In between getting the kids ready for school, meeting deadlines at work and running errands, it’s hard to find the time to prepare healthy meals for the day. Not eating regularly (every 2-3 hours) can leave you with low energy levels and as a result reaching for unhealthy snacks – hello 3:30itis. The key to maintaining good energy levels and a healthy weight is to always have nutritious snacks on hand i.e. in your handbag, desk drawer or centre console.
To achieve this, reusable containers and snap-lock bags are your new best friends. I always carry a foldable fork in my handbag too. It’s perfect for days when I’m in a rush and don’t have time to pack my lunch and snacks for the day. I’ll simply grab a can of salmon on my way out the door and along with a jar of nuts kept in my top drawer at work, will see me through until lunchtime, when I buy a salad or soup for lunch plus fruit and yoghurt for afternoon tea.
Here are my top 6 nutritious snacks that are tiny enough to fit into the smallest handbag:
1. A small handful (30g) of nuts
Nuts are high in protein and “good fats” (mono and polyunsaturated fats), helping you get through the day and feel fuller for longer. Think almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts. Worried about over-consuming? You can buy the 30g portion tins featured above for just $1 here.
2. A piece of fruit
Fruit is a perfect snack as it is packed full of nutrients like Vitamin C and fibre and is quite low in kilojoules. For slow release energy, choose fruits low in GI like bananas, apples or a cup of berries – they’ll keep you going for hours.
3. A Can of salmon
When choosing protein-rich canned salmon, choose the one lowest in sodium and saturated fat. A couple of wholegrain crackers to dip, will help with satiety also.
4. A 25g packet of Roasted chickpeas
These portioned roasted chickpeas are high in protein and fibre and taste so good you’ll think you’re being naughty.
5. Veggie sticks with tahini/almond butter
Slicing vegetables takes virtually no time at all. Carrot and celery are favourites, but for ease, why not opt for already bite-sized snowpeas? All 3 are low in kilojoules and coupled with 1-2 tbsp of tahini/almond butter (placed into a small reusable container) for afternoon tea, will keep you going until dinnertime.
6. 2 cups of air-popped popcorn
Microwave your own popcorn for a quick snack that’s high in antioxidants, fibre and low in saturated fat. Forgo butter and instead add some dried herbs/spices for extra flavour.
And there you have it: my top 6 nutritious snacks tiny enough to fit into the smallest handbag.