Spring is a time of transition. Mother Nature starts over with blooming flowers and trees, you change out your wardrobe (goodbye heavy parka and clunky boots, hello lightweight jacket and slip-on shoes), why not switch up your snacking habits, too? Ditch the greasy chips and calorie-laden candy for smart snacking—actually encouraged by nutritionists in order to avoid overeating at meal time. In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, here are some healthy snack ideas:
These definitely aren’t your “average” chips. They’re delicious, easy to make, and best of all—nutritious. Remove the stems, put a bunch of kale on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt, cook at 350F for 10-15 minutes (until crispy), and enjoy.
Cinnamon-spiced baked apples
Many nutritionists swear by apples. Not only do we have an abundance of varieties (shout out to Honeycrisp, Zestar! and SweeTango developed at the University of Minnesota and grown in orchards across the Midwest), but the pectin in apples helps keep you feeling full. Peel an apple, cut it into wedges, sprinkle with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, cover a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 3-4 minutes. (Almond butter is a good addition to this tasty treat.)
Greek yogurt with extras
Plain Greek yogurt can be, well, plain. Plain Greek yogurt with maple syrup, chopped peanuts, and sliced strawberries, however, tastes like a sweet dessert.
Homemade trail mix
You can create your own trail mix and pre-portion out the snack sizes by mixing nuts, raisins, goji berries, and cacao chips. It’s the perfect blend of sweet, salty, and crunchy goodness.
Instead of ice cream, there’s NICE CREAM (it’s a thing, really). Blend a frozen banana with nut butter, unsweetened cocoa, and frozen dark cherries for a healthy banana-based alternative to ice cream. Some of our favorite nice cream recipes are on the Pop Sugar blog here.
Peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal energy bites
You don’t have to bake this high-protein snack and it will satisfy your peanut butter craving (bonus that it tastes like a cookie). Freeze and eat at your convenience.
Cottage cheese salsa
Mix together fresh salsa and cottage cheese to create a creamy dip, then serve with crackers, whole wheat tortilla bread, or veggies.
Munching is inevitable, but with a little preparation, you can snack better and boost your energy this spring. For more information on how to make positive changes in your habits that will help you stay active and healthy throughout the aging process, download Vista Prairie’s free guide: Keeping Healthy as You Age.