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Easy Snack Ideas

by Dana Bean, RD

Snacks can be a necessary and important tool to feeling satisfied throughout the day and preventing extreme hunger later on! Learn more about why we need them, easy snack ideas, and how to customize to your specific needs.

easy snack ideas blog title

Snacks can be crucial in regulating hunger throughout the day! Most people will need 2-4 snacks between meals, but this can vary person to person and day to day.

Many of my clients start implementing snacks during the day to ward off being overly hungry later on (specially in the afternoon/early evening time period). Planned snacks can also help to prevent binging from excess hunger.

Eating balanced snacks can help regulate energy levels and mood, too! It can be hard to take a break from what we’re doing to eat, but the fuel will offer essential nutrients that can offer more mental clarity and energy overall.

The best snack is one that you can enjoy and will satisfy your hunger levels. As I mentioned before, this can vary by individual, but this outline can serve as a guide to help create potentially satisfying, easy snack ideas.

Please note that these are also very general recommendations and are not meant to be used for individual nutrition advice!

How to Build a Balanced Snack

We need some energy from these carbs! The fiber can also help with the “staying power” of the snack. If you choose something high in fiber and low in carbs, like cucumber for example, I usually recommend adding another carb source here, though you can always choose more than 1 option from each category to build your balanced snack.

The protein and fat sources will add satisfaction and “staying power” to the snack. Many items on these lists contain both protein and fat, which is why we’re putting them both into the same step here. You could also choose to add some from each of the protein and fat lists.

Using the “How to Build a Balanced Snack” chart above, let’s choose some snack examples!

  • Bagel + Peanut Butter
  • Berries + Yogurt
  • Carrot sticks + Crackers + Hummus
  • Apple + Cheese Stick + Trail Mix
  • Granola bar + Hardboiled Egg (add everything seasoning to it!)
  • Muffin + Almond Butter
  • Peach + Cottage Cheese

The list of potential snacks really feels endless, especially because you can of course add anything to the carb/protein/fat categories that aren’t already on that list!

Don’t like something on this list? No worries at all. Leave it off. And as I just mentioned, consider adding more to this list that may come to mind! Canned chicken? Leftovers from dinner? Waffles? There’s so much more we could add.

Remember, the best snack is something that you will enjoy and find satisfying. So this means your food preferences really matter!

Next, consider where you will be when you’re planning to eat your snacks during the day. Maybe you’ll be keeping the snack in your car or your desk at work. Will you have a cooler with you or access to a refrigerator? If not, focus on the shelf stable options.

You may be excited about multiple snack combinations at this point. That’s great! But let’s keep the planning and prep simple, too. Usually choosing about 2-3 different snack options per week can be a good place to start. Then simply repeat your snack options throughout the week. It won’t feel as overwhelming to incorporate and will keep the grocery list simple. You can of course add to this as you feel comfortable!

Convenience foods and processed foods can be so helpful! Don’t be afraid to use them. Remember that it’s health promoting to get the nutrients that you need rather than be undernourished or end up binging later. Protein bars, fruit sticks, crackers, cereal, etc… are all examples of options that can help build a balanced snack.

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