Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Smart Snacking

By Alana Sugar, June 15, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Cream Cheese Cashew Dip With summer activities on the rise and the kids out of school, it's the perfect time to talk about healthy smart snacks! With trips to the park, the beach or the game, snacking seems to hit a peak season right about now. Just because you don't have time for a "real meal" doesn't mean you can't put a little planning into making sure smart snacks are readily available when you need to grab and go. So, what makes a snack a smart one? First off, avoid overly processed junk foods (think chips, cookies, candy bars, etc). If it comes from the corner convenience store, chances are high it's not the best snack choice. You want to avoid artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats. (And you won't find any of those things in our stores!) Now you know what not to eat. There are plenty of other great snacks, I promise! You've probably heard that you should have nine to thirteen servings of fruits and veggies each day. Get some of those servings in your snacks! And snacks are perfect for sneaking in those ever-helpful whole grains too. Add in a healthy protein and your snack will fill you up and keep you going longer. Here are some ideas to help you make sure every snack counts. Feature Frequent Fruit Apple Sandwich
  • Frozen grapes - a favorite among kids of all ages
  • Sliced apples and peanut butter. Try our amazing apple sandwiches.
  • Puree fresh fruit and juice for frozen popsicles.
  • Sliced pears spread with almond butter or cream cheese
  • Fruit smoothies made with fresh or frozen fruit. Try this blueberry smoothie.
  • Fresh strawberries paired with oatmeal cookies
  • Fruit Juice Pops
  • Mix soft cream cheese with honey and cinnamon and use as a dip for sliced fresh fruit. Try this cream cheese and cashew dip.
  • Fruit salad
  • Bananas blended with yogurt & frozen in paper cups
On The Go Granola Bars
  • Trail Mix - try packaged or bulk varieties or mix your own. Look for ones that have a balance of nuts, dried fruits and whole grain cereals with no added sugar.
  • Energy bars (protein bars). There are a million varieties out there. Again, look for ones that are high in protein and fiber and low in sugar.
  • Granola bars. Here's one version to make.
  • Also try granola balls.
  • Sturdy fruit. Apples pack well and you can also pack grapes, oranges and other fruits, but take care so they don't get smooshed.
  • Granola Balls
  • Whole grain pretzels or sesame sticks
  • Fruit leather
  • String cheese
  • Dry whole grain cereal
  • Dried sulfur-free fruit (raisins, apricots, mango, pineapple, dates, etc.)
  • Whole grain crackers with sliced cheese
Around the House
  • Natural graham crackers or rice crackers with nut butter; add jam if desired
  • Bite-size veggies (carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes) with favorite dressing
  • Deli ham and pineapple on whole grain crackers
  • Fruit and cheese kabobs
  • Celery spears stuffed with hummus or egg or tuna salad
  • Cottage cheese with just about any fresh or dried fruit (great with fresh figs), or for a savory snack, add garlic and herbs with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Olives, feta cheese, pears or other fruit along with whole grain crackers
  • Kiwi fruit, strawberries and cream cheese on a whole wheat bagel
  • Yogurt mixed with berries
  • Melt cheddar cheese or vegan cheese on corn tortillas and top with sliced tomatoes and avocadoes
  • Steamed edamame
  • Hard boiled eggs spread with honey mustard
  • Whole wheat tortillas heated and spread with PBJB (peanut butter, jelly & bananas)
Fun Munchies
  • Air-popped popcorn with a spray of natural butter or olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt or chili powder
  • Whole grain pretzels or sesame sticks
  • Nut mixes (in moderation!). Try this tamari version.
  • Mini mozzarella pizzas, like these pizza snacks.
  • Guacamole with whole grain chips
  • Bean dip with whole grain corn chips and salsa
  • Hummus with cut up veggies or pita chips
What do you love to snack on? Got a healthy favorite? I'd love to know.

 

8 Comments

Comments

derf says ...
GORP, or trail mix, is one of the best energy snacks - easy to make (or buy), great tasting and full of protein, fiber and vitamins.
06/15/2009 11:25:33 PM CDT
Mike M says ...
This is indeed a good list of healthy and tasty alternatives to unhealthy snacks that are high in every bad category of the nutritional facts. If more people were to eat these types of foods rather than going to fast food chains or even eating processed foods like oreos and pop tarts America would be better off. Its because of our unhealthy snack habits that America is one of the fattest countries in the world.
06/16/2009 6:10:59 AM CDT
cooking4carnivores says ...
love this list!
06/16/2009 1:12:37 PM CDT
Sprouted Kitchen says ...
Love snacks. Anything with Fage yogurt, a good trail mix, mini sandwiches.... they make me happy! Please check out my site, would love to be on your blog reel, I think I fit the role!http://sproutedkitchen.com
06/16/2009 6:35:12 PM CDT
Mama Mel says ...
I've made a few batches of muffins that are relatively healthy. I usually substitute half of the flour with whole wheat flour, then add other ingredients such as fruits and veggies, amaranth, quinoa, seven grain cereal, or oat bran to the mix. I like to add extra fiber, protein and vitamins. The sugar can also be substituted with agave nectar. Check some of my muffin recipes out on my blog: http://mamamelloves1.blogspot.com.
06/19/2009 11:57:39 PM CDT
annie says ...
thanks so much for a great list! i've been going nuts trying to think of snacks for my 3 kids...i needed variety!
06/22/2009 6:09:47 PM CDT
thomas says ...
Are there peanuts in the Whole Foods Brand 365 sesame sticks?
12/29/2013 8:43:58 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@THOMAS - While the sesame sticks do not contain peanuts in the ingredient list, it is made on equipment that is shared with other products that contain peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy I would highly recommend NOT eating these.
12/30/2013 2:38:55 PM CST