25th January 2018Category: Working Carers
Have you got a secret stash of chocolate biscuits in your office desk? Is your coffee break snack a naughty one but the thought of an apple just fills you with sadness? The majority of people like to have a snack during the workday but are the extra calories worth it? This week we are looking at how to switch your snacks for healthier alternatives that still taste great but are better for us.
Snacks and drinks go hand in hand so try a few switches with your drinks to make small simple changes.
Hot drink swap tip
If you like milk in your coffee or tea, the easiest way to do a switch without noticing is simple; just swap whole milk for semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed.
If hot chocolate is more your thing, then try the low calorie/diet version with hot water (with this version you can even put a few mini marshmallows in!).
Water water everywhere
Ensure you drink water throughout the day to keep the naughty sugar monster at bay. When we're dehydrated we tend to go for food first. Try having a glass of water then waiting to see if you still want a snack 30 minutes later, this will show if it was dehydration talking not hunger.
Swap your fizzy fix with fruit juice mixed with soda water or go for a low sugar squash. Try to have cola as a treat once a week rather than a daily fix.
Everyone has their preferred ways to snack, hopefully you will find a few examples that you can try in your workday.
Is your weakness a KitKat or even a Freddo? If chocolate is your go to, especially during the afternoon slump, here is an alternative you will love to hear….swap chocolate for chocolate…yes you read it right. Swap milk chocolate for a higher percentage dark chocolate. For example swap dairy milk to a 70% dark chocolate. You will find that you only need one or two squares to get your chocolate hit, plus it also has less saturates and sugar.
If you like a couple of hand fulls of chocolate almonds in your secret snack space, sorry to break the news but these are calorific! Switch to something which is still delightful but a lot less sugar. Put 1 teaspoon of Nutella on a digestive or rich biscuit (your preference) then top with 1 teaspoon of chopped nuts.
Cheese on a cracker, swap with cheese on an apple. I know this sounds odd but the taste might just seduce you into a whole new world without crackers for snacks.
If you are tempted by a cheese toastie try this lighter version. Rather than using bread, switch with a crispbread (wholegrain). Cover with grated cheese as well as tomato then grill.
If the little foam bananas in a pick’n’mix are your idea of a mid morning delight then why not try a banana milkshake instead (plus it actually involves a real banana). It will be just under 100kcals too. Use your very ripe bananas (around 55g) and blend with semi-skimmed milk (100ml). Add cinnamon for extra flavour.
Cinnamon roll girl?
Do these naughty treats call to you when you are buying your Greggs sandwich?
Make your own healthier alternative instead. Toast two slices of raisin bread then cover with one tablespoon of low fat cream cheese, finally sprinkle with cinnamon.
Nuts for nuts?
If you enjoy digging into a bag of salted peanuts then this might feel like a big swap but try edamame (with a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top) instead for a protein kick. Supermarkets have these in the prepared sections so give them a try.
Do you have peanut butter on toast? Say bye bye to the carbs and switch the toast with sliced apple and cinnamon.
Wimbledon in all seasons
Better than one of these strawberry cereal bars, you can feel like summer is here all year round (well pretend to). All it is: 110g of strawberries and 30g low fat crème fraiche together in a dish, and this is under 100kcal.
As you can see from the examples above, you just need to think of alternatives you can use to create a tasty but healthier version of snacks. Or, rather than grabbing a penguin chocolate biscuit, try having a ‘light’ hot chocolate with water to get your chocolate fix. Websites such as BBC food are great sources for inspiration for meals and snacks. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to change everything at once. Try an alternative once or twice a week and slowly discover what you like. Changing habits and tastes take time so let it be a lifestyle change for the year rather than cramming it all in January.