Saturday, June 12, 2010

Favorite Creative Healthy Snacks

I’ve always eaten like a bird; little snacks here and there, and not enough room in the tummy for a big meal in one sitting, so I eat pretty frequently. Usually breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Seriously! But it’s all in small portions and gives me tons of variety. As much as I like to snack, it’s important to have an arsenal of favorite go-to healthy snacks that I love. It’s easy to get in a rut with the same granola bar/veggie/fruit stuff, so here I’ll share the snacks I make all the time for work, home, and pre-workout.

Tomato slices with Parmesan Garlic Seasoning

Fresh, cold tomatoes are the epitome of summertime. For a snack, I like mine sliced and sprinkled with pepper, grated parmesan cheese, and this nifty parmesan-garlic flavored seasoning meant for popcorn. It’s fresh, quick and really good!

Frozen Grapes

It’s amazing how much a freezer can transform a grape! Frozen grapes are ideal for picnics, kids' lunch boxes, laying out by the pool, and an at-work or after-work snack. Just de-stem and pop a bunch in the freezer on a tray or in tupperware for a few hours or overnight. They can actually be stored frozen as long as you need. They come out like little bite-sized sorbets! You could also mix with some white-grape-peach juice for a sweet, slushy, sorbet dessert.

Fuji Apple with Melted Crunchy Peanut Butter

I’ve been unintentionally eating an apple a day since I’ve been in OT school. The long days actually developed my snacking habit…sitting in the same classroom for 7-8 hours can drive you to stuff your face! I brought a sliced apple with me every day and haven’t stopped since. I did step the game up a little, though, and started bringing a couple tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter in a mini container to be nuked in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It is by far my favorite and most frequent snack. I’ve had every combination under the sun, and trust me…The Fuji apple is the best with peanut butter and the crunchy variety is a must.

Tuna Fish Salad with Cheese on Whole Grain Ritz

This can be a snack or even lunch. I make a typical tuna fish salad; a couple cans of tuna in WATER, fat free miracle whip, white only of boiled eggs, sweet relish, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I spread it on a whole grain Ritz cracker with a small square of cheddar block cheese. I’ve also tried it with the Cracked Black Pepper Triscuits, which is yummy too, but Ritz are my fave. You can have it cold and crunchy or heat for a few seconds to make it soft and warm.

For me, it’s also vital to have some go-to snacks to get my chocolate fix, without polishing off a twix…both of them. The next snacks are my picks for when the chocolate craving strikes.

Bowl of Chocolate Cheerios with Skim Milk

I’m a cereal girl. A cereal-at-any-time-of-day-girl to be exact. This cereal was the best discovery for me because it’s surprisingly not too chocolaty but is like a yummy sweet dessert to cap off my dinner at night. This is what I turn to when I’m about to compulsively drive to Sonic on autopilot and eat a sundae before I even know what happened. Doesn’t everyone do that? No?

Chocolate Teddy Grahams with Low Fat Frozen Yogurt

To take one more step into the dessert category, you can have a scoop of Low Fat frozen yogurt, whatever flavor you like, with a handful of chocolate teddy grahams, another great chocolate alternative discovery.

I bring these in a ziplock bag for a chocolaty snack at work, but if you must have icecream, this is a good way to go.

Nutella on Whole Grain Toaster Waffle

If you have not yet met Nutella, allow me to introduce you. Nutella is a chocolate-hazelnut spread made with skim milk and it is the most versatile, delicious stuff EVER!

I was first acquainted with my love 5 years ago when I took Italian as my foreign language and my instructor was so enthralled by it, her license plate read “NUTELLA”. She completely turned her nose up at the thought of peanut butter and said this is the Italian equivalent for a kid’s lunch box meal at school in Italy. I tried it, and was hooked. If you google Nutella recipes, you’ll see how much you can do with it. It stays in my pantry as a spread or dip for a number of victims: Nilla wafers, graham crackers, wheat toast, bananas…But this is a great snack for an on-the-go breakfast or sweet and filling dessert. Just spread a little on a toasted whole grain waffle. It’ll melt a little from the warmth and you can top with bananas, strawberries, or blueberries if you want. You’ll love it!

Fat Free Fruit Dip

This is a standard fruit dip combination that can be mixed and matched for any flavor you like. Mix equal parts fat free cool whip with fat free yogurt (strawberry, vanilla, pineapple, etc) and a little bit of corresponding crushed fruit. Everything’s better with something to dip in!

This last idea is not mine, but it's just adorable! It's from Nesting Newbies magazine and I can't wait to use the idea. They called it a "jarfait"; a layered parfait stored in a mason jar with a lid to become portable.

You could make ahead of time, put in the refrigerator, and take to a picnic, breakfast on the go, or work snack. And the combinations you can create are endless. Here's a few I thought of...

Banana Pudding Parfait
Layer fat free vanilla pudding, crushed Reduced Fat Nilla wafers, and fat free cool whip.

Strawberry Shortcake Parfait
Layer angel food cake (fat free!) slices strawberries, and fat free cool whip.

Tropical Parfait
Layer low fat strawberry yogurt, crushed pineapple, and chopped pecans or granola.

Chocolate Parfait
Layer low fat chocolate pudding/mousse, crushed animal/graham crackers, and fat free cool whip.

I hope you like some of these snack ideas and let me know if you try any!



  1. I tried the Nutella on a waffle and absolutely love it! I also made the tuna salad and it's great. I work for Weight Watchers one night a week and can't wait to share these ideas with the other members!

  2. Oh that's so great to hear! I don't think there's anything I have yet to put Nutella on:) I'm glad the ideas were helpful!


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