It’s summer, a time to relax and enjoy the sun… until you realize that you just might be more busy now than you have been all winter. Your weekends are filled with picnics, weddings, or family functions. If you have kids, you are probably picking them up and dropping them off at 3 different places each day. These are the times when the drive through and vending machines call your name. These foods may stop your hunger pangs, but they will not give your body what it needs to stay healthy and hydrated during the hot summer days. Instead, pack healthier snacks for you and your family while you’re running from place to place. Here are a few snack options I grab on the go.
1. Apple Sandwiches. This is a perfect snack to eat when you are short on time. This recipe makes 3 sandwiches. They can be eaten immediately or saved for later in an air tight container or baggy.
You will need:
– 1 Large apple
– 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 Tablespoon rolled oats
– ¼ Teaspoon cinnamon
– 3 Tablespoons nut butter
– 1 Teaspoon honey
– 1 Tablespoon raisins or cranberries or
– 1 Tablespoon chocolate chips or
– 1 Tablespoon chai seeds or
– 1/4 cup grapes (sliced in half) or
– 1 Tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
– Core and slice the apple into ½ inch thick slices and place them in a bowl of water with 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
– Mix the oats and cinnamon in a bottle.
– Mix the nut butter and honey together and spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture on 3 of the apple slices.
– Add the oats/cinnamon mixture and extras to the same 3 slices.
– Top the slices with the remaining 3 apple slices to form sandwiches.
*Recipe adapted from Emily Han at thekitchn.com
2. Frozen yogurt bars. This snack is great for hot summer days. All you need is Greek yogurt and your favorite fruit, granola, or nuts.
You will need:
– 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Siggi’s Vanilla)
– 2 cups cut fruit (berries, bananas, or peaches work great)
– ½ cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
– ½ cup granola
– ¼ cup chocolate chips or
– ¼ cup coconut flakes
– Mix the ingredients together and place into a pan or casserole dish lined with parchment paper.
– Cover and put the pan into the freezer for at least 1 hour
– Cut the frozen yogurt into squares and store in a single layer in the freezer.
*Recipe adapted from Lindsay Livingston, RDN at theleangreenbean.com
3. Veggie Chips. Because sometimes you just want the crunch.
You will need:
– 2 root vegetables of your choice. I used 1 sweet potato and 1 red beetroot
– 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil.
– 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
– Heat your oven to 350°F (convection if possible)
– Wash, peal, and slice your root vegetables very thin. A mandoline works well.
– Toss the sliced veggies in a bowl with 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil.
– Spread the veggie slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt. Make sure they are not overlapping.
– Bake for 30 to 1 hour. Flip the slices over every 15 minutes until they reach desired crispness.
*Recipe adapted from Nina Mills, RDN at whatsforeats.com.au
Here are some tips to build your own healthy snack:
- Include real food. This could be fresh fruits or veggies from your local farmer’s market. You can also include whole grains, such as oatmeal, quinoa, or brown rice. All of these will give you a good source of fiber to keep your tummy full longer.
- Include a high-quality source of protein. This could be yogurt, hummus, nut butters, beans, or lean meats such as chicken.
- Prepare the snacks ahead of time and keep them in single serving sized containers to grab on the go.
- Keep your snacks to around 200 to 300 calories to give your body the fuel it needs without ruining meal times.
- Stay hydrated! In addition to your snack, drink plenty of water. Drink half of your body weight in ounces each day. Drink more if you are outside in the sun or physically active.