10 Healthy Grab & Go Snacks

The dietitians at the Brittany Jones Nutrition Group are big snackers. Homemade trail mix, fruit and nuts, and veggies and dip are some of our favorites! We are also very realistic and we know that we can’t always expect to carve out the time to prep snacks during the day and sometimes it’s easier to reach for a prepackaged snack (especially when traveling). With the aisles of snack options to choose from, the snack choosing decision can be intimidating.

“What snacks should I buy?” “What ingredients should I avoid?” and “How can I tell if it’s healthy?” 

When shopping for snacks, we recommend looking for options that feature a protein and/or good fat. Most prepackaged snacks are carbohydrate based (which is fine), and adding fat and/or protein to a carbohydrate will slow down digestion keeping you fuller longer. It also keeps your blood sugar and energy levels more stable. The next thing we look for is real ingredients! We like to stick to whole foods as much as possible. Check the ingredients label. What is the first ingredient? Look for whole foods such as nuts, whole grains, or fruit. The less ingredients in a pre-packaged snack, the better! 

We’ve put together a list of just a few of our favorite packaged snack options to make it easier for you! From protein bars to chickpea puffs these snacks can either be picked up at the grocery store, or ordered online and delivered straight to your door via a service like Thrive Market.

10 Healthy Grab & Go Snacks

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Somersaults 

Somersaults are crunchy salty sunflower seed bites that have 6g of protein, making them perfect snacks to take with you on the go! They are also nut free and great for kids with food allergies.

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Trader Joe’s Turkey Jerky

Jerky is a great high protein snack option for your morning or afternoon snack (option to pair with a carb like a piece of fruit). The Trader Joe’s turkey jerky is low in saturated fat (so it will keep your LDL cholesterol low) is nitrate free, and is made from turkeys without growth hormones.

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Bada Bean Snacks 

Have you ever tried broad beans? We hadn’t either until we tried this snack! Beans are high in carbohydrates and protein making the perfect snack combination – not to mention it’s also portable and kid food allergy friendly (gluten free, nut free)

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RXBAR

Protein bars are a great option for snacks on the go. We like RXBars because they use minimal ingredients with nothing extra added. They also use egg whites as their source of protein instead of protein powder!

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Skinny Dipped Almonds

Chocolate covered almonds. Need we say more? These almonds are lightly dipped in dark chocolate to give you a sweet and crunchy afternoon snack that features protein and good fat to keep you full until dinner time. 

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Late July Organic Bite Size Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers

If you are a peanut butter cracker lover, you will love these sandwich crackers! They are an organic spin on a classic snack, and they taste great.

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Hippeas

Hippeas are basically the protein packed version of Cheetos (and who isn’t down for that?!) These light airy cheddar puffs are made of chickpeas loading the snack with both protein and carbohydrates for a completely satisfying snack!

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Biena Roasted Chickpea Snacks

Another power house chickpea snack! Beina has a variety of salty and sweet roasted chickpeas. They have a nice crunch similar to nuts. It’s also a great option for kids with nut allergies!

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Lara Bars

Lara Bars are great to keep in your bag, car, or anywhere you might need a quick snack. These bars are made of dates, nuts, and other dried fruits and taste like some of your favorite desserts. They all have 6 ingredients or less!

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Second Nature Trail Mix

Trail mix is always a great snack option, with dried fruit for a carbohydrate and nuts for protein/good fats. If you are traveling or don’t have time to make a trail mix, this option is a great second best.

 

Healthy snacking is not always easy, especially if you’re out and about. We always recommend having some snacks with you in case hunger strikes! what are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Let us know below!

 

 

Spring Clean Your Diet with WSPA

Spring is finally here and I recently shared my tips to spring clean your diet with WSPA Channel 7 News. Warmer weather means that there is lots of produce is in season – and fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and water! Click here to get the Grape, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Chicken Salad recipe that I demonstrated on the segment.

Spring clean your diet by making at least one snack per day consist of produce + protein

Examples below:

  • 1 Cup cucumber slices + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Small apple + 1 cheese stick
  • 1/2 Cup blueberries + 1/4 Cup walnuts
  • 17 Grapes + 25 almonds
  • 5 stalks celery + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1 Peach (sliced) + 1 Cup cottage cheese
  • 1 Pear + 1/4 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 bell pepper (sliced) + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  • 1 Cutie + 1/2 Cup pistachios in shell
  • 1/2 Banana + 2 Tablespoons natural nut or seed butter
  • 1/2 Cup raspberries + 1/2 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Orange + 1 hard boiled egg

Want to know more about meal planning and nutrition tips for spring? Contact me today to set up your FREE 15 minute discovery call.

10 Healthy Afternoon Snack Ideas

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The 3pm hunger strike is real! t’s been a long day, you ate lunch 3-4 hours ago and it’s not time for dinner yet. Your afternoon “snack attack” can make or break the rest of your afternoon, either giving you a major sugar high and energy crash OR giving you sustainable energy through the rest of your work day!

But exactly how do you get this “sustainable snack energy?”

By combing healthy carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat.

The healthy carbs will give you the energy boost you need and the protein and healthy fat will help sustain that energy until dinner time.

10 Healthy Afternoon Snacks

  1. 1 small apple + ¼ cup unsalted nuts
  2. ½ banana + 2 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  3. 1 small orange + 1 string cheese stick
  4. 1 cup raw vegetables + 2 Tablespoons hummus
  5. 6oz of Greek yogurt + ½ cup fresh berries
  6. 3 cups air popped popcorn + 1oz cheese
  7. 1 hard-boiled egg + ½ medium orange
  8. 3 celery stalks + 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter + 1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
  9. 1 cup diced watermelon + 1oz feta cheese
  10. 1 piece of Ezekiel toast + ¼ avocado

As always, be sure to plan your meals and snacks with the Blush Nutrition Meal Planner ahead of time to stay on track! Happy afternoon snacking!

(This blog was originally published by Brittany L. Chin Jones, MS, RD, LD for Pure Barre Corp LLC)

Carolina Morning Segment: Avoid the holiday weight gain & Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

I had a lot of fun sharing my tips for avoiding the holiday weight gain with Siblia and Christy! Check out my top tips below, and scroll down to get the recipe from the show.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls Recipe

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Why are dietitians so obsessed with snacking? Because snacks are amazing!

No really though, we love snacks because they help us reach our health goals! Snacks (especially during the holidays) can keep us from getting overly hungry before a meal, which can lead to over eating or bingeing on holiday sweets.

What’s the most important thing about snacking? That it incorporates both a carb + protein/good fat!

Repeat after me: carbs alone don’t keep you full!

This is why “healthy snacks” like an apple or a cup of berries doesn’t fill you up – but it’s also why goldfish don’t either (unless you eat the whole bag I guess). I love these Peanut Butter Chocolate Popcorn Balls because they’re not only festive, but it’s a snack the whole family will love! Have your kids help you with the assembly of each popcorn ball.

The popcorn gives you whole grains, and the peanut butter adds some good fats and protein to keep you fuller longer.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

Yield: 10 Popcorn Balls

Ingredients:

  • 9 Cups Air Popped Popcorn (1/3 cup kernels)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Chocolate Chunks
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Natural Chunky Peanut Butter

Directions:

  1. Place the popcorn and chocolate chunks in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the honey and peanut butter and stir together with a spatula until heated and the honey starts to bubble.
  3. Remove from heat, and pour over the popcorn, using the spatula to scrape the sides of the sauce pan.
  4. Stir until all of the popcorn is well coated with the peanut butter mixture, and the chocolate chips start to melt.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using your hands, form the mixture into 10 balls before the mixture cools. Set each one on the parchment paper.
  7. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 25-30 minutes, and enjoy!

This snack can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week!

Nutrition Facts (1 popcorn ball): 198 Calories, 8.1g Total Fat, 1.3g Saturated Fat, 0mg Cholesterol, 2mg Sodium, 28g Total Carbohydrate, 4.5g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 6.6g Protein

Healthy After School Snacks

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Thanks everyone who came out to my Atheta G!rl Greenville healthy after school snacking workshop! We made these adorable and healthy butterfly snack bags (click here for the recipe) and reviewed healthy snack tips. Check them out below!

5 Tips for Healthy After School Snacking

  1. Snacking won’t ruin dinner! After school, you might feel like don’t want your child to eat so much that they are not hungry for dinner – however feeding your child a small, healthful snack after school can help to boost their metabolism, keep blood sugar from getting to low before dinner, and ensure that they are consuming adequate nutrients for their growing bodies!
  2. Focus on Protein + Produce. Whether it is carrots and hummus, yogurt and berries, or an apple and peanut butter – combining a protein with produce will help your child to build strong muscles and also ensure that your child is consuming key vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  3. Go for Whole Grains! Choosing a whole grain snack such as whole wheat crackers, brown rice cakes, or whole air popped popcorn will ensure that your child is receiving adequate fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These snacks will help slow digestion to stay fuller for longer, control blood sugar levels, and help with regular bowel movements.
  4. Low-Fat Dairy: The one and done. Consuming an after school snack containing low-fat dairy such as low fat yogurt, a low fat cheese stick or a glass or skim milk will ensure that your child is receiving the necessary calcium to help build strong bones and teeth, as well as carbohydrates + protein. Our bones can be seen as a “Bank of Calcium.” If calcium is not deposited over time, it will be withdrawn and used in different areas of the body. Consuming a low-fat dairy snack can ensure that your child is receiving adequate Calcium and Vitamin D for building strong bones!
  5. Get The Family Involved! Having your child involved in picking their snacks can help them build confidence and ownership in what they are eating. Bonus – they will take these healthy habits into adulthood with them too!

Questions? Contact Brittany to set up your FREE 15 minute appointment today!