Ten dietitian approved snacks for your handbag or glovebox

By Melissa Meier



As a busy mum, you’re probably well accustomed to the feeling that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to scratch your head – let alone prepare healthy snacks for yourself three times a day! If you find yourself in this predicament more often then not, you’ll be pleased to learn there are plenty of easy snack foods that get my tick of approval, sans hours in the kitchen. So, say so-long to last minute muffin purchases, and hello to my top recommendations for healthy snacks that can be stashed in your purse or car (some even in your back pocket!) for when you’re in a rush and on the go.

 

1. A healthy muesli bar

Let’s be clear in saying that the type of muesli bar I’m talking about is a far cry from the type of muesli bar your child probably wants in their lunchbox. You should opt for a bar made mostly of rolled oats, with no added sugar and high in fibre. Your goal is around 100 calories (420 kilojoules) with at least 5 grams of fibre.

2. A handful of nuts

A good one to support your ticker and brain, nuts are rich in healthy fats and protein. Aim for just a small handful (or 30 grams) to keep your portion size in check.

3. DIY healthy trail mix

If you find plain old nuts a little boring, throw in a mixture of seeds for some variety. Pepitas, sunflower seeds and chia seeds work well. You could even add some coconut flakes for a hit of flavour.

4. Wholegrain crackers 

Searching for a hit of energy come 3pm? Instead of reaching for the biscuit jar, be prepared with low-GI wholegrain crackers instead. As they’re digested slowly, they provide long-lasting energy, rather than a quick spike and crash in blood sugars.

5. A small tin of baked beans

Another one with sustained energy levels in mind, beans (yep, ‘the musical fruit’) are actually what I’d call a ‘superfood’. Not only are they a good source of quality carbs, they contain plant-based protein and a tonne of fibre to support digestive health. Tick, tick, tick.

6. Roasted chickpeas

The perfect substitution for salty, moreish chips – roasted chickpeas are another great way to get nutrient-rich legumes into your diet. You might be surprised to learn that legumes (like chickpeas, beans and lentils) are actually associated with a raft of health benefits, like blood sugar management and protection from disease.

7. A small bag of popcorn

This is one that people *love* to hear about – yes, popcorn is actually very healthy! It’s a type of wholegrain, so provides fibre to support a healthy gut and a range of micronutrients. Forget about the kind covered in salt and butter, though. Plain air-popped popcorn is my top recommendation.

8. PB (Aka. Peanut Butter)

Okay – so this one’s not a snack on its own, but it can easily be paired with wholegrain crackers or a sturdy piece of fruit that won’t get squished in your bag, like an apple. Natural peanut butter is an excellent source of heart-healthy fats, and provides a punch of fibre and protein, too. Plus, you can buy it in single serve tubs to keep you snacking smart. FYI, a calorie-clever portion is just one tablespoon.

9. A tin of tuna

A small tin of tuna is rich in protein, which is important for maintaining lean muscle mass. Protein also has a sustaining effect, so it’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next main meal.

10. Dried fruit

Not something I’d usually recommend for an everyday snack – but indeed, a sweet snack that’s far better for you than a chocolate bar or lolly. Generally speaking, fresh is always best, but dried fruit is still a source of fibre for a healthy gut and micronutrients to keep your body working it’s best.

And there you have it! Ten easy-peasy snacks that are ready in the blink of an eye. Which ones will you pop on your next shopping list?

Melissa Meier is an online and Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.