We live in a society with some real eating problems. Unfortunately, over the past several decades it’s become acceptable to:
- Eat more than three meals a day
- Snack and graze anytime, anywhere, and
- Rarely sit down at a table and set aside time to eat without distractions
Personally, I believe that it’s not just what we eat, but how we eat that impacts our health. But does that mean that all snacking is unhealthy?
Real Food Snacks Have a Place in a Healthy Diet
While I’m not a fan of eating on the run or snacking all day long, I do think snacks can have a place in a healthy, real food diet. If done right, snacks can be great energy boosters and can even stand in as an easy no-cook meal.
A Simple Real Food Snacks Formula!
Most of us realize that the vast majority of packaged snack foods are highly processed and filled with chemicals, additives, damaging fats, and refined sugars. To create simple snacks that are satisfying AND nutritious, I like to combine produce with protein and healthy fats in ways that don’t create a big production in the kitchen. And if you’re looking for a way to remember this concept, here’s my simple real food snacks formula. If you say it aloud, it even sort of rhymes!
And in the spirit of summertime, lighter meals, and not always wanting to turn on the stove, consider making these healthy snacks for lunch or dinner by increasing the portion size or combining a couple of ideas. Simply take an appetizer platter and fill each section with a different healthy snack. Then grab a blanket, maybe a glass of wine, and head outside for a picnic-style meal. Trust me, if you have young kids they will think this is the coolest thing ever!
15 Easy Real Food Snacks Ideas:
- Apples with Almond or Sunbutter
- Cherries with Almonds
- Cantaloupe with Cottage Cheese
- Mango with Pistachios
- Berries with Greek Yogurt
- Grapes with Walnuts
- Watermelon with Feta Cheese (great with balsamic vinegar and fresh mint!)
- Radishes with Tahini
- Cucumbers with String Cheese
- Endive with Goat Cheese
- Carrots with Hummus
- Sugar Snap Peas with Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Cherry Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Pesto
- Bell Peppers with Black Bean Dip
- Zucchini with Cashew or Almond Butter
Now if you’re a meat and potatoes kind of person, these ideas may not seem at all meal-worthy to you. But why not give them a try and see how you feel? We can all benefit from eating more fruits and veggies and less meat. And if you’re pairing produce with yogurt or cheese, consider choosing full-fat, pasture-raised varieties so you can get both protein and healthy fats. Full-fat dairy is real food—not only does it tastes better, but it’s also more filling!
What are some of your favorite no-cook, real food snacks, and meals? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Kelly Harjes is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of Appetite for Healthy Change™. Her mission is to inspire others to look and feel their best, feed their families well, and help improve our food system. For more information about Kelly, check out Our Team Page.
Kitchen Tips and Resources from Bruce:
- These great, easy lunch boxes are a fantastic way to pack up your family’s favorite snacks for a picnic dinner in the backyard or a nearby park.
- A great blanket that’s soft fleece, has a waterproof backing, and includes some stakes for keeping it in place makes a family picnic on the lawn or at the park a true joy!