Change snacks, change your life
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health.
Question: Can you please give me some quick and simple snack ideas? I’d eat much better if I had good-quality snacks. Thanks, Michelle.
Hi Michelle, eating the right snacks can transform your day.
I so often find it is snack foods where people get stuck.
They can start with a nourishing breakfast, grab whatever they can for lunch and then all of a sudden the 3pm sugar cravings kick in and any bar of chocolate, packet of lollies, biscuits, muffin or coffee stall better be ready for you!
Being organised and having homemade snacks ready and available can truly change your health. Here are a few quick and easy options to get you started.
Nut butter Eaten by the tablespoon or on your choice of good-quality crackers or raw veges, almond, cashew or ABC spread (almond, brazil and cashew) provides good fats and protein to keep you fuelled for longer.
A great afternoon snack, chose good-quality brands that only use nuts and salt, with no added other ingredients.
A nourishing smoothie If you have access to a blender, a smoothie is a great way to eat additional servings of vegetables and fruit.
Try a quick green smoothie with spinach, banana, parsley and coconut water (or water) – blend and enjoy. Or try a salted caramel smoothie with nut butter, a pinch of salt, banana, dates and almond milk.
Soup Probably not the first thing you think of when you think of quick snack foods but leftover soup makes a nourishing snack.
A great way to pack in extra vegetables during the day – a soup with kumara, pumpkin or potato as well as plenty of greens can be particularly satisfying.
Fruit and seed truffles
A tasty and cost-effective snack, use pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dates, coconut and cacao powder (to make them chocolate-flavoured) for a quick and tasty snack idea. A great alternative to bought snack bars.
Dark chocolate Two squares of good-quality dark chocolate (preferably organic) in the afternoon is a great snack, especially combined with a handful of raw nuts.
Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants; it also contains tryptophan, an amino acid precursor for serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with happiness. Hence the old adage that chocolate makes you feel good!
❚ The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional.
A green smoothie made with spinach, banana, parsley and coconut water is a great quick snack.