We’ve uncovered five healthy snack ideas to get you through your day and the 3 pm hunger pangs.
1. Homemade popcorn: Unlike our favourite buttery movie companion, this version is a low-calorie and high-fibre snack. Just add ½ cup of corn kernels to a brown paper bag and microwave for a couple of minutes, until the popping slows down to one or two pops per second.
“Homemade popcorn is a fun wholegrain snack that provides you with roughly 1g of fibre and 1g of protein per cup for as little as 30 calories!” says wholefood dietitian and nutritionist Larina Robinson.
The best part? You can top with a touch of Himalayan salt and nut butter or spices such as turmeric or cinnamon for anti-inflammatory benefits. Or if you have the tastebuds for it, seaweed flakes are high in iodine, which is important for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.
2. Fibre One snacks: Sucker for a 3pm sweet hit but don’t like making your own healthy treat? Try Fibre One squares and brownies: these delicious snacks taste just like your traditional brownie, but with only 90 calories per serve.
Plus, they come in two mouth-watering flavours: Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Salted Caramel Squares. For only $5.49 for a pack of 5, it’s hard to resist.
3. Tuna with wholegrain crackers: For a healthy alternative to cheese and crackers to get you through those never-ending emails, a handful of wholegrain crackers and a tin of tuna in springwater contains around 163 calories.
This combo is high in protein and slow-releasing carbs, keeping you full for longer while not spiking blood sugar levels – the perfect afternoon or pre-workout fuel.
4. Overnight oats: Add Greek yoghurt, almond milk, chia seeds, shredded coconut and cinnamon to a cup of rolled oats in a jar and leave to set overnight. Top with your favourite berries when ready to eat. A standard breakfast-sized jar contains around 370 calories but you can halve the serving amount for a morning or afternoon snack.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are high in fibre, aiding digestion, and cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll reap myriad benefits from all of the ingredients, according to Robinson.
“It contains protein for muscle repair and to keep you feeling full for longer, slow-releasing carbohydrates for sustained energy and for stabilising blood sugar levels, fibre to support digestion and control weight, antioxidants to fight free radical that damage the body’s cells, and healthy fats for supple skin and healthy hair,” she says.
5. Homemade hommus with vegie sticks: Ditch the packaged store-bought dips with unhealthy oils and additives and grab a tin of chickpeas and make your own hommus.
Chickpeas are rich in protein and soluble fibre, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation and helping with heart and bone health and maintaining weight. A 2-3 tablespoon serve is roughly 100-150 calories.
Cut carrot and cucumber into sticks for dipping and you have yourself a low calorie afternoon pick-me-up, plus it’s a great way of getting in an extra serve of vegies.
This piece was produced in partnership between Fibre OneTM and Women’s Health & Fitness magazine.