My Thoughts on Snacking & 40+ Snack Ideas

Hi guys, happy Friday and long weekend to us Canadians! Oh wait – is it a long weekend in your part of the world too?

I feel like I have been talking about snacking a lot lately, which seemed like a good time to compile a list of recipes and other options for some easy, delish and nutritious snacks. I used to be a constant “snacker” – I would graze throughout the whole day on little nibbles (mostly fruits and veggies) but since completing the Whole 30 and now learning more in my program… I am realizing the importance and benefits of eating substantial, nutrient-rich meals (rather than snacking the day away).

I remember being a bit hard on myself when it came to snacking and the Whole 30: I thought that I should be eating enough at meals and shouldn’t need to have to eat a snack. That really is great in theory (the idea is that we are stabilizing our blood sugar for prolonged amounts of time, which provides us with sustained energy throughout the day) but this doesn’t always happen. I think finding a middle ground between three massive meals and constantly snacking is what works for me. It’s certainly hard to filter through all the information: eat 5 small meals a day, eat 3 large meals a day, eat every 2-3 hours, don’t eat after 8pm…

Do what works for you

Eat when you’re hungry. 

Ultimately, we are all different and this idea will be my number one priority with my clients: figuring out their body and their individual and unique needs. It is not one size fits all. Eat real food. Move your body. I do not care one bit if you say you eat “paleo” but eat white rice and white rice isn’t “paleo.” If white rice works for you, your body and your training… eat the friggin rice and everyone else should shut-up about it.

Anyways, ensuring you are eating enough throughout the day and obtaining adequate nutrition for you and your body is obviously super important. Depending on the timing, your activity and your hunger – the components of your snack will vary. Protein? Carbs? Fat? Veggies? Sugar? Let’s quickly break it down:

Protein is used by the body for growth, repair and recovery.

Carbohydrates are fast burning sources of energy and are broken down into glucose (the main source of fuel for our cells).

Fats are dense sources of energy.  

Vegetables contain all sorts of amazing vitamins and minerals.

Sugar is good for the soul – but some sugar is better than others. Check out this post for more on sugar and Franken-food.

Now that we know all of that, here are a bunch of snack ideas based on the nutritional components:

Snack Collage

All of these snacks are easy to make-ahead, throw in a tupperware and stored in your purse/gym bag/office/wherever to keep you fueled and ready for the day.

CLICK ON THE ITEM FOR THE RECIPE

Protein + carbs – Remember this post on post-workout nutrition? Protein and carbs are ideal to eat (or drink) after a workout. Starchy carbs (think: sweet potatoes, beets, pumpkin, squash, carrots) are ideal as it replenishes muscle glycogen but fruity carbs (bananas, apples) aren’t a bad option.

Almond milk, banana and protein powder smoothie 

Post workout smoothie

Apple chicken burger on a sweet potato bun

Apple Chicken Burgers6

Hard boiled egg and banana

Egg and banana

Salmon sweet potato cake 

Salmon Cake

Other ideas:

  • Hard boiled egg and sweet potato
  • Chicken and butternut squash
  • Bacon and roasted beets
  • Sausages and carrots

Chicken brocc sweet potato.jpg

Protein + fat – A serving of protein with a healthy fat is very satiating for snack-time. This combo is also ideal for your pre-workout snack (check out this post for more info).

Hard boiled egg and avocado: just mash it all up!

Mashed egg and avocado

Hard boiled egg and nuts

Egg and cashews

Meat and nuts

Burger and cashews

Almond butter energy bite – not a ton of protein but a little bit!

Almond Butter Energy Bites4

Apricot cashew protein bite

Apricot cashew bite

Other ideas:

  • Chicken and nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts)
  • Sardines and avocado
  • Chicken cooked in coconut oil/ghee

Nuts grapefruit egg breakfast

Protein/fat + veggies – A bit of protein/fat with some veg is great anytime of the day and should ward off small hunger pangs!

Hard boiled egg carrots and broccoli

Egg broccoli carrots

Tuna and pickles

Tuna and pickles

Hard boiled egg, avocado and carrots

Avocado egg carrots

Other ideas:

  • Chicken and broccoli
  • Smoked salmon and cucumber
  • Hard boiled egg and peppers

Eggs and veggies

Carbs + fat – A necessary combo to replace your glycogen stores and help to keep you feeling full!

Sweet potato and almond butter

Sweet potato and almond butter bite

Plantain (or banana) cooked in coconut oil

Plantain

Other ideas:

  • Butternut squash and coconut butter
  • Plantain with nut butter
  • Parsnips roasted in olive oil
  • Apple with nut butter

Apple and almond butter

Let’s talk more sugary snacks… because let’s face it: I don’t know many people that don’t crave something sweet! No not high-fructose corn syrup – I’m talking about as “natural” sugar as possible: honey, fruit, cocoa. Sugar is sugar is sugar but honey is used differently by our body than HFCS (you can read more in this post). The best time to eat sugar is during the post-workout period (approx. 30-90 mins after activity) as your body is functioning to “burn” this excess sugar and will be able to handle the spike in insulin better. But, that’s not always 100% realistic. Here are some delicious and sweet options – that are still pretty nutritious!

PB & J baked oatmeal cup

PBJOatmealCups3

Larabar

Banana bread Larabar.jpg

Coconut butter – I order Nikki’s online

Nikki's Coconut Butter

Good quality dark chocolate

Chocolate square

Dates (this one is stuffed with coconut butter)

Coconut butter date

Chocolate chip cookie

Chocolate chip cookie

Or my favorite: nature’s sugar!

Raspberries.jpg

Other ideas:

Chocolate covered strawberry

I hope some of my favorite snacks give you some ideas!

Want more info on snacks and snacking? Check out these posts:

How to Conquer the Night-Time Snack Attack

Recipes: Snacks

Questions of the day…

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack?

What are you doing for the long weekend of regular weekend? 

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24 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Snacking & 40+ Snack Ideas

  1. Oh man, sooo many great ideas. I’m a teacher getting ready to go back to school, and these all look super easy and portable, which is a must for me. Apples and almonds are my favorite go-to snack. I could eat apples all day everyday.

  2. This is AWESOME and I want to try all your recipes right now! I had the same response to whole30 – I tried to avoid snacking and was kind of hard on myself at first but ultimately I realized I just need to snack twice a day. It feels right and no matter how much I eat for meals I need an afternoon and bedtime snack! Now of course you know they’re like mini meals (sardines anyone?) but it totally does the trick. I also eat leftover dinner for an afternoon snack often and it makes me feel very productive and cost effective! I really love all these ideas, and your food is so pretty :)

  3. I swear, anything with eggs or avocado is the bomb. You mash those together you get the ATOMIC BOMB.

    :)

  4. I find that I REALLY struggle with snacking too much when I am not busy. When things were slow at work, I would constantly reach for my snack drawer. When I’m busy, I don’t even feel hungry until it’s mealtime. I think that’s how I found myself not eating nearly enough when I was in college – I just didn’t have the time. I’ve yet to try a Larabar but you always make me want to!

  5. This is one of my favorite posts of yours. Look at all that beautiful food! Your photo game still remains impeccable, or maybe it’s just the subject haha. Thank you for these ideas and for breaking it up by macro groupings. I am going to do some meal planning now that I’m getting readjusted to work life again, and I’m going to take many of the ideas you shared here. Thanks Amy!

  6. Love it! I tried to tell you to loosen up on yourself during Whole30 – that sometimes snacks are OK if you’re truly hungry (to me at least!). It’s the mindless snacking thing and the constant need for snacking that we need to work to tame (and it’s always a work in progress for me). But I think we all just have to learn from experience! Everything looks delish as usual!

  7. Those apricot cashew protein bites look DELICIOUS. i’ve been obsessed with apricots this summer. my other favorite snack lately has been melon- can not get enough of orangey fruits this summer, apparently :) oh and dark chocolate, of course!

  8. You Canadians get so many long weekends! I’m jealoussssss! I’m a huge fruit + nut butter fan for snacks. It gives me carbs for immediate energy and then fats to keep me full :)

  9. Great healthy snack ideas!! I love snacking so much – screw what everyone else says! It works for me, so it’s what I do. :)

  10. Awesome post! I really struggle with snack ideas so thank you so much for this, along with the information on what to eat when! I am learning more about nutrient timing with workouts and this is great! And thank you for touching on doing what works for you! I struggled a lot during my first whole30 with the snacking thing because I work out A LOT and couldn’t eat huge meals. You gotta do what’s best for your body as long as you’re getting the right nutrients! Off to make some protein bites now! :)

  11. This was crazy informative! Pinned! :)
    Also. I was wondering what your opinion is of adapting our bodies to a more fat burning vs glucose burning state? I’m really torn on the whole ketogenic thing and have read so many conflicting articles. A few bloggers I follow are currently trying it out and I always love to hear your opinion. I trust your info cause I know how deep you research things. (I tend to drive myself nuts with this haha)
    xoxo

    1. Hey Jordan – such a great question… and one that I am struggling with a bit as well. I am still learning/researching this so I’m not sure I can provide the best answer at this point but I will try :) So far I am leaning towards the research in favor of ketosis and adapting towards a more ketogenic state – using fat for fuel. I think that most people (myself included) have been fueling our bodies incorrectly with too much glucose that we don’t really need. With the surplus of carb heavy foods in our society, I think our carbohydrate tolerance levels are all out of whack. I definitely do not follow a ketogenic diet (as you can probably tell) and carbs are still super important in giving our body’s energy… but since increasing my fat (and eating it pre-workout) I have noticed huge differences in my energy, performance and body. I think that (as with most things) it’s about finding a balance and understanding your carbohydrate tolerance. I am planning on reading “Keto Clarity” by Jimmy Moore in order to better understand it all. It’s definitely a fascinating topic! Not sure if you follow Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) but I know she is following a ketogenic plan right now and is super open about it. Sorry that I couldn’t be of more help – hope you have a great weekend!

      1. Ooo I’ll have to look into that book! And Leanne is actually the reason I’ve really been diving into the research about it :) I’ve been studying it for awhile and I feel she has a really positive outlook on health and when I saw that she was actually doing it that’s when I was like okay. I gotta figure this stuff out haha

  12. This is such a comprehensive and creative list – I don’t tend to plan my snacks well and sometimes end up caving in with the cookies in the office freezer! While I don’t think that’s an issue most of the time, I do believe preparation is key when it comes to developing successful healthy eating habits.

  13. I loooove all the snack ideas! Especially the ones that are almost meal looking…those tend to be what I lean towards. Eggs are always my favorite but lately I’ve been indulging in a lot of summer fruits. Cherries are just too good to pass up right now. :)

  14. Greawt post! I notice I’ve been snacking more lately out of boredom rather than actual hunger. I need to get ahold of it as I tend to snack mostly on nuts. Love the tuna and pickle idea!

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