and even bags of candy are the easy solution. But is there a way to always have healthy snacks at hand? It is absolutely possible and all it takes is some planning. If you cannot do it for yourself, think that you are setting a great example for your partner and/or your children.

Time-saving tips

Washing and cutting fruits and vegetables beforehand is a great way to save time. You can do your grocery shopping during the weekend, wash and cut fruits and vegetables in sticks and cubes and store them in the fridge, in air-tight containers. Planning ahead the week’s snack list is also a good idea. Apple slices with peanut butter might seem appealing for two days in a row, but the third day you might be sick of them. Take the time to make a list of snacks that you would like to rotate throughout the week. If you have enough variety, you will never get bored of your healthy snacking and those few extra pounds will be gone in no time! Another trick is to find healthy snacks that are easy to store and take with you at work. Healthy snacking at home is great, but as we spend most of our day at work and children at school, having healthy snacks with us nine to five is crucial.

Healthy Snack Ideas

Following is a list of healthy snacks that are easy to pack and take with you. They are organized in categories based on different dietary needs and preferences. Of course, if you are following a traditional diet that includes meat, dairy and eggs, you can consume snacks from all the different categories.

Vegan Snacks

• Apple Slices with nut butters, like peanut or almond butter
• Tangerines
• Frozen grapes. They really taste like candy!
• Berries of all sorts. You can mix them with non-dairy yogurt as well.
• Cold oats. Use a non-dairy milk and add cinnamon and fresh or dried fruit. You can also heat it up if there is a microwave at work
• Celery sticks with peanut butter
• Avocado eaten right out of the skin with a bit of lemon and salt
• Bagel with guacamole
• Bagel with hummus
• Watermelon and honeydew cut in cubes
• Mixed nuts
• Vegetable soups. Pack them in a thermos container.
• Home-made fruit smoothie. Pack in a thermos container
• Homemade trail mix
• Dried fruit

Egg-based snacks

• Hard boiled eggs
• Omelet with chives and mushrooms, prepared with olive oil
• Pancake with applesauce instead of sugar or another sugary syrup

Cheese snacks

• Cherry tomatoes with fresh basil and baby mozzarella bites
• Bagel with lettuce, mustard and low fat cheese slices
• String cheese. Just don’t overdo it because it can be high in sodium

Gluten-free snacks

• All fruits and vegetables cut and sliced make great gluten-free snacks
• Rice crackers with sesame paste or humus
• Gluten-free oats
• Gluten-free bagels and breads with peanut butter and jelly

Meat and seafood snacks

• Always choose organic meat if possible and stay away of highly processed meats. The best choice is turkey slices.
• Cold lamb thinly sliced is very tasty in sandwiches along with mustard, lettuce and dill but it is not for everyone, as it has a distinct taste.
• A salad with shrimps, surimi (fake crab) or boiled chicken with a sauce made of lemon and olive oil is a good choice.

Of course you can improvise, as long as you choose whole foods that are not highly processed. You will notice that not only you will start loosing weight, but you will feel much healthier and energized as well!