For both stay-at-home moms and career women, an afternoon snack is essential to keeping energy levels up. Whether you are shuttling the kids to soccer practice or busy at the office, what you choose as an afternoon snack can make a big difference on your mood and energy.
Snacks should contain 100-200 calories, which is just enough to satisfy you without sabotaging your diet. They should also be a combination of fiber and protein, since fiber and protein are the two nutrients that take the longest to digest and keep you full and satisfied on fewer calories. So in order to keep up with your kids' constant energy, snacks are an essential part of the day. Avoiding refined carbohydrates that spike your sugars temporarily will prevent you from crashing later in the day.
Here are some great snack ideas that moms and kids will enjoy.
At the desk:
1) 8 dried apricot halves with 1 oz. Everybody's Nuts pistachios (European Roast)
2) 1/2 cup Fiber One cereal with 1 cup Fage 0% Total Greek Yogurt
3) Starkist Lunch To-Go tuna kits (omit the crackers) and 4 GG Bran Crispbread high-fiber crackers
4) 1 individual size Jell-O Pudding Snack double chocolate sugar-free pudding with 1 cup strawberries
5) Starbucks Tall Non-fat Sugar-free Vanilla Latte with a Gnu Flavor and Fiber bar
6) 1 packet Quaker Weight Control instant oatmeal packets
1) English muffin pizza: toast a Thomas' Light Multigrain English Muffin with tomato sauce and melted low-fat mozzarella cheese until cheese is melted
2) Cut-up vegetables such as red peppers and celery with 1/4 cup hummus
3) Cottage Doubles with 1/4 Bran Buds
4) 6 Triscuit crackers with Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb cheese
5) Healthy Choice Country Vegetable microwaveable soup bowl
6) Berry smoothie with Silk Plus Fiber soy milk and frozen mixed berries
In the car:
1) 1 cup trail mix (high-fiber cereal, whole-wheat pretzels, peanuts, and raisins)
2) Apple and Sargento Light string cheese
3) 2 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 banana roll-up on La Tortilla Factory Whole-wheat, low-carb, low-fat tortillas
4) 1/2 turkey sandwich on 1 slice whole-wheat bread with lettuce and tomato
5) 1 bag Glenny's Soy Crisps
6) 1 cup baby carrots and 1 oz. almonds
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.