My kids eat all.the.freaking.time. I’m not exaggerating. On non-school days we are talking breakfast, second breakfast, third breakfast, snack, lunch, second lunch, snack, dinner, second dinner, third dinner, and midnight-raid-the-fridge.
It’s insane. And they’re not even teenagers yet!
But with all their meals and snacks I tend to want to eat, too. I mean, who wouldn’t with the sheer volume of food that is being consumed on a fairly regular basis?!
This poses a problem. I’m working on losing the
baby toddler weight still, and I will never reach my goal (which is 70 pounds, y’all) if I eat as often as my kids.
I mean that’s a given. They’re growing. I’m trying to shrink.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t need a snack.
And let’s face facts. Diet snacks tend to suck.
I wish I could just grab a 100-calorie pack and call it good, but I can’t. They’re full of weird ingredients that I can’t pronounce and am scared to Google. Plus it sets a really bad example for my kids.
Like most moms, I want my kids to enjoy healthy food, so naturally, I want to set a good example.
But it’s hard. So I’ve been on a mission to figure out how to make everyone happy so to speak.
This means that I’ve completely overhauled what counts as a healthy snack in our house.
I want snacks to be nutrient-dense, whole foods with plenty of protein and fiber. Naturally, this feels like a monstrous task.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy a snack pack at the store?
Yes, yes it would. But being healthy isn’t always super easy. But I think I found a way to hack the system this time. In fact, I found 5 things that I can snack on and feel good about sharing with my kids (because let’s face it, moms-when was the last time you actually finished your snack yourself?)
People are weird about nuts. They’ve gotten a bad rap, and while nuts do contain calories (duh) and fat (obviously), they are not fattening!
In fact, studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier and leaner. Now, if you’re only eating honey roasted or candied pecans then that’s not going to be the case, but if you’re snacking on healthy, baked or raw nuts, then you’re good.
In addition to fats, nuts also have a lot of protein and fiber, which means a small serving can tide you over for quite a bit.
I find that eating a handful of oven baked almonds gets me from lunch all the way until dinner.
To make sure that I don’t overdo it, I keep tiny little containers with a handful of nuts readily available in my pantry. This makes it easy for the kiddos to grab a snack, too.
Not surprisingly, studies show that those who eat fruit tend to be healthier.
I’m not at all shocked by this. The summer I went full-blown raw vegan, I had tons of energy, and I was eating fruit smoothies like nobody’s business.
Fresh, whole fruits contain a fair amount of water and fiber and is low in calories.
Fiber helps to fill you up (known as the “satiety factor” by nutrition geeks like me) and it helps to slow the release of the fruit’s sugar into your bloodstream.
If you’ve been avoiding eating fruit because you’re worried about the sugars, don’t be (unless you’re on a keto diet).
And to make things easier, you can create pre-loaded smoothie packs so you can literally toss and blend a smoothie whenever the mood strikes.
These little gems are my personal favorite.
Chia seeds (yes, like the things you spread onto your 1990s chia pet) are not only super high in fiber, but they also contain protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Chia seeds absorb a lot of liquid, so if you’re craving something filling, you can add them to smoothies or even make a pudding in just a few minutes. One of my favorite uses for chia seeds is overnight oats.
We all know that eggs are packed with nutrition.
The funny thing is that nutrition is packed into the part most people avoid – the yolk.
Eggs contain a lot of protein and a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
As if that weren’t enough, recent research shows that the cholesterol in the yolks is NOT associated with highly elevated cholesterol or heart disease risk.
Not that I cared, but YAY!
I like to use my Instant Pot to make hard boiled eggs that are super easy to peel in just 6 minutes (yes, really).
You knew I had to get to veggies eventually right?
Vegetables have lots of fiber and water to help fill you up, so they’re a no-brainer when it comes to healthy snacking.
But I think that’s where most people shut down. On their own, vegetables can be a bit boring, but you can change that.
Sure, you can easily open a bag of baby carrots or a pack of cherry tomatoes and chow down.
But what if you made ants on a log using celery, almond butter, and raisins? Or reindeer at the holidays using celery, a pretzel, and freeze-dried raspberries for a nose?
Even using something as simple as ranch dressing (homemade of course) can make veggies palatable. Just don’t overdo it.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring. And if you get creative your kids will want to share, too.
Which healthy weight loss snacks do you want to try?