Very few of us strictly prescribe to a 3-meal routine. No matter how filling our meals may seem, the midday munchies still come around to haunt us. As you probably know, snacking has a pretty bad reputation and is even considered a “bad” habit. So why do we always want to snack? Is it some kind of temptation we must resist to test our character?
Actually, snacking is an incredibly important component of a healthy diet, especially if you maintain a busy lifestyle, are regularly moving, and constantly rack your brain to solve problems: so, especially if you are a UNLV student! The bad news is, a majority of the snack options we are offered — like cookies and potato chips — are full of calories and devoid of nutritional value. Yet if we try to wean ourselves off of them and head right for the baby carrots, we can become bored pretty quickly, too.
Don’t worry, friends; you need not ever be bored of your snack options with delicious ideas like these.
Coconut Pumpkin Seed Bar
A mix of pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes drizzled with honey and toasted in the oven — sooo good! A batch takes about 30 minutes to bake, but are a great to snack prep for the week. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and fiber and provide some minerals, and will keep you satisfied for some time.
Kale chips are a way cooler version of potato chips and a much healthier way to get that crunch you desire. Just line them up on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the edges are brown. Enjoy the vitamins and fiber!
Peanut Butter with Anything, Really
Peanut butter, or basically any nut butter, is an excellent topping and counterpart to nearly any food, and its easy application makes it ideal for those of us on-the-go. As a plus, due to their rich protein and fat content, nut butters can lower the glycemic index of even starchy foods when eaten with them, which will help you avoid a draining blood sugar spike post-snack. So enjoy a spoonful with banana slices, spread onto whole grain toast or a bagel, or dip in celery sticks or carrots.
Decorated Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are the poster child of party hors d’oeuvres, but they also serve as a nice afternoon snack and pack plenty of protein to keep you satisfied until dinner. Boil a batch of eggs and whip up a delicious filling (you can use hummus instead of mayonnaise for a lighter version). Then garnish with an endless variety of toppings: bell peppers, olives, carrots, or even berries and pineapple! Here is a very unique recipe for pineapple deviled eggs.
Salted Caramel Popcorn
Popcorn on its own is great for a light snack, when it’s not drizzled with layers of butter and salt, that is. If you still want that salty kick, and maybe some sweetness, too, try this delicious salted caramel popcorn that delivers both without excessive sugar or sodium.
Veggies and Hummus
We all know veggies are just the best! But to make them more interesting, and to add some filling protein and healthy fat, throw some delicious hummus into the mix. Together, they provide fiber, vitamins, and energy to get through the middle of your day.You can spice up regular hummus with some cumin and cayenne pepper and squeeze a lemon onto the veggies for added taste.
We never want to get bored of eating healthy, so it’s always a great idea to try new things when it comes to snacking. Are there any snacks you enjoy putting together to mix up your routine? Share in the comments below!