Snacks are one of the meals that we get asked about the most from foodies on our Fresh Start 8 Week Challenge.
We get it, it’s hard to figure out! It takes effort to make them in advance, and it can be hard to navigate the supermarket to figure out what premade snacks are best, especially with the misleading health claims all over packaging these days! Our nutritionist Kate has written a blog to help you navigate this healthy eating headache, and has lots of suggestions for the best packaged snacks available in NZ!
There are two types of people in the world – those who can somehow get through a day with just their three meals and then there is everyone else. There is nothing wrong with snacking, however it is key to be mindful of what we are choosing to snack on, and to hone in on our intuitive hunger cues, asking ourselves – are we genuinely hungry, or are we just bored!
We really love this Hunger Scale tool from the NHS. It ranks hunger on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being ‘beyond full’, the sort of feeling we have on Christmas day, and 1 being ‘beyond hungry’ as in headachey, dizzy and unable to concentrate! It can be a useful guide to check in with when we’re hungry so we can try and differentiate between our mind’s hunger and our body’s hunger.
Calling all snackers! We find it helpful to keep a wide range of nutritious snacks readily available so when we feel like a snack, we aren’t tempted to reach for something perhaps not so nutritious. To stay satiated we want our snacks to ideally have a little lean protein, some healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. We also want them to be convenient! We have a great guide to healthier snacks on the blog, to help you choose packaged snacks from the supermarket.
Don’t forget about veggies too! Hummus and carrots (or cucumber, radish, celery or capsicum) are a great transportable combo. Boiled eggs, roasted spiced chickpeas (you can do this yourself really easily), or some steamed edamame beans are all quick and easy snacks to take to work. Don’t forget about fruit either – we’re so blessed to have such a variety of delicious summer fruits available, grown right here in NZ!
For car commuters, it can also be handy to keep some emergency non perishable snacks in the car to keep you from wanting to inhale the pantry upon arriving home. A Pic’s Peanut Butter Slug or a small container of nuts fit in the glovebox quite nicely!
We have lots of snack and baking suggestions up on the blog too. Things like bliss balls, oaty cookies, green mini-frittata, chickpea blondies, and wholemeal veggie scones! A smoothie is also an easy, quick snack that can be nutrient dense. Include frozen veggies such as cauliflower or zucchini for additional bulk, a source of protein such as nut butter or protein powder, and a healthy fat such as greek yoghurt, chia seeds or avocado.
Our top tip is to utilise the freezer with the make-ahead recipes. This way we can get a snack out the night before to defrost, then grab and go in the morning!
Some other quick and easy snacks:
- Apple with nut butter
- Refined sugar free Greek yoghurt with berries
- Plain popcorn (you can pop this yourself!)
- Chia pudding
- Rice cakes with various toppings such as hummus (~2 Tbsp), and/or and some sliced tomato, or 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- Dried fruit, nuts and seeds (~2 Tbsp per day)
Check out more from Kate ‘Peach’ here:
- Everything you need to know about Nut Butters
- Milk Alternatives – How To Pick?
- Everything you need to know about hemp
Meet the Expert
Kate is one of our Fresh Start Experts, who grew up in sunny Tauranga; home to the infamous Mount Maunganui and great surf. She has a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Auckland, so she’s more than qualified to be dishing out tips and tricks for health. Kate’s favourite food is avocados (especially when combined with peanut butter and hot sauce) as well as big golden peaches grown on her granny’s tree (hence her foodie name!). Kate loves working at My Food Bag surrounded by others who are just as excited about all things food as she is!