It happens to all of us-that mid-morning stomach rumble or dreaded 3 p.m. energy slump. You may have heard it’s best to ignore between-meal hunger pangs, but snacking during the day doesn’t have to be bad for you! We say fight back with smart snacks that win big on both taste and nutrition. The key? Keep nibbles between 150 and 250 calories, and combine protein with carbs. With this in mind, we’ve designed a variety of snacks that will satisfy your cravings, provide energy and keep you feeling full no matter what time of day hunger strikes.
Energize your mornings
The perfect morning pick-me-up is a tasty combination of protein, vitamins and antioxidants (a bonus!), along with a touch of sweetness or crunch. Sound complicated? It isn’t. You get all of those simply by mixing ½ cup (125 mL) of low-fat yogourt with the same amount of fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or cherries. Or toss a simple trail mix together by combining a small handful of crunchy pumpkin seeds or your favourite nuts with a few sweet dried apricots.
Another great way to rev up your morning: Indulge in a slightly cinnamony Banana Soy Breakfast Smoothie. Just toss the ingredients into a blender, whirl till smooth and enjoy-guilt-free! It has just 160 calories in a serving (which is a generous ½ cup/125 mL).
If you’re hankering for something chewier, toast a whole grain English muffin and top it with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of decadent-tasting Cream Cheese and Greek Yogurt with Compliments or opt for a rice cake spread with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of rich-tasting Compliments Balance Smooth Peanut Butter. In a rush? For a healthy, portable and convenient snack, we love to keep Compliments Balance Triple Berry Chewy Muesli Bars on hand.
Amp up your afternoons
If late afternoon finds you feeling sluggish, skip the latte-caffeine only gives you a short-lived rush. Instead, rev up with foods that help fuel your energy levels for the long haul.
“Snacks that combine protein and carbs provide energy and prevent sugar cravings,” confirms Montreal registered dietitian Karine Levy. Perk up with a flavour-filled pairing of ¼ cup (60 mL) of hummus with a handful of baby-cut carrots and half a dozen Compliments Balance Sodium Reduced Stone Ground Wheat Crackers. We’re also big fans of another classic combo: ½ cup (125 mL) of 1% cottage cheese (just 100 calories!) scooped up with slices of tangy apples and pears or sweet red and yellow pepper spears.
Keep it light at night
Running on empty before bed? Reach for lower-calorie snacks that are easy to digest and won’t interrupt your sleep. Munch on a slice of toasted whole grain bread with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of peanut butter. Or fill up just enough with ½ cup (125 mL) of Compliments Balance Unsweetened Apple Sauce and a whole grain cracker. If you’re looking to indulge a chocolate craving, a Compliments Honey Graham Wafer with 1 oz (30 g) of dark chocolate rarely fails to satisfy our sweet tooth!