It is that time of year again when you’re faced with navigating your way around holiday breakfasts, brunches, dinners, parties, luncheons and get-togethers. For the next few weeks, the amount of food that will be placed in front of you, cooked for you, offered to you and given to you is almost mind-blowing. When you stop and think about it, most people eat more food between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than they would in a six-month period. As you strive to make healthy choices at every affair and function, it is not so easy when practically none of the choices fall into the category of healthy. So what do you do?
While bringing food with you to every dinner party may not be optimal, you can certainly strive to keep the calories down. Here are seven healthy and portable snacks for the holiday season:
Nuts and Seeds. Not only are they filled with healthy fats and protein, but they are also terrific appetite satisfiers. They fill you up without filling you out while providing an ample dose of healthful benefits. Just be careful how much you eat as they are high in calories. Keep to one serving and you should be just fine.
Fruit. Nothing is easier than grabbing an apple, banana, pear, orange or handful of berries when you are on the go. Aside from the many vitamins and nutrients that fruit has, they also help satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet. If you’re looking to take fruit on the go, and you don’t have anything fresh at home, I love these Fruit Bliss pouches! No preservatives, no sugar, just whole, delicious fruit that’s juicier and way healthier than grabbing a fruit snack packet! (photo credit)
Vegetables. Cut up some of your favorite veggies like cucumbers, zucchinis, carrots, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower and you have a bag filled with healthy goodness. Because many vegetables like cucumbers and celery have a high water content, they are perfect for filling you up prior to a party, reducing the urge to eat everything in sight.
Kale Chips. Sometimes you want something salty, but a bag of potato chips or nachos is not really what you had in mind. Kale chips are the perfect, healthy alternative to satisfy that craving for salt. Kale is one of the top superfoods that everyone should be eating. But when they are dehydrated, sprinkled with some organic and all natural ingredients, you get a snack that is not only tasty (and comes in several flavors), but is beneficial to your health. Try Skinny Mom’s Simple Kale Chips recipe.
Hardboiled Eggs. Eating just one large hardboiled egg provides 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fat and only 70 calories. They are also very filling making them the perfect snack any time of the day. Just be sure you keep them cool if you do not plan on eating them within an hour.
Roasted Chickpeas. Whether you buy them already roasted and flavored or make them yourself, you will no doubt love these crunchy snacks that are small in size, but big on good nutrition. Packed with protein and fiber, you can make them sweet by sprinkling cinnamon on them or salty by roasting them with some sea salt. Whatever your taste buds are craving, the chickpea is sure to satisfy them. Try Skinny Mom’s Spicy Roasted Chickpeas!
Low-fat Cheese. Cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. And when you choose low fat options, you lose some of the fat and the calories. Of course, there is no harm in eating full fat cheese every now and again, but since it is the holidays and you will probably indulge in more high fat foods than usual, stick with low-fat cheese. Like eggs, however, be sure you keep them in cool temps so they do not spoil before you eat them. For an easy way to keep cheese snacks with you at all times, you’ve gotta try these John Wm. Macy CheeseSticks! These baked little snacks are easy to keep in your purse and snack on when you’re running errands, or you can warm them up in the oven at home! Either way, they are fantastic! Fair warning, these guys have a habit of disappearing fast! (photo credit)
Keeping healthy snacks on hand is always a good idea, but it is an even better idea around the holiday season when not-so-healthy foods are offered at almost every corner. If you dig in to what you packed with you, it will fill you up and make the other stuff less enticing. Sure, enjoy the holidays and all the goodies that come with it, but try to keep to your regular healthy diet as much as possible – including your snacks.