Bite Sizes – Healthy Snacking That Satisfies
Healthy Snacking That Satisfies
Bite Size Habits
When undertaking any kind of change, particularly when it comes to nutrition and/or body composition changes, I always find that small choices made consistently are the key to success.
Working on one habit at a time does not overwhelm and allows the body and mind to adapt to the new change.
When we overhaul everything at once we are often left discouraged and disappointed. The task seems unsurmountable. But when we plug away, slowly but surely, adopting one new habit at a time, we are more likely to continue with and sustain the given change. Think of it as “bite size” changes that are manageable and that you will be successful at.
Snacking tends to be an area of concern for many people. They feel that they make poorer nutrition choices when it comes to those mid-afternoon or evening feeding opportunities. Let’s treat this like any other habit. Let’s work on it for this month. How do we do that? We PLAN ahead. You must have foods ready or else I can guarantee that you will be reaching for the cheese and crackers, the popcorn, the chips, and the M&M’s. If you’re hungry, bored and just feeling a bit snackish, you’re going to want something and want it NOW. So if a healthier option isn’t ready for you, you may indulge in something you’ll regret later.
Feeding the Snack Monster
That’s where “bite sizes” comes in. I find that if I have bite size foods ready to eat I’ll make better choices. We don’t usually need a lot of food for a snack – this isn’t a full meal – it’s just a little something to tide us over till the next bigger meal or so that we don’t go to bed hungry. Since protein foods tend to be the most difficult thing for people to figure out, I thought I would share with you some ideas of things you could prepare once a week and that would be ready for you when the snack monster hits. IMPORTANT – prepare these things ahead of time!!!
As a reminder, protein foods include: any meats, dairy (including whey powder), poultry, eggs, fish and seafood, beans and legumes (they are also quite starchy – not pure protein), it is found in grains and seeds like quinoa, hemp and chia.
Make a batch of any of the following ideas, store in the fridge and you’ll have what you need for a few days of guilt-free snacking. Add a serving (about 1 cup) of pre-cut raw veggies to any of the following suggestions to round out your snack nutrition.
Bite size protein ideas:
Mini protein pancakes (see recipe below)
Mini burger patties (meatballs) (tuna, chicken, turkey, beef) (see recipe below)
Egg muffins (see recipe below)
Sliced Meat Rolls
- Use leftover meats from a previous meal or natural low sodium deli meat slices (like Natural Selections).
- Roll each slice around a dill pickle spear, celery stick, bell pepper slice, carrot, etc.
- Use sliced avocado as an alternative to the pickle or veggie. The good healthy fats will add satiety so you won’t be tempted to snack later on.
Protein Balls (the sweet stuff!)
- There are many recipes on line for sweet protein balls made with protein powder
- These are a great way to get a few tasty bites in, all the while getting some protein
- Be careful with the sweeteners – don’t use too much honey or overload on raisins
- Here is a great link for over 45 recipes
- Hard boiled eggs
- Greek Yogurt
- Use plain Greek yogurt and add to it:
- Add ¼- ½ scoop of your favorite protein powder to make a “pudding”
- Add ½ cup berries and 1/8 cup of nuts
- Add a spice blend like Mrs Dash to make a dip – eat with sliced veggies (cucumber, celery, bell peppers, carrots)
- Cottage Cheese
- Eat as is, or add a chopped fruit into it (orange, berries, etc)
- Use plain Greek yogurt and add to it:
Store Ready Protein Options:
Short on time, the grocery and online stores have you covered:
- Hard boiled eggs (yes, you can buy them ready to eat!)
- Mini-yogurts (get plain and add fruit)
- “Natural” deli meats (such as “Free From PC”)
- Various containers of packaged pieces of roast chicken, turkey, beef
- Protein bars (eat sparingly – I like Quest bars – high protein and fiber)
- Beef jerky (l like Nick Sticks from Wallace Farms – grass fed beef)
- Ready-made bean, quinoa and lentil salads at deli counters
Snacking is OK
So many people fear snacking, thinking that it will sabotage their good nutrition efforts. There’s nothing wrong with a snack provided it offers you the calories you need to help fuel your body, the nutrients needed to help keep you healthy and the satisfaction so that you don’t binge on foods that will compromise your goals.
Plan ahead. Prepare foods just like you would prepare and plan your main meals. Bring food with you when you can. Enjoy and savor the foods you eat.
Step 1: Pick a snack to prepare for the week
Step 2: Prepare the snack:
- Take an hour on Sunday (or any other day) and prep your food
- Or, cook a bit more when you’re making lunch or dinner and save the extra for your snacks
Step 3: Store your ready-made snacks in a container and place in fridge
Step 4: Enjoy your snacks – they’re ready to eat!
And if you’re still struggling, drop me a line and I’ll give you a hand.
(with Sweet Potato)
(with Ricotta cheese)
(these are the ones I make most often)
- Mix all dry ingredients then add wet ingredients
- Lightly spray frying pan with coconut oil or Pam-type spray
- Pour batter into pan on low-medium heat
- Flip once bubbles appear or when pancake is easily lifted without sticking
- Makes 2-4 pancakes
- Add ¼- ½ cup blueberries to your batter (excellent way to get a serving of fruit)
- Peanut butter (great if you need added fat)
- Unsweetened applesauce (great if you needed added carbs)
- Sugar-free jam (great if you need to keep carbs and calories lower)
- These can be made ahead of time and reheated in the toaster
Preheat oven to 350. Ideally use silicone muffin cups or grease your muffin pan very well. This really gets sticky.
- 8-12 Large eggs
- If using fewer whole eggs (8) and wanting to increase your protein, add 1 cup of Egg whites
- Chopped vegetables of your choice (ex: onion, bell peppers, celery)
- Sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- Onion powder
- Sea Salt
- Or any other spices, meat, cheese, veggies of your choice
- Whisk together the whole eggs and egg whites
- Add the chopped veggies and sun-dried tomatoes (amounts will be personal preference)
- Add herbs/spices to taste (a pinch of each should be sufficient)
- Mix everything and pour into muffin cups
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean
Tuna Burgers/Meatballs (beef, chicken, turkey)
- 1 can flaked tuna packed in water, water drained (or other meat)
- Various veggies chopped:
- Green and red pepper
- Green onion
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all together
- Form into two patties
- Melt one teaspoon coconut oil in frying pan
- Cook patties in frying pan till golden brown
- Use ground chicken or turkey instead
- Make mini bite-sized burgers that are ideal for snacks