Breakfast may be the most important meal, but mid-morning and mid-afternoon are the most important snack times of the day. They are the perfect times for a little pick me up between meals, and the perfect time to make healthy choices.
Here are 6 quick snacks that are easy to store, transport and eat:
1) Avocado- Cut in half at home, leave pit in and store with halves placed back together. Eat later with a spoon or fork right out of the rind.
2) Trail Mix- get a good mix of low salt nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
3) Cottage cheese or yogurt- low fat if you’re worried about your less healthy fat intake.
4) A handful of lightly or unsalted nuts.
5) Natural/organic/grass-fed beef (or turkey or salmon) jerky- steer clear of big commercial brands that use preservatives and loads of sodium.
6) Banana- it comes in its own packaging!
Besides the banana, these snacks offer a good balance of sugar, protein and fat. Foods with this kind of balance break down slower than foods high in simple carbohydrates; this keeps your blood sugar from spiking and gives more long lasting energy. These snacks are perfect alternative to cookies, chips, soda and other common sugary afternoon treats.
Keep in mind that high glycemic index and processed foods, such as rice cakes, bread and crackers, and sugar (don’t forget how much is in that specialty coffee drink) may give you a lot of energy up front, but they come at a price. Poor blood sugar regulation, mood swings, fatigue and empty calories are not a good trade for the quick sugar fix. Instead, let your snacking give you sustained energy, improved mood, nutrients, and healthy calories. Your body and mind will thank you.