Keep on Track with your Healthy Diet with these Ideas for Snacks
It can be very difficult to keep on track with your healthy diet and often the biggest blow-out is caused by the snacks we eat. Some snacks have as many calories as a full meal and the food is often high in salt, saturated fat and sugar. Before you know it, you are hungry again and reaching for another packet of chips.
I have put together a list of snacks which are filling, nutritious and healthy. Snacking on each of these options will improve your diet, rather than detract from it.
Burritos are easy to take to work, can be as healthy as you want, and always go down well in my household. I usually serve them with all the ingredients in individual bowls, then everyone can just make them with their favourite ingredients.
To take them to work, I roll the wrap and cover it with Glad wrap. In a separate container, I take the filling. Then I can assemble the burrito at work. We have a sandwich press in my lunch room at work so I can toast the wrap as well.
How to Make a Burrito
Put a wrap on to a dinner sized plate. Assemble the filling on the wrap as shown in the photo. Don’t overfill it
Fold the bottom half up
Fold sides in
Pick it up and enjoy! Use a sandwich press if you want it toasted
This is the salad recipe that I have used many times over. It is delicious, versatile and healthy. The basis for it is just three ingredients, then you can customise it to suit your taste.
60g baby spinach ( or approx. 2 cups, or half a bag of spinach from the supermarket
250g cherry tomatoes (or two large tomatoes cut up)
1/2 continental cucumber (or 1 Lebanese cucumber)
Rinse spinach in a colander. Break off stems and remove leaves that are blemished. Wash tomatoes and add to spinach. Cut up the cucumber and add to spinach. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last about 4 days.
30 kCalories per serving, total recipe 90 kCalories. Serves 3 for mains, 5 for side dish. 2g Protein, 6g Carbohydrate, 0g fat
feta cheese or shredded low fat tasty cheese (see note at bottom of recipe)
roast baby beetroot, skinned and diced
nuts, e.g. pine nuts, sliced almonds, pistachios
seeds, e.g. quinoa, flax seed, sunflower seeds
dressings, e.g. vinaigrette, Greek or Italian salad dressing, low fat mayonnaise
lean protein – grilled chicken breast, low fat ham or bacon (grilled), tin of tuna in low fat sauce, boiled egg
fruit, e.g. mango, apple, pear, dried fruit such as apricots or cranberries
herbs, e.g. parsley, chives, mint
My favourite combinations
Basic recipe plus:
olives, feta cheese and Greek dressing
chicken breast, avocado, snow peas
Feta cheese, baby beetroot, celery
cos lettuce, boiled egg, low fat mayonnaise
small can of tuna in sun-dried tomato and onion (John West brand, 99% fat free)
Meal Prep Idea
Make the basic salad, divide into 3 portions. Each portion is your lunch. Take the extras to work separately and add just before you eat it, then the salad won’t go limp and soggy.
This is a special occasion chia pudding that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make. Chia is a grain that is healthy and nutritious. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium. The recipe includes cacao powder, the unsweetened form of chocolate which is very nutritious. Without all the nasties like sugar and fat that are added to it to make milk chocolate, it has many health benefits. It can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, increase immunity and is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. You can find chia seeds and cacao powder in the health food section at the supermarket. I use almond milk for this recipe but you can substitute it for cows milk, soy milk or whichever milk you prefer.
vegetarian, veganskill level: easy
Prep. time 15 mins. Resting time 4 hours Calories: 191kcal
INGREDIENTS [PER PERSON]
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the chia seeds and milk together in a bowl
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well
Let the chia seed mixture sit for 15 minutes until it thickens. Stir again.
Pour into decorative glasses, e.g. parfait glasses
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving
Top with your favourite berries, cherries or fruit.
Saturated fat 3g
Vitamin A 4%
IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS:
Purees or sauces made from fruit and/or berries
Cacao nibs or a sprinkling of cacao powder
Muesli or granola
Nuts and seeds
Creme Fraiche or whipped cream
chocolate nibs, sauce or flakes
Images: Left – Christina Henry; Right Bottom – David Disponett, Pexels; Right Top – Pixabay, Pexels
Most dessert platters are heavy on high calorie food such as chocolate, cakes and sweet biscuits and candy. It can add a massive amount of calories to your intake, especially if it’s at the end of a large meal and alcohol. This is a healthier version that will appeal to most of your guests.
Plenty of fresh fruit like grapes, melons, strawberries and mango cheeks
unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews
dark chocolate is healthier than milk or white chocolate. I included cranberries dipped in dark chocolate by Angas Park. They contain antioxidants and have no added artificial colours or flavours, or preservatives.
dried fruit such as apricots or figs
If you plan to have just one grazing platter, you can combine the above with the savoury grazing platter – cheese, fruit and olives go very well together. At Christmas time, cut the melon with a star or Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter to add a festive touch.
Everybody loves a cheese board! They can turn a buffet into something special, and look amazing. This is how to make a savoury grazing platter that is healthy and appealing to most people.
Most grazing platters are heavy on processed meat, cheese and crackers. While tasty, they are high in calories and saturated fat. Instead, try using these healthier versions:
low fat ham or roast beef, thinly sliced
chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces
carrot, capsicum, celery sticks
one or two cheeses – I usually use Brie for the soft cheese and a hard tasty cheese. The one shown in the photo is a vintage cheddar cheese I picked up from the Good Food and Wine show. Because it’s a tasty cheese, a small amount packs the flavour in which means you’ll eat less of it
low carb crackers like these Tribe Organics rice crackers and baked pea crisps from Harvest Snaps
Dips and spreads such as hummous and salsa which are healthier than a lot of other dips such as french onion.
olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles
You can increase the size to cater for the number of guests you’ll have. You can also put some sweet flavours in like dried apricots, grapes and honey. Nuts such as cashews and almonds go well too. Alternatively, you can make a separate platter for dessert, like my dessert grazing platter.
Experiment with different combinations of flavours, adding in food that you enjoy.