• Carrie Klaege

Savvy Ways to Snack Like a Pro

Make smart snacking a part of your daily routine! When that afternoon slump hits, it can be tempting to grab your usual go-to...candy, potato chips, or even a sweetened drink. Junk food's quick sugar rush doesn't last long and can leave you even groggier than you were before. Follow these smart tips to feed your mid-afternoon Munch Monster more wisely.

These 10 options (many with fewer than 100 Calories!) will help you stay alert, stop the Munch Monster's voice in your brain, and keep you going until dinner time.

1. 1 Cup of Blueberries. Talk about packing an antioxidant and nutrient punch! Without 83 calories per 1 cup serving, blueberries are one of the best crunchy, sweet treats you can reach for.

2. 1 Hard Boiled Egg. To make it easier and more likely to eat, boil up a batch of eggs and put them in the fridge so they are easy to reach for. One egg gives you 78 calories and 6 grams of protein that will help to keep you full (and maybe even keep you from overeating later!)

3. 1 Orange. The simpler the snack, often times the better it is. Oranges are about 60 calories each, high in vitamins and fiber, and low in natural sugars.

4. 1 Cup of Strawberries. With only 46 calories per 1 cup serving, you can GO CRAZY and have 2 cups!

5. 1 Piece of String Cheese. Another great source of a super protein punch, one part-skim string cheese has a whopping 8 grams of protein and 80 calories. Convenient and portable, this snacking option goes with you to make snacking on the go even easier.

6. 1/2 Cup of Oatmeal. Perhaps not the first thing you'd think of as an afternoon snack, 1/2 cup of microwave oatmeal has only 83 calories! Add a sprinkle of cinnamon (which has also been shown to help keep blood sugar levels stable) for a flavor boost. This warm snack with a fantastic fiber content as well as positively perfect protein!

7. A Handful of Almonds. Nuts in general are full of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats, making them a super smart snack choice. Eating almonds specifically (in place of all those yucky carbohydrate options) have been found to help reduce cholesterol and belly fat, thereby boosting heart health. No bag of pretzels, grab a handful (10-15) of almonds instead.

8. 1/4 Cup of Cranberries. Can I get a hands up here? Who LOVES dried cranberries? Yup, me too. Not only will dried cranberries help to quiet that sweet tooth, a quarter cup contains just 93 calories and there are unsweetened varieties to keep those sugar levels even lower.

9. 8 Baby Carrots with 1 Tablespoon of Dip. That crunch of a baby carrot is so satisfying. Eight baby carrots have only 40 calories. Paired with your favorite healthy dip (like hummus, tzatziki, or even salsa) can help battle potato/tortilla chip cravings while also giving you a great dose of fiber, vitamin A, and high levels of carotenoids (antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties).

10. 1 Cup of Cheerios. Here's an awesome 100 calorie snack, great for kids and adults both!

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