For most people, it’s quite natural to eat a snack in between meals to curb their appetite when they’re hungry. In many cultures, snacking is a natural part of a person’s lifestyle, especially when entertaining or attending a special event. By munching on healthy snacks, you can actually get some nutritional value from your snacking habit.
A healthy lifestyle consists not only of consuming well balanced meals but incorporating healthy snacks into your diet also. This includes serving healthy snacks for entertaining, preparing health snacks for parties and even eating healthy snacks out at the pub or at the office. With so many options for eating wholesome foods, it shouldn’t be any problem to incorporate this habit into your lifestyle.
Making “healthy snacking” a habit is key to developing a taste for nutritious snacks whenever the occasion warrants. The following tips can be helpful to building this kind of habit.
- Include healthy snacks in your shopping so you’ll have them on hand when you feel hungry.
- Carry nutritious snacks to the office, gym, school, etc., so you won’t be tempted to buy junk food in between meals.
- Stock up on healthy snacks or ingredients to make healthy snacks for parties or special occasions.
- Reduce the amount of junk food you eat on a regular basis or kick the junk food habit altogether.
- Stock up on nutritious fruits and keep them within easy reach so you’ll turn to them when you’re hungry.
- Start cooking healthy snacks at home, experimenting with new recipes that contain healthy ingredients.
- Scale down on snack portions, keeping them within a reasonable amount to avoid gaining extra weight from overeating.
- Stick to a regular healthy meal schedule so you’re not snacking all the time.
Wholesome snacks can contribute to a healthy diet if not taken to the extreme. Healthy snacks help curb food cravings, regulate your mood, give you extra energy and help you maintain proper weight. By making healthy eating a regular part of your life, you can benefit from all that healthy snacking has to offer.
Many people do okay when it comes to eating healthy foods for daily living. Taking that habit one step further to include serving healthy snacks for entertaining is often another story. Choosing the right snacks for a special occasion can be a challenge. If you want your event to be a success, you’ll need to come up with ideas for tasty health snacks for guests and relatives that have been invited. For summer parties, people usually go for light, refreshing snacks such as fruit/cheese kabobs or an exotic veggie platter with tasty dip. For formal evening affairs, you may want to go with more sophisticated snacks served in an elegant way. Here are a few ideas for health snacks for events that your guests are sure to love.
Bruschetta consists of a delicious mixture of chopped tomato, garlic, olive oil, basil and voila served on top of small pieces of fresh Italian bread. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene. Olive oil contains healthy fats and garlic is rich in manganese and Vitamin B6, making this snack an extremely nutritious choice.
Smoked Salmon on Whole Grain Toast
Salmon is rich in omega-3s, nutrients that help regulate high cholesterol and blood pressure and give the skin a healthy glow. The savory taste of smoked salmon on wheat or whole grain toast makes a nutritious and delicious health snack for guests on any special occasion.
Basic guacamole consists of a sumptuous blend of avocado, tomatoes, onions and chili peppers – all natural ingredients that are loaded with healthy nutrients for the body. Small portions served on natural tortilla chips make a savory treat for a dinner party or special event.
Chicken kabobs or buffalo wings make excellent health snacks for sports events such as a Super Bowl or World Cup party. Skinless chicken pieces grilled to perfection and seasoned with a teriyaki sauce contain fewer calories than frying. For every ounce of grilled chicken, you also benefit from approximately 9 grams of protein to satisfy your hunger.
Choose Nutrient Rich Food for Guilt-Free Snacking
Weight gain is always a danger when it comes to snacking. By choosing foods that are low in fat and rich in nutrients, you can avoid the extra calories. According to Susan Bowerman, Assistant Director of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition in California, "When done right, (snacking) keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs." It’s hard to feel guilty over eating healthy snacks that offer good nutritional value.
Snacks with healthy ingredients such as protein, fiber, healthy fats and vitamins will enhance rather than detract from your health and fitness. Whether you’re preparing a snack to eat at home, in the office, at school or in the park, look for snacks that are high in nutritional value to maximize your health and minimize weight gain. The following snacks fall under this category:
- Mixed nuts
- Natural yogurt with fruit
- Apple slices coated with peanut butter
- Cottage cheese with cinnamon
- Celery sticks with cream cheese
- Dark chocolate almonds
- Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese
- Hard boiled eggs
- Beef jerky or beef sticks
- Slice of natural cheese
Many of these foods are easy to prepare and package, making them practical choices for health snacks for office breaks or in between school classes.
Parents can encourage their kids to eat healthier foods by preparing healthy snacks for after school, family get-togethers, play dates and birthday parties. Rather than serve unhealthy, sugary drinks and snacks that are harmful to kids and increase hyperactivity, parents can opt for special healthy snacks that are tasty, colorful and fun.
The Internet can provide you with all kinds of ideas and recipes for amazing health snacks for birthday parties to enjoy with your kids. Here are just a few:
- Carrot cake squares
- Homemade mini cheeseburgers
- Fruit and cheese sticks
- Yogurt or natural fruit juice lollies
- Pizza pinwheels
- Mini sausage rolls
- Chocolate covered bananas rolled in crushed nuts
- Homemade ice cream
- Chocolate fudge brownies or cupcakes
- Cinnamon, nut muffins
Health Snacks for Pubs and Restaurants
If you dine out often, you’ll also want to watch the snacks you eat in your favorite restaurant or pub to make sure they offer some nutritional value. Rather than order a whole meal, you may prefer to eat a mid-day snack in the afternoon or order an evening snack with your drinks at the local pub. Pubs differ in the type of snacks they serve. An upper class pub may offer a variety of healthy or semi-healthy snacks as part of their menu. By sticking with healthy choices, you benefit from both delicious taste and nutrition. Some examples of healthy pub snacks may include:
- Fried pickles
- Soft pretzels
- Spicy apricot sauce wings
- Buffalo wings
- Gouda Fondue
- Asian flavored peanuts
- Mini meat pies
- Bowl of exotic nuts or seeds
- Shrimp cocktail
Developing healthy eating habits is a personal decision that people have to make on their own. A healthy diet will help you look and feel your best at any age. By including nutritious snacks in your diet, you can look forward to enjoying a healthier, happier lifestyle.