New Year, New You, New Snacks!

By Laura Schmidt RD, LD

Each new year brings a sense of new beginnings and the opportunity for a fresh start. Many people take this opportunity to set health and wellness goals. Studies show that snacking the right way may help you avoid overeating later on. Snacks are a great pick-me-up that provide an opportunity to include all the important food groups into your diet to fill your body full of quality nutrients.

Try to keep your snacks under 200 calories each for an average adult, or between 200 and 300 calories for athletes. Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods.

The key to healthy snacking is moderation and being aware of appropriate portion sizes. Here are five delicious snacks that have carbs, protein, and/or healthy fats to keep you full and energized until your next meal!

Citrus – Snacks such as Cuties® clementines and Mighties™ kiwis contain fiber, potassium and vitamin C, along with many other nutrients. Grapefruit is also a delicious and healthy citrus option. Tip: Don’t have a knife to cut and segment? Simply peel like an orange and eat!

Baked Chickpeas – Looking to satisfy that salty, crunchy craving? Chickpeas are a well-balanced snack that have protein and fiber to help keep us full and energized. Tip: Make your own! Simply drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, pat dry, and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400’F until crisp, about 30 minutes.

String Cheese Quesadilla (to-go style!) – This snack is incredibly easy and filling. Place 1 string cheese stick in the middle of a whole-grain tortilla. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese is soft. Fold the tortilla over, top with salsa, if desired, and enjoy!

Homemade Chia “Pod” – These seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition. Four grams of fiber are found in every tablespoon of chia seeds. But the common question seems to be what to do with them? Try chia pudding! Simply combine chia seeds, some sort of liquid, such as your favorite milk, and fruit.

Healthier Sweet Treat – Sometimes the craving for something sweet strikes! Instead of denying the craving, try a healthier option. For example, puppy chow is known for its chocolatey, powdered sugar coating. Try using part vanilla protein powder along with powdered sugar for a protein boost. Switch out your usual cereal for shredded wheat to increase the fiber. You can also cut back on the amount of chocolate by adding a little natural peanut butter to increase the protein. Yum!

Citrus Crunch

Serves 2

All you need:

1 medium grapefruit, halved

1/4 c. Hy-Vee fat-free lemon yogurt

2 tbsp Hy-Vee Fiber Nuts cereal

All you do:

Section grapefruit.

Top each grapefruit half with 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1 tablespoon cereal.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 90 calories, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 14g sugar, 3g protein.

Source: Hy-Vee Test Kitchen

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The information is not intended as medical advice.

Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Laura Schmidt is a registered dietitian representing Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.

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