Healthy Between-Meal Snack Ideas
In order to trim down portion sizes at meals, it is important to have healthy between-meal snacks when meals are more than 4-5 hours apart. While a piece of fruit or raw vegetables are healthy, on their own they are typically too low in calories to to curb your appetite enough to have an impact on decreasing portion control at the following meal. Between-meal snacks require lasting power, which is achieved with snacks that combine carbohydrates with a protein and/or fat source and are high in fibre.
Here are 8 go-to combinations for healthy snacks:
- 1-2 Mozzarella cheese string with an apple
- 1/2 cup 1% no-added-salt cottage cheese with 1/2 cup berries or melon
- 1/2 cup 0-1% Greek yogurt with 2 Tbsp. mixed nuts
- Mini tin of flavoured tuna on 4 whole grain triscuit crackers
- 3 oz. Spolumbo turkey or chicken sausage bites with a handful of baby tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Kefir with 1/8 cup trail mix
- 2-3 oz. smoked salmon on 6-10 sliced cucumber rounds
- 2 Tbsp hummus and a handful of baby carrots
Tips to help you make between-meal snacking a habit:
Current research shows that it can take up to 1 to 2 years to make a new behaviour a true habit. If you forget to snack or buy foods that make snacking easy, don't give up. Keep trying and be creative with strategies to help you remember.
- Choose one or two snacks to rotate for the week; don't feel as if you need a different snack every day
- Remember to put your chosen snack foods on your grocery list
- Prep your snacks ahead of time; I like getting mine ready the night before when I make my lunch - I do this when I am cleaning up the kitchen from supper
- If you prefer to prep once a week rather than daily, get it ready Sunday night. If you have a fridge at work, you could bring a weeks' worth of snacks in on Monday and have them available for you when you need them
- Buy snack-sized tupperware to make prep work easy; it will also help you with portion control
- If you forget to take a break to eat a snack, set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to stop and ask yourself if you are hungry. I would recommend setting a timer for 3-4 hours after each meal to cue the reminder.