Dealing with a mid-afternoon energy slump at your desk? Rather than reaching for another cup of coffee or heading to the vending machine for a sugary snack, combat this feeling of fatigue by noshing on delicious and nutritious snack options.
Here are six of the best snack ideas that will power you through the day with ease.
Trail mix makes an excellent and nutritious snack option. By making your own, you can control what goes into it so that you maximize the nutritional value. The best trail mixes include a balance of nuts and dried fruits. Add a bit of sweetness with some mini carob chips or shaved coconut.
Get creative with these mixes, adding in seeds, whole-grain cereals for crunch, or any other addition that appeals to your tastes. The fiber in the nuts will keep you satiated while the carbs will deliver a quick burst of energy.
While most people turn to carbs for a quick energy boost, a solid protein source has more staying power. You have a number of different options when selecting a snack that is high in protein.
Good ideas include hard-boiled eggs, beef jerky, low-fat string cheese, Greek yogurt, and nuts. Cottage cheese is another ideal snack that contains a good amount of protein as well as calcium. Sweeten it up a bit by adding a bit of fresh fruit to the top. Or try a cup of steamed edamame with a dash of salt for a fun snacking option. All of these protein options will leave you feeling full, powering you through until the next meal.
Freeze Dried Smoothies
Smoothies make a great snack to get you through the day. However, it is not always feasible to whip up a smoothie if you are in the office or on the go. The good news is that you can now buy freeze-dried products in a myriad of variations. This includes delicious freeze-dried smoothies.
Veggies and Dip
If you are looking for a low-calorie snack that is packed with nutrients and fiber, you will want to look into snacking on some fresh-cut veggies. You can make this snack more interesting by dipping them into your favorite condiment. Good vegetable choices include raw carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, snap peas, and bell peppers.
There are a number of dip options that complement raw veggies, including hummus, yogurt-based ranch dips, and salsa. Mix and match your veggie and dip choices to keep your afternoon snack routine interesting.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
A classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a great snack at any time of the day. You can boost the nutritional value of this snack by using whole grain bread and all-natural peanut butter.
Do not limit yourself to traditional peanut butter. There are a variety of different nut butters that make great substitutes when looking for something to pair with jam or jelly.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have the bonus of being portable, making them a good snack for you if you need to prepare something for later in the day.
You do not have to stay away from carbs as long as you choose ones that offer a dose of nutritional value. For example, air-popped popcorn is a great choice to scratch that craving for something a little salty. Other good choices include whole grain rice cakes or baked pita chips.
You will get the most bang for your buck if you pair these carbs with a protein source. Try topping your rice cakes with a dollop of yogurt or peanut butter. Or go with the simple option of a banana or an orange. If you are going to nosh on carbs, you might as well choose options that are also packed with nutrients.
These six snack options are all great choices for when you need something quick, easy, and nutritious. By mixing up your snack selections, you will never get bored with what you have on hand.