Plan ahead for a healthy break
When you crave a sweet or savoury treat, grab one of these delicious make-ahead healthy snacks.
We’ve all been there, when hunger hits hard and you need a snack now. To prevent reaching for empty convenience foods in that “hangry” moment, be a snack master: plan ahead, make big batches, and become friends with your freezer. Choose snacks that deliver high energy, pack nutrient-dense calories, and are low in added sugar. Fruits and veggies (mixed with a little protein, of course) are a good start, yet when eaten au naturel, tend to get boring quickly! To prevent a snack slump, you don’t have to recreate the wheel; just rearrange it slightly. Stick with the basics you know and love: hummus, energy balls, cheese, and grains—but shake up the flavour. Try variations on a theme: reinvent hummus with different spices and seasonal veggies such as roasted butternut squash or bright peppers, even broccoli or purple carrots. Basic energy balls can be turned into “fudge” with a good dose of sweet, sticky dates. Hop on the DIY trend and make your own cheese and seed-infused crackers—it’s easier and far more satisfying than you think (see Lemon Poppy Seed Labneh recipe). The key is to create a dedicated window of time, maybe on a weekend, to prep big batches and seal the deal with proper portioning and labelling. And if all else fails, hold a snack swap! Gather five fearless friends and each make a big batch of something freezer-friendly or that can last in the fridge for a few days. The following five recipes will get you off to a good start.
With a variety of sizes, these are perfect for transporting dips, spreads, and anything for “dunking.” Fill bottom of jar with the “wet” layer, then tuck in hearty veggies, such as carrots, peppers, beans, zucchini, or cucumber spears. Seal with a lid and it’s good to go!
These are snacks with benefits! Satisfy hunger while treating your teeth to a polish.
Sugary foods (yes, even fruit juice) are fuel for mouth bacteria that weaken tooth enamel. Foods such as nuts, seeds, cheese, hummus, and plain yogurt are low in sugar. Cheese and yogurt are also good sources of calcium, which help build and maintain good mouth health.
Firm, crisp veggies help clean teeth as they’re eaten. It’s the chew factor! Crunching down on apples, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and peppers increases the flow of saliva, which in turn neutralizes enamel-damaging acid, a.k.a. “plaque.”
Packed with flavonoids (including catechins), which promote good gum health and help kill bacteria that stubbornly stick to teeth, tea also contains fluoride.