Healthier snack ideas
We all probably snack more than we realise. It’s so easy to grab a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps if we’re hungry, instead of reaching for something healthier, that we don’t notice how often we do it.
If the snacks are there, we’ll eat them! But they can be full of hidden nasties, like saturated fat, salt and sugar. And in time, too much of these can lead to serious health problems like heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Try these ideas to get you started:
- It’s the simplest tip in the book – but if you don’t have the snacks in the house, you won’t be able to eat them! Skip that aisle in the supermarket and try to avoid the checkouts with loads of treats on display.
- Aim for three regular meals a day. So if you’re raiding the snack cupboard several times a day, have a think about the meals you’re eating and when. You could be filling up on calories when a meal would keep you going for longer.
- If you’re feeling peckish, try a glass of water instead. Chances are you’re thirsty rather than hungry.
Try our ideas for healthier sweet and savoury snacks – they’re delicious!
Healthier alternatives to sweet snacks
Try these ideas and see if you can chuck the choccie!
Try some healthy ways with fruit - great for counting towards your 5 A DAY:
- Chunks of melon, strawberries, grapes, or whatever you have to hand. Look out for fruit that’s in season, it’s likely to be cheaper.
- Dried – how about just a few pieces of mango, banana, pineapple, cranberries or raisins? Don’t forget, a small handful is about the right amount of dried fruit for kids.
- Low fat fruit yoghurt.
- A handful of dry, reduced sugar cereal with a few raisins or sultanas.
Healthier savoury snack ideas
Instead of crisps, salted nuts, pork scratchings, which can all be high in salt and fat, try:
- Baked crisps
- Small handful of unsalted mixed nuts
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Pitta and lower fat dips like salsa or reduced fat hummus
- Rice cakes with lower fat cream cheese and cucumber
- Celery sticks filled with lower fat cream cheese
- Homemade popcorn (without sugar or salt)
- Unsalted ricecakes, corncakes or oatcakes
Fun for dipping
Snacking on veg also counts towards your 5 A DAY and ups your fibre intake too. So how about these:
- Veg sticks - carrot, celery, baby sweetcorn, peppers and radishes with a reduced fat hummus dip
- Sliced apple and a lower fat soft cheese to dip
For more healthy snack ideas, take a look at our recipe finder.
Always check the label
To find out how much salt, saturated fat and sugar is in snacks, check the nutrition label on packaged food.
Read more about food labelling
Even though I start the day with good intentions, I start to get bored and a bit tired about 11 o’clock and again about 4 – so I reach for the chocolate. What can I do to stop this happening?
There are a few ways you can beat the snack cravings. Fill up on breakfast at the beginning of the day – try our healthy breakfast ideas in the recipe finder. If you still get hungry mid-morning, try some of the ideas above for healthier alternatives.
If you’re at home, not having chocolate or snacks in the house means that you can’t eat them – unless you want to make a special trip to the shop!