A Guide to Building Healthy Snacks for Your Family

Healthy, quick, easy, and affordable snacks can be a lifesaver during a busy day of work, picking up the kids from school, or during a weekend where you just want to relax. But sometimes you don’t have those snacks on hand when you need them most. Maybe the preparation is hard, maybe you just need a bit of inspiration, or maybe you do not know where to start. Regardless of where you are in your healthy snacking journey, this guide is here to give you some information and tips on snacks.

Here is a guide on how to be successful in healthy snacking:

What does a healthy snack consist of?

The foundation of a healthy snack starts how much nutrition it will provide. By including all the macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats), we can build a balanced and filling snack. Sometimes this is as simple as hummus and carrot sticks, but there are many other snack combinations to choose from.

Start by picking one food from each of the macronutrient category:

1. Carbohydrates (Carbs):

    • Whole grains (oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread)
    • Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit (bananas, apples, pears, berries, etc.)
    • Fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables (green beans, broccoli, spinach, etc.)
    • Dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dates, etc.)
    • Starchy veggies (sweet potato, carrots, etc.)

2. Proteins:

    • Beans and other legumes
    • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
    • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc.)
    • Nut or seed butters (peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, etc.)
    • Lean meats and fish (chicken, turkey, tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon)
    • Low-fat dairy (string cheese, cream cheese, milk, or fortified non-dairy milk)

3. Fats:

    • Coconut
    • Avocado
    • Dark chocolate
    • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
    • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc.)
    • Nut or seed butters (peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond butter, etc.)
    • Fish (tuna, sardines, mackerel, salmon)

 

Preparation is key!

Now that you have an idea of what components make a healthy and balanced snack, you just need to prepare. Take these steps to prepare for your snack making:

  1. Think about what types of foods and flavors you like
  2. Consider how much preparation time you have
  3. Think about how much time you have to eat the snacks and if you need to eat them on the go

By considering these things you can choose what kinds of foods will fit your lifestyle, and you can gather items to prepare accordingly.

 

Snack Inspiration!

Hare some snack ideas that can work for a variety of differing nutritional needs and lifestyles.

  • Fruit and peanut butter
  • Trail mix
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Whole grain crackers with hummus or guacamole
  • Homemade granola
  • Smoothies
  • Energy bites

Get started with on your healthy snacking journey with this easy, nutrient dense Apricot Date Bar recipe that the whole family will love. Put your creative hats on and customize the ingredients based on the season, your taste preference, or what you have in your pantry!

 

Apricot Date Bars

This is an easy and nutrient dense recipe that the whole family will love. Put your creative hats on and customize the ingredients based on the season, your taste preference, or what you have in your pantry!
Print Recipe
CourseDessert, Snack
Servings4 bars
Calories379kcal

Equipment

  • food processor
  • bowl
  • baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • Mixing Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 apricot pureed (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates pitted
  • 1 cup nuts or seeds of choice ex: sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Purée apricots in a food processor and set aside in separate bowl. Then pulse oats in food processor 3-5 times.
  • Add in the previously puréed apricot and all other remaining ingredients, continuing pulsing until a combined uniform mixture is formed.
  • Transfer mixture to an 8 x 8 baking pan lined with parchment paper, then spread evenly and pack it down very well.
  • Place pan in the refrigerator for about 3 hours to help it firm up before cutting into desired size/shape.
Nutrition Facts
Apricot Date Bars
Amount per 1 Serving
Calories
379
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19
g
29
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
7
g
Sodium
 
5
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
49
g
16
%
Fiber
 
8
g
33
%
Sugar
 
26
g
29
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
Calcium
 
65
mg
7
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
Potassium
 
569
mg
16
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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