Make, Eat, Enjoy
Healthy snacks to stave off those cravings and get you through the day.
Kristina LaRue’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chewy Granola Bars and Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding.
Check out delicious, healthy snack recipes from Kristina LaRue
It’s 10 a.m. on a workday, and you’re craving something yummy. Do you head for your workplace vending machine, grab a goody from the processed-food stash in your desk drawer, or reach into your lunch tote for that homemade treat you whipped up over the weekend?
Odds are, you go for the vending machine or the secret stash, and then feel guilty for the rest of the day—or at least until 2 p.m., when your cravings kick in again. Dietitians say there’s no need for guilt. The cravings are normal, but we’re better off satisfying them with simple, homemade snacks.
“You do need to be eating something every three to four hours to fuel a healthy metabolism,” says Kristina LaRue, a registered dietitian in Orlando and president of the Orlando Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I actually want my clients to snack—but on the right foods.”
When most of us think snack, we think junk food, LaRue says, but it doesn’t have to be that way. “I want people to associate snacks with nourishment, with real, whole food,” she says.
It doesn’t take a “Barefoot Contessa” to create healthy snacks—just an awareness of healthy foods that offer a balance of protein and carbs.
“With homemade snacks, you know exactly what ingredients are in there,” LaRue says. “Pre-packaged food can be laced with sugars and sodium and enriched grains, which aren’t good for your health.”
Enriched grains have been stripped of their fiber, LaRue says. “They might add certain vitamins that the FDA requires, but they don’t add the fiber back in. The fiber in whole grains helps control blood sugar.”
LaRue suggests stocking up on these ingredients to create sweet or savory snacks, depending on your craving:
- Apple sauce
- Canned chick peas
- Dried fruits (dates, apricots, raisins, etc.)
- Fresh fruits, especially apples and bananas
- Greek yogurt (“it’s been strained to have more protein”)
- Nuts and seeds, such as chia and flax seeds
- Nut butters (almond, peanut, etc.)