What is your approach to snacks? We have been in the process of transitioning to more wholesome and nutritious snacks. It is not hard. It just takes a shift in the thinking.
Until about a year ago I used to rely on prepackaged snacks (granola bars, Gold Fish, Cheez-its, etc.), almost exclusively. They are easy, and they come in nice packaging. The packaging is what always got me: those bars always look so good on the wrapper. But the actual taste is never as good as I’d hope. Even “good” brands always leave the overly sweet, artificial aftertaste. Ingredients-wise, most of them don’t come close to my definition of healthy nutrition. They are still OK for some situations but on a regular basis, there are much better options that taste infinitely better, are healthier, and cheaper.
Basically, any normal food can be snack. What can be a better snack than a piece of good bread with some cheese and an apple? It is “back to basics”. I don’t know why it took me so long to get there (actually I do, but it would be off topic).
Outside of the situations when I have no choice but to have something pre-packaged in the “dry feed” category, I prefer snack options like these (most of them can be packed to-go):
– yogurt (all natural, usually Greek kind)
– carrots, cucumber slices with hummus
– cheese stick/cheese slices with good crackers or bread
– apple slices with peanut butter
– home-made muffins and snack bread (low sugar and low fat version, usually using whole wheat flour)
– a slice of good bread with cream cheese or sour cream (I make my own bread in a bread machine)
-nuts and dried fruit
I think this list has plenty of options to provide a variety of healthy snacks. It is more time consuming than opening a box of pre-packaged snack. But I don’t mind spending a few extra minutes because a) my family’s health is absolutely worth any effort I put in preparing food for them, and b) I don’t view cooking/food prep as a chore, as something that needs to be reduced or eliminated from my life.
As far as baking muffins and bread, it is not hard if you have your kitchen organized so that you have everything you need at your fingertips and don’t have to track your kitchen every time you bake. I timed the process of baking muffins, and the hands-on time took literally 5 minutes, plus 20 minutes in the oven (during which time you can do something else). It doesn’t have to be elaborate. But nothing beats a fresh home-made snack that contains 5 ingredients.
Do you plan your snacks? What are your favorite snacks?