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Try These Healthful Snack Ideas for 2017

Allie Benson, R.D., L.R.D., Program Assistant, NDSU Extension Service

The practice of snacking has been steadily increasing over the past several years. Eighty-three percent of consumers report snacking daily in 2016 versus 76 percent in 2014, according to a Technomic report. Fast-paced lifestyles are leading consumers to turn to small, quick snacks to meet their energy needs. Smaller households also affect this trend since smaller families are able to have more flexibility around meal times and sizes.

Snacks can be an asset to a healthful diet, but choosing foods with more nutrients is key. Young adults report eating more than 40 percent of their snacks away from the home. Preparing snacks ahead of time can be a great way to ensure you are eating nutritious snacks. Spend some time preparing vegetables and portioning into individual servings so you have snacks ready for the rest of the week.

Store fresh snacks in the fridge at your work place or pack a lunch bag with cold packs. Keep shelf-stable snacks such as dried fruit or nuts handy for your on-the-go needs. Purses or vehicles are great places to house these healthy snacks. Choose protein-rich snacks such as almond butter, lean meat, nuts or beans and you may feel satisfied longer.

Keep the following snack ideas in mind when planning for Sunday school, a group meeting or an after service snack: 

  • Fresh whole fruit (grapes, bananas, strawberries)
  • Sliced fruit (apples, oranges or pears) with dip
  • Sliced bell peppers with dipping sauce
  • Fresh broccoli or cauliflower
  • Beet, zucchini or squash vegetable chips
  • Strawberry and spinach smoothie
  • Hummus with 100 percent whole grain crackers
  • Kiwi and yogurt parfait with oats
  • Seasoned popcorn
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Dried mango or pineapple
  • Seltzer water mixed with 100 percent fruit juice
  • Low-fat, fat-free or alternative (soy) milk

For more snack ideas, visit the NDSU Extension Service Food and Nutrition Department website: www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/recipes/snacks.

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Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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