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Simple Tips to Start Snacking Healthy

AARP’s Chef Daniel Thomas offers some ideas on fighting hunger between meals with nutritious snacks

When eating healthy, sometimes we get hungry in the middle of the day. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a cookie, try some of these tasty, nutritious snacks to tide yourself over.

Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

Go Bananas

Do you often feel tempted to break out the pint of ice cream but want to avoid its high-fat content? Chocolate-covered frozen bananas make a great substitute, taste delicious, and are easy to prepare. Grab a couple of ripe bananas; peel and slice into 1-inch pieces. Melt 1/3 cup of dark chocolate or carob, and dip each banana piece in the chocolate to cover half of the piece. Place on a cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 1 hour to let the fruit and chocolate harden, and enjoy!



Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

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Make an Apple-icious Treat

If you have sensitive teeth, apples can be hard to eat, and they spoil quickly. But if you oven-dry them, they’ll last a long time for you to eat at your leisure. Start with a clean, ripe apple, and slice it into thin half-moons. Heat the oven to 130 degrees F, and let the slices sit in lemon or lime water for 7 minutes to keep the color.

Place the slices on a cookie sheet, making sure they do not touch, and bake in the oven for 6 hours, flipping each slice every hour. Let cool and enjoy over the week.

Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

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Add a Drizzle of Sweetness

If you want to give your fruit a sweet touch but are worried about the extra sugar, try this recipe: All you need is water, honey and mint leaves. Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup honey, and simmer in a pot for 5 minutes. Toss in 1/3 cup mint leaves, stir, simmer for an extra minute, and cool. This makes an easy and tasty dip or drizzle for any fruit.

Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

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Do a Dip

Getting tired of the same dips that have a ton of extra sodium? Try this quick recipe and let the feta cheese be all the salt you need.  

Avocado Feta Dip

  • 5 sliced avocados 
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled and mixed in with the mixture)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 of one jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • Sprinkle of black pepper, to taste
  • Combine all ingredients, mix well and refrigerate.
Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

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Create Your Own Crunch

Chips taste great but are high in saturated fats. Luckily it’s easy to make your own. Take some corn tortillas and cut them into triangles. Place them in a bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or coconut oil. Place them on a cookie sheet; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and dried cilantro and a small pinch of sea salt. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 13 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes, then munch away.

Chef Daniel Healthy Snacks

iStockphoto

Fun-Size Your Yogurt

Too much of a good thing can be bad — especially eating too much fruit when you have high blood pressure or diabetes. Frozen yogurt cubes can be a great way to keep your snack portion small. Put 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt in a mixing bowl and mix in 4 tablespoons honey, 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Scoop mixture into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Let chill for 3 hours, and enjoy whenever you want them — but always remember: moderation!

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