Making healthy food choices can be difficult while navigating lives that are so busy.
Between full time jobs, taking care of kiddos, keeping the house clean and maintaining a social life, many of us tend to prioritize convenience over anything else. The quicker and easier a food option, the more likely we are to choose it. Not to mention, the stress that comes with a busy life tends to bring that dreaded “afternoon crash” that makes many of us reach for our guilty pleasure snacks like candy, coffee, or chips for a midday pick-me-up.
However — it’s when we are the most busy and stressed that we must prioritize healthy, nutrient-dense foods in our lives. These healthy options will actually have a positive effect on our body’s ability to cope with stressors so we can give ourselves the opportunity to feel happy and energized, despite a full schedule.
The importance of ease
I am a firm believer that when making healthy changes in our lives, if we don’t make those changes as easy as possible, the less likely they will become a habit. It’s with this belief that I like to recommend meals and snacks that are quick, easy to prepare, and still delicious. That way we will be more motivated to make positive food choices even when life gets crazy.
That’s why I created this list of 10 ideas for quick and healthy snacks! You can reach for each of these snacks within 5 minutes or less, so you have no excuses when it comes to convenience and making your midday snack life easier and more beneficial to your body!
Here are my 10 ideas for quick and healthy snacks:
- Baby carrots and hummus This one you can simply grab out of your refrigerator! Carrots are a great resource of beta-carotene which is the precursor for vitamin A in your body. They also help lower blood pressure and improve digestion! The chickpeas found in hummus are a great source of protein that will help you feel fuller, longer. Just make sure the hummus you choose is preferably organic and doesn’t include any added vegetable or corn oils.
- Apples with nut butter The only work you have to do with this snack is slice up the apple! Apples are a known prebiotic which help with your gut health and digestive process. Their natural sugars help boost your blood sugar in a healthy way to give your body more energy! Like the chickpeas in hummus above, nut butters are also a source of protein to help you feel more full and hold you over until dinner time!
- Raw chopped veggies You can chop the veggies yourself or grab one of the pre-chopped trays from the grocery store! Broccoli, cauliflower, and celery are great ones because they can satisfy that “crunch” craving that you may have for chips or crackers. Raw veggies are an amazing snack because you will get the full nutrient benefits from the food!
- Cucumber slices with oil and vinegar One of my personal favorites! Simply chop up the cucumbers into slices and drizzle with olive oil or avocado oil and balsamic vinegar. Occasionally I will even season with salt and pepper to taste! Cucumber is made of mostly water, so it will help hydrate you and help you feel full. Plus healthy oils like olive oil and avocado oil contain healthy fats called MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) which are great for heart health.
- Salted or unsalted mixed nuts This one is so easy and so delicious! Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, again helping you feel full and providing your digestive system with great benefits. You can also find lots of nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium, which are often hard to find in other foods.
- Turkey and cheese roll-ups Another protein-boost on this list! If you have deli meat and cheese on hand, layer them together, and roll them up like a burrito to make a bite-size snack. Just make sure that your deli meat is organic and uncured, otherwise these meats can contain unnecessary salts and sugars added to them during their processing.
- Hard boiled eggs This idea takes a little bit of preparation beforehand, but once you have some hard boiled eggs in your fridge, you can just grab and go! Eggs are wonderful foods that contain large amounts of vitamin D (which much of the population is deficient in!). They also are a great source of protein, vitamin B12 (great for energy and our nervous system), and folate.
- Popcorn Super easy and a great source of fiber! Popcorn will satisfy any crunchy cravings without the added calories. Be sure to look out for any vegetable or corn oils that may be added to prepackaged popcorn, and obviously the more “flavored” the popcorn, the more calories and sugar.
- Citrus fruits Oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines… oh my! Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C that will help boost your immune system all year long. They also will satisfy your sweet tooth without causing a huge spike in your blood sugar (which leads to more crashing later on). Simply grab, peel, and go! Easy as that.
- Greek yogurt Last but not least, your final grab-and-go option for a healthy snack! Greek yogurt not only is a good source of protein, but it also contains probiotics that will aid in your gut health. Be careful not to choose a greek yogurt that has too many added flavors, though… often times these flavors can add upwards of 14 grams of sugar to one meal.
There you have it!
I hope these quick and healthy snacks will help make your snacking just a bit more convenient! All of them require little to no effort while providing maximum benefits. Which of these 10 ideas are you most excited to try?
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