Goldfish, Cheerios, applesauce pouches, fruit snacks, pirate booty, granola bars: no grocery list is complete without snacks for the littles, but where does that leave you?
Our days often revolve around the care of our little ones, from keeping them alive to keeping them fed and it tends to take priority over our own health at times. After talking to women about their daily food habits, I noticed a commonality. Many moms are either skipping meals or snacks because they’re too busy (to plan ahead for snacks on the go, or to just make time to eat) or else their snacks aren’t providing the nutritious combo to properly fuel them.
Think of your body like a car—as a car needs gas to drive, your body needs food (and the right kind) to function. Ideally, you need three meals and two to three snacks per day. While what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are essential, your snacks should contain the same quality and substance as your meals, just less grandiose.
Protein and fiber go together like peanut butter and jelly. When combined, they keep you fuller longer while providing you with energy you need for the #momlife and even more importantly, the #slamlife. Protein is found richly in animal products such as poultry, beef, fish, and dairy products. However, whole grains, beans and other legumes, and even vegetables contain protein (of course in smaller amounts). Fiber is found in fruits, veggies, beans, and whole grains. When I think of celery I think of fiber: the roughage—and because of its effect on your stomach, it keeps you feeling full and satisfied. Protein and fiber together are a powerhouse that will keep your “gas tank” full and ready to conquer the day.
With that being said, it’s easy to lose yourself in the daily shuffle and forget that you need fed, too. When you know you’re going to be gone for a long amount of time, plan ahead. I know a friend who keeps Lara Bars in her glove compartment—that’s way better than swinging through Chick-fil-a when hunger strikes. Or cut up your fruits and veggies the minute you get home from the grocery store and put them in single serving bags so when you head out in the morning you don’t need extra time to prepare. If you’re grabbing snacks for your babies on the go, count yourself in the mix—it will deter you from eating their leftover crackers and thus keep you satisfied and happier until your next meal.
If the prep work isn’t as challenging as the “but what do I eat” dilemma, I am here to help. I have compiled a list of snacks (protein and fiber combos) to ensure no mama is left behind:
- Hard Boiled Egg & Raw Veggies
- Greek Yogurt & Banana
- Whole Grain Pita Stuffed With Cottage Cheese & Apple Slices
- Carrots & Hummus
- Avocado & Almonds
- Celery Topped With Peanut Butter
- Homemade Granola: Whole Grain Cereal, Nuts & Dried Fruit
- Small Sweet Potato Topped With Plain Greek Yogurt & Walnuts
- Peanut Butter & Apple
- Roasted Chickpeas & Banana
- Scrambled Egg & Avocado
- Oats With Almond Butter
- Peanut Butter & Jelly
- Toasted English Muffin With Tomato Sauce & Cheese
- Turkey & Cheese Rollup
- Edamame & Berries
- Rice Cake Topped With Nut Butter
- Triscuits With Cream Cheese & Tomatoes
- Banana Peanut Butter Whole Grain Bread Rollup
- Greek Oatmeal Muffins
- Caprese Salad
- Fruit & Cheese Kabobs
- Black Bean Mini Corn Quesadilla
- Oat & Flax Energy Balls
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
These can be modified to your taste buds as long as you keep the concept of protein and fiber. By simply asking yourself if what you’re about to eat is going to supply you with the gusto you need to get through the day, you’ll be all the better for it.