16 February 2016 Snacks Galore! Ideas for Snacks For Everyone

Snacks can fit into a healthy eating plan, but some choices are better than others. If you are trying to lose weight you still have to make sure the calories fit within your budget. Read this post for sweet or savory snack ideas that might work well with your eating plan.

Processed versus whole foods for snacks?

Whole and minimally processed foods will typically contain more nutrients and less added fat, sugar, and salt than highly processed foods. But sometimes you just want a treat that tastes like a treat – so learn which products satisfy while also keeping you on budget. For the snack lists, I avoided using brand name products but if you are curious, I personally use certain brands more often than others. This is partly due to taste but just as much due to nutrient content. Some products contain more fiber and/or protein for less sugar and/or salt than comparable brands. Brands I often buy: Daisy® cottage cheese, Sargento® cheese sticks, Way Better Snacks® crackers, Triscuit® crackers, Ghirardelli® 60% cacao baking chips, Chobani® nonfat fruit yogurt, Light Muscle Milk® for a prepackaged low carb/high protein shake, and Pure® or Simple Truth® for a low carb/high protein bar.

Satisfaction & Less Hunger

Protein added to another food –veggie, fruit, or whole grain, is a popular snack option since many people report less hunger while trying to lose weight. A healthy fat (watch portion size) added to a non-starchy veggie is another favorite way to satisfy. Read “4 Tips for Feeling Full on Fewer Calories” for more ideas.

Snack Lists

For those of you with diabetes or trying to control carbs, most of the snacks are limited to one carb choice (20 grams or less of total carbs). I noted snacks that are higher in carbs. If you are trying to limit sodium, I noted higher sodium choices in red. For the whole grain crackers, small types are usually about 2 grams/cracker (e.g. 8 Wheat Thins® weigh about 16 grams) whereas the heavier or larger types like Triscuit contain 4-5 grams per cracker.

< 50 kcal
Plain unsweetened coffee or tea
Plain unsweetened herbal teas such as cinnamon spiced or ginger tea
Water infusions (water with sliced citrus and/or herbs for flavor)
Unsweetened flavored seltzer water
Non-starchy* vegetables – raw or cooked – with salsa or hot sauce
1 sweet or dill pickle (note: high in sodium)
1 small clementine orange or tangerine
½ cup berries
Sugar-free gum

50-99 kcal
1 short (8 fl oz or 240 ml) skinny mocha or latte (skim milk, sugar-free syrup)
1 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 container light yogurt
1 medium piece of fruit
1 cup berries or sliced melon
½ cup frozen grapes
¼ (50g) avocado
1 cup cubed roasted butternut squash (spray oil)
2 cups cubed roasted eggplant (spray oil)
1 large roasted zucchini (spray oil)
1 serving Baked Kale Chips (use less salt to lower sodium)
2 oz (60g) lean ham wrapped around a small melon slice
1 tablespoon (15g) of peanut or almond butter on celery sticks
4 oz (115g) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk, plain soy milk, or light vanilla soy milk
½ cup (115g) 2% low fat cottage cheese
1 tablespoon (12-14g) of chia or flax seeds as a crunchy add-in to something else
½ oz (15g) nuts or seeds (e.g. 11 almonds or 6 pecans)
2 tablespoons (15g) honey roasted peanuts
½ oz (15g) dark chocolate
16 chips (15g) dark chocolate chips
½ cup sugar-free pudding
1 (15g) chocolate or caramel rice cake
1 low fat fudge pop

100-150 kcal
12 fl oz (“Tall”) skinny mocha or latte (skim milk, sugar-free syrup)
5.3 oz (150g) container nonfat Greek fruit yogurt
1 oz cheese + ½ medium apple or pear
1 tablespoon nut butter (15g) + 1/2 medium (50g) banana or 1 small apple
1 tablespoon peanut butter (15g) + celery sticks + 2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons (15g) of nuts or seeds
3 cups air-popped popcorn + spray oil + 1 tablespoon (5g) grated parmesan cheese
1 small bag light microwave popcorn (100 kcal bags – avoid those with Trans fats)
1 reduced fat cheese stick + 1 oz (29g) whole grain crackers (1.5 carb choices)
1 cup of 1% or 2% lowfat milk
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese + 1 tbsp sugar-free jam + 1/2 oz (15g) whole grain crackers
1/3 cup 2% cottage cheese + 1 teaspoon hazelnut spread + 4 water crackers
1/3 cup light ricotta cheese + 1 teaspoon honey + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract + topped with 2 tablespoons canned whipped cream
3 tablespoons (60g) hummus + 12 baby carrots
1/2 cup Crunchy Chickpeas (Cooking Light recipe)
1 whole wheat fig bar + 6 fl oz 1% milk or soy milk (1.5 carb choices)
1 extra small (28g) biscotti (2 carb choices)
1 Skinny Cow® Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich (2 carb choices)
1/2 cup low fat vanilla ice cream + 1/2 cup berries (1.5 carb choices)
1 chocolate rice cake + 2 tablespoons aerosol whipped cream + 1/2 cup berries
1 small container of a low carb/high protein shake + 1 shot espresso

151 - 200 kcal
1 oz (1/4 cup or 29g) nuts or seeds
1 oz (29g) extra dark chocolate
1 oz (29g) plain animal crackers + 1 tablespoon (15g) dark chocolate chips (2 carb choices)
1 reduced fat cheese stick + 10g whole grain crackers + 1 small apple or pear (1.5 carb choices)
3 tablespoons (60g) hummus + 1 mini (30g) whole wheat pita + sliced cucumber, tomato, and carrot (1.5 carb choices)
1 low carb/high protein bar

*Non-Starchy Veggies with 25 Calories or less per serving

1 serving = 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked
Bean sprouts
Beet greens
Carrot (1 medium or 2 oz)
Green beans (1/2 cup raw or cooked)
Jicama (1/2 cup raw or cooked)
Mung bean sprouts
Mustard greens
Onions (yellow, red, or green)
Peppers (sweet, hot, etc.)
Snow peas (young sugar snap peas)
Summer squash (crookneck, zucchini)
Swiss chard (chard)
Tomatoes (1 med raw, ½ cup cooked/canned)
Turnip greens
Yellow or wax beans (1/2 cup raw or cooked)
Yard-long beans (1/2 cup raw or cooked)

1 serving = 1 cup raw or 1 cup cooked
Bamboo shoots
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage (green, red, bok choy, or Chinese)

1 serving = 3½ - 4 cups raw
Salad greens (arugula, chicory, endive/escarole, radicchio, and watercress)

As you can see from the lists above, there are tons of ways you can combine foods to make tasty, satisfying snacks. Enjoy!

Katherine Isacks, MPS, RD, CDE
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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.


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