We all know packaged snacks are terrible for us, but that doesn’t stop us from making a few sneaky trips to the pantry to combat those late afternoon munchies. Instead of quitting snack time cold turkey, it’s way better to replace your favorite snacks with a healthy alternative. After all, road trips, late night movies and play time with the kids are all fun activities that basically require a delicious snack or two. Making them healthy will ensure you can skip out on the empty calories, no matter how busy you are.
1. Dried Fruit Instead of Gummy Bears: The first ingredient listed on all gummy candy is usually some form of sugar. Dried fruit has a lot of sugar in it too, but it’s also got the benefit of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which all work with your body to better absorb the sugars. Make sure you’re avoiding all the unnatural additions some store-bought dried fruit have and make your own dried fruit in the oven. (via Oh So Delicioso)
2. Baked Chips Instead of Potato Chips: Potato chips are bad, kale chips are good… we know the drill. But what if you just can’t stomach kale? Don’t go back to those addictive, greasy potato chips just yet. Try baking your own potato chips to get the same crisp, salty satisfaction of a chip. (via Pine and Crave)
3. Homemade Trail Mix Instead of Candy Bars: It’s all too easy to chow down on handfuls of chocolate candy when you’re zoning out at your desk. Making your own trail mix lets you treat yourself to a little bit of chocolate, but also gives you the protein and brain-boosting vitamins that so many nuts offer. The best part about DIY trail mix is that you can add only your favorite things — although a trail mix of just chocolate doesn’t count. (via Handmade Mood)
4. Homemade Granola Bars Instead of Energy Bars: Sure, there are healthy options for granola bars on the shelves these days, but they can get kinda pricey. Instead of rationing out this treat, pick your favorite ingredients and make your own for way cheaper. (via Peas and Crayons)
5. Greek Yogurt Instead of Ice Cream: There is something deeply satisfying about spoonfuls of cold, creamy deliciousness… until you realize you’ve eaten the whole pint of ice cream. Greek yogurt gives that same creamy taste while kindly offering healthy protein and probiotics that ice cream just can’t give you. Instead of breaking up with cookie dough flavor forever (we’re not monsters, after all!) try adding peanut butter and mini chocolate chips and putting it in the freezer for a few minutes to give it more of an ice cream consistency. (via Sarah Johnson)
6. Guacamole Instead of Tortilla Chips: Who are we kidding — tortilla chips are just a way to get guacamole and salsa from the bowl to our mouth. Now it’s time to ditch the middle man and go straight for the good stuff. Dig into a personal guac bowl at your next snack time. (via Brit + Co)
7. Homemade Popcorn Instead of Pretzels: Ah, that satisfying salty crunch is totally addicting. Popcorn can provide the same satisfying salty taste, but with more fiber and fewer overall calories per serving, especially if you ditch the artificial microwave flavors and make your own. If you’re craving something different, go for this coconut-cinnamon version that will totally satisfy your sweet tooth. (via The Proper Blog)
8. Edamame Instead of Fries: Take that sushi treat to the couch. Satisfy any fast food cravings with a serving of salted edamame instead. One cup of edamame is packed with fiber and protein, so you can clean out a whole bowl with no regrets. (via Superman Cooks)
9. Angel Food Cake Instead of Brownies: Sometimes all you want to do is dig into a platter of decadent cake or brownies. If you’re looking for a “lighter” option, angel food cake will save you from that taunting frosting. At only 80 calories per serving, you can sweeten up a piece of plain angel food cake with fresh fruit and treat yourself in style. (via Skinny Taste)
10. Ice Tea Instead of Soda: Yes, sometimes water — even flavored water — just won’t cut it. Satisfy your thirst for something sweet with a substitute that’s lighter on sugar. Homemade iced tea gives you something refreshing and tasty to sip on without loads of sugar. It’s very much a win-win situation. (via Matters of the Belly)
11. Hummus Instead of Nacho Dip: If the craving for chips and dip is too strong to be ignored, steer away from the nacho cheese and creamy ranch dips and opt for a protein-packed serving of hummus. Carrots and cucumbers offer (sort of) the same crunch as a chip, and you can personalize the heck out of hummus with black beans, curry powder or eggplant to give it an extra punch of flavor. (via A Beautiful Mess)
What’s your favorite snack swap when you’re snacking healthy? Share your favorites in the comments below!