The pantry can be one of the most dangerous areas of the house – especially when you’re in a rush and starving for a snack. How often have you reached into the cabinet and come out with something greasy, high in fat or with a ton of sugar?
The first step to leading a healthier lifestyle is to trash these junk foods. By stocking up on tasty, healthy treats, you’ll feel better physically (and emotionally) in no time!
So to help you out, here are a few healthy alternatives to satisfy some common cravings:
If you’re craving something salty…
Skip the potato chips and opt for kale chips instead. Kale is a type of cabbage that is extremely good for you because it has calcium, Vitamins A, C, K, and plenty of potassium. You can buy kale chips or make your own (check out Brooke Burke’s recipe here).
If you’re a sucker for the greasy temptation of potato chips, try munching on edamame. It’s easy to prepare, all you have to do is boil the edamame bean and flavor it with some salt. Another way to satisfy the urge for something salty that might come as a surprise: Jerky. It’s high in protein, which gives you energy and low in fat. Check the labels, but many types of turkey jerky – like the kind in the snack packs from Perky Jerky – is low fat, low carb and low calorie. Yum!
If you’re craving something sweet…
Candy can be one of your worst enemies, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut out all sweet treats from your diet. Fruit leathers are great for when you’re on-the-go and easy to just throw into your purse instead of that chocolate bar. Try the all-natural ones from Stretch Island Fruit Co. in tasty flavors like Autumn Apple and Mango Sunrise. Make sure to stock up because kids love them too!
Keep Tupperwares filled with dried fruit on your counter and ones filled with fresh cut fruit in your fridge to help curb your sweets craving. They’ll be there when you need a snack fast, plus having them out will encourage your kids to healthy snacks as well. Some great dried fruit options are bananas, apples, apricots, and strawberries.
If you’re craving something baked…
Although it might take a little longer, baking your own sweet potato fries are a great alternative to their French fried brethren. The key thing to remember is to BAKE the sweet potatoes because frying anything will make it unhealthy. Roasted chickpeas also taste great and are fantastic to “veg out” on.
If you’re craving something filling…
Steamed vegetable dumplings are one of my personal favorites because they contain protein and healthy carbohydrates. They are also usually filled with shredded cabbage and carrots, both of which are great for you. One tip: Skip the soy sauce since it tends to be very high in sodium.
Popcorn is another healthy snack that’s perfect when you want to fill up fast. Choose low-fat or fat free options and try to stay away from the salt.
What to drink?
It’s definitely best to avoid soda because it’s basically just empty calories and can lead to weight gain. Plus it’s packed with artificial sweeteners. Water is always be your best bet, and the amount that you should drink daily depends on your weight, your climate, and other factors. Who knows, maybe those chronic headaches or lower back problems are due to dehydration? Drinking 100% juice products is fine in moderation, so if you’d occasionally like some more flavor than plain H2O, reach for a juice box like those from Juicy Juice.
Hope these options will make it easier for moms everywhere to snack healthy! Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section below!