Healthy Snacks and Treats

Everyone likes snacks or treats, and we always get asked: “What do you recommend I eat when I get a snack attack?” It is for those people we created this page, and also for parents who want to have healthy recipes for snacks for the kids.
There is no snack food more pure and nourishing than the many varieties of fresh fruits, nuts and seeds.  Chew these well or grind and use in recipes to avoid digestion upsets and intolerances.  While snacks are not the most important part of our daily diet (or shouldn’t be), they can play a significant part in daily menu planning. Planning ahead by having a variety of nutritional foods on hand helps combat those weak moments of junk food cravings.

Members of our website have access to our comprehensive Shopping List, there you will find many healthy snack options from the best brands currently available. This list contains gluten free options as well, and most of items are available from your local supermarket.
This Healthy Snack & Treats page includes a selection of healthy snack bar and nibble recipes so that your lunch box need never be empty.  Honey is used as the sweetener as it contains vitamins and minerals, as opposed to sugar, which supplies empty calories. Some recipes exclude corn, wheat, eggs, chocolate and liquid milk.  These snacks are easy to prepare, economical and tasty to eat.

Our bodies actually need snacks during the run of a busy day. The word snack sometimes has a bad label attached to it, but when snacking properly, you can actually speed up your metabolism, have more energy, and you won’t feel like over-eating when the next meal time rolls around. During the day you may want to eat every 2-3 hours to balance your blood sugar levels, and this is especially important if you lead an active lifestyle. Your blood sugar levels are only as good as the meal you last consumed, and that is why eating smaller meals more frequently is a smart decision for active people. Keep in mind, if you are eating 5-6 meals and snacks a day, you want to keep portion sizes down, and eat food that is nutrient dense – that’s what nuts and seeds are a great choice. What does the term “ nutrient dense” mean you may ask? Well for starters you can eat an apple that has 100 calories, or you can eat a 100 calorie packet of chocolate drizzled rice cakes. The choice is yours.


 

 

First-Aid Snack Kit – Muesli Bars

A snack first aid kit at the office or in the pantry for after school will ensure you have a constant source of nutritious goodies to dissuade against junk purchases.  Only a limited amount of branded supermarket snack bars (but most are junk and you are best to make your own) can be included to reduce kitchen tasks, but  check the nutritional labels for fat and sugar content- some are not as healthy as they appear. Our Shopping List contains the best brands to buy.  Those with blood sugar problems (Hypoglycaemics, hyperglycaemics and diabetics) especially need to be aware of the sugar content in snack bars in the form of glucose, honey and fructose and dried fruits.  These bars come in variety of nut and seed mixtures and can be honey sweetened and carob or yoghurt coated.  Some include dried fruits such as apricot, almond and cashew.  Others are gluten-free, lactose-free, dairy and wheat free and with no added cane sugar or honey.  Bars have been developed specifically for active people, and for weight conscious people the “diet” snack bar supplies healthy nutrients to help counteract a lowered food intake. But watch out for the artificial sugars!

Nuts and seeds

Roasted nuts and seeds may taste better, but raw is much healthier.  Keep these as cool as possible as their high fat content can cause rancidity, in fact you are best to freeze nuts to delay rancidity and oxidation.  Dried fruits and nuts such as prunes, raisins, apricots, almonds, Brazil and hazel nuts can be purchased pre-packaged or bought in bulk and mixed together at home.  Seeds are generally best in some type of bar for ease of eating.  Boiled eggs and carrot and celery sticks will provide variety in your snack kit.  If necessary keep a freezer pack in the kit to keep the food cool. Best nuts in my opinion (buy as fresh as possible) are almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Peanuts? – not the best choice as they are the most allergenic of all. Incidentally, they are a legume and not a nut.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Of course there are the snack foods supplied by nature – all the fresh fruits and vegetables!  Bananas, apples, pears, oranges, carrots, peas in the pod, celery and tomatoes are a healthy hunger buster. Some of your best choices are small (or a half a large) avocado, celery or carrot strips, radishes, strips of capsicum (red bell peppers, nice and sweet) along with a small container of Hummus.

Breakfast cereals make good snacks too

There are some healthy breakfast cereals available for snacking, but check the sugar content closely. It is better if you make your own muesli or granola, and the recipe varieties are endless. Be sure to select the freshest ingredients from your local health food store. Check out the recipe for  Healthy Oat Cereal for example, or Bakker’s Muesli.

Puffed cereal snacks

Instead of just plain old homemade popped corn, save time by picking up a pack of naturally puffed millet, puffed brown rice or puffed yellow corn from the health section of your supermarket. The puffed golden millet includes the millet germ. They have no sugar, salt or artificial additives and taste terrific with a health topping like smoked salmon, cheese or avocado. It doesn’t have to be boring, just use your imagination!

Healthy sugary snacks

Maintaining a healthy diet means (virtually) abstaining from sweet foods – lollies, cakes, desserts, and the like, as their primary ingredients have be found to be less than wholesome.  Sugary snack foods upset nutritional balances and moods, so, with our busy lifestyles, having the right healthy snack food on hand is vital.We all like to snack on foods, and snacking is important for many reasons, for example it will allow you to maintain a better blood sugar level between meals and it will assist in weight control as well. You will find that if you eat three good meals a day that you will not want to snack too much on foods.

Healthy drinks

Healthy drinks include pure water, prune juice, carrot juice, spirulina and fruit juices which are nice to sip during the day.The idea is to drink plenty of fluids – more than you would generally drink, and this alone will give you a sensation of fullness which will help you to control your appetite more effectively.

Here are a few snack suggestions:

  • Fresh rice cakes (unsalted, plain or sesame seed),
  • Oat cakes or non-wheat bread with hummus, tahini, guacamole, goat’s cheese, nut butter or Manuka honey.
  •  Japanese rice cakes are low in sodium and wheat, cholesterol and fat free.  Tasty to eat while busy , they are even moorish!
  • Homemade popcorn is another good snack food, but try to eat it as is without the standard condiments of butter and salt.
  • Cherry tomatoes with a few chunks of goat’s cheese.
  • Half an avocado sprinkled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Mixed nuts and seeds. A small handful of a mixture of Brazil nuts, almonds, hazel nuts and walnuts.
  • Add roasted sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds to various vegetarian or meat dishes, or just grab some for a quick snack which will not only enhance the flavours of other foods, but will help stimulate digestion and improve bowel function.
  • Cashew nut patties are a delicious high protein snack, loved by adu
  • Healthy pancakes, made from brown rice and tapioca flours.
  • Raw vegetables served with tahini, hummus or guacamole.
  • A fresh juice, smoothie or non-dairy milk shake.
  • Fresh fruit salad – melon, kiwifruit, grapes, apple, pear, etc.
  • Hummus – a healthy chickpea and tahini snack which is a perfect food to accompany finger foods such as carrot, celery and cucumber sticks.
  • Gomashio is a simply delicious and highly addictive Japanese condiment made from roasted sesame seeds and sea salt. Try it, I guarantee once you make it you will become hooked on the aroma and taste. Perfect to add as a topping on many different foods.

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