January 30, 2014 – When I think about having just three square meals a day, I know I would never make it without my snacks in between! For me, mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are just as important as the main meals. They help keep me going, especially on my busy days.
Being a registered dietitian keeps me so busy, in fact, that I often find myself needing to eat on the run. That’s why I always stash snacks that are balanced, affordable and, most importantly, provide energy I need to power through the day.
Here’s a list of my five favorite power snacks to always have on hand:
String cheese. At 50 calories and 7 grams of protein per serving, the Fit & Active Light String Cheese makes the perfect, nutritious on-the-go snack. Low-fat dairy is an easy way to cut calories without sacrificing taste.
Greek yogurt. Friendly Farms All Natural Nonfat Greek Yogurt is loaded with protein that will keep you fuller, longer. For a sweet snack, stir in a teaspoon of SimplyNature Agave Nectar or SimplyNature Organic Honey and top with raisins, granola or berries.
Nuts with whole fruit or veggies. Many varieties of nuts, such Southern Grove Natural Almonds, provide healthy fats and protein to help fight off hunger. Make sure to keep an eye on portion control: grab about a handful, or 1/4 cup. Pair with whole fruit such as an orange or apple for a zip of extra energy.
Smoothies. This simple Blueberry-Lemon Smoothie from the ALDI Test Kitchen whips up quickly and has lean protein from nonfat yogurt. Serve as an after school snack and let the kids pick their favorite fruit. A great way to help keep smoothies affordable is to buy frozen fruit that can be kept in your freezer for longer periods of time.
What’s your favorite on-the-go snack? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Tara Gidus, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, has served as a National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for five years and motivates groups on various topics such as achieving a healthy weight, maximizing energy, enhancing sports performance and creating a positive body image.