Most people eat three meals per day, at least. Snacking, while not typically considered a meal, is what happens between breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Americans love to snack. Specifically, they love to snack on-the-go. In 1960 over a quarter of the money spent on food in the United States was spent away from home. Over 50 years later, that number has jumped to about half. Snacking has a detrimental effect on more than your wallet… With two out of three American adults considered overweight or obese, most could do with more healthy munchies in between the three primary meals.
Here are a few examples of easy-to-make and delicious-to-eat snacks that will go easy on both your wallet and your waistline.
Nuts are one of the easiest, protein-packed treats on the market. You can buy unsalted, heart-healthy nuts in bulk, like almonds and walnuts. Portion out 1-1.5 oz. in plastic baggies and keep them with you for on-the-go eating. One of the greatest reasons to snack on nuts is their longevity – since they don’t digest as quickly as other goodies, they can help you maintain a feeling of “fullness” longer than many other options.
Fruits and vegetables can also be bought in bulk, either fresh or canned (without added sugar). If apples, bananas, or oranges are your fruit of choice, there’s no preparation required! Buy some, store them at home, and grab one before you head out the door. Prefer vegetables? No problem. Prepare and portion out your favorite ahead of time, then store them in the refrigerator. Consider keeping some chopped fruits in the freezer for smoothies when you’re ready for a quick bite (or sip) at home.
Popcorn. Yes, popcorn. Plain, air-popped popcorn with just a touch of flavoring, like parmesan cheese, can be a great treat between lunch and dinner. Single serving packages are perfect to carry in a bag or purse.
If you’re lucky enough to have a refrigerator at work, how about some fat-free yogurt? The calcium is especially good for those over 50. Since this treat usually offers low calories, feel free to mix in some of the fruit you purchased in bulk as well. Another great snack for the office is oatmeal. This hearty quick fix can keep you full between lunch and dinner and, like yogurt, can be combined with your favorite fruits.
No matter what snack you choose to enjoy, remember this tip: keep yourself at-the-ready. When the craving comes, it’s important to have a healthy, delicious option available. Though it may be possible for you to find good-for-you snacks while you’re out and about, it’ll cost you. Preparation is the key when it comes to keeping both you and your wallet happy.
If you’re looking for even more helpful snack advice, keep an eye out for the “Sweet and Savory Snacks” blog coming right here in just a few weeks!