March 09, 2011


I'll admit it: I'm a snacker. I can't remember a day in recent past that I haven't left the house without some kind of pre-portioned healthy snack to have on hand in order to avoid those mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger pains (and the inevitable trek to the vending machine). Apparently my habit may be paying off: according to the registered dietitians of Cooking Light magazine, a "5,000-subject-strong National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who ate snacks in addition to three meals a day had higher levels of nutrients in their diets." Sounds great to me!

Not to mention, on a personal level, snacking steadies my blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day and keeps me from overeating during major meals.

But like all things, some of my choices tend to get tired after awhile. Take raw, unsalted almonds: they're crunchy, satisfying, protein-rich and you don't need many (only about a 1/4 cup) to fill you up. However, after several months of the nut, I got a little bored. Enter my new favorite snack found at my local SuperTarget that you've got to try: Archer Farms Raw Mixed Nuts (I like them unsalted)! Instead of just boring ol' almonds, I now have a variety of textures, subtle flavors, and additional nutrients in my 1/4 cup serving of nuts.

Here are a few other snacks that have ended up on my desk lately:

Apples and bananas: You just can't beat the ease of just grabbing one from the fruit bowl and throwing it in your bag on your way out.

Oatmeal: Filling and oh-so comforting. I toss 1/2 cup of quick-cooking oats, about 1/2 tsp of brown sugar, cinnamon, and some raisins into a container. Just add water and heat when ready. If I'm feeling really adventurous, I'll toss a few dark chocolate chips into the mix. I also love these oatmeal topping ideas from CookingLight.com.

Carrots and hummus: Carrots are great as is, but a small amount of hummus makes them much more tasty.

Granola bars: I'm a fan of Nature Valley OatsĀ 'n Honey.

I'm in need of some new ideas and I'd love your help! What are your go-to healthy snacks? How do you keep from getting bored?

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