Between trips to the cottage, camps and the beach, you’re bound to be in a situation this summer where someone is having the much-dreaded snack attack. To prevent that from happening, registered dietitian Nishta Saxena shares her favourite snacks to keep on hand.
Portable no-mess snacks
These nuts are the perfect snack. Almonds are perfect raw or roasted and are full of protein, antioxidants, fibre and heart-healthy fat. They’re also a source of calcium, and a cup can give you 25 per cent of what you need.
A lot of people turn to baby carrots, but Nishta says they’re totally overrated. We need more green in our life and cucumbers are a portable, no-mess answer. They’re packed with water (which fills you up and hydrates you), as well as a source of vitamin K, which many of us are lacking.
This classic cereal is super-portable and packs a ton of nutrition, from protein to fibre, and are very moderate in sugar and salt. They can be taken anywhere—just pop ’em in your mouth for a high-nutrition, no-mess boost.
Fava and lupini beans are new players in the dried snack market, and they’re packed with protein. They’re also high in magnesium, and what all Canadians need more of, fibre. They come salted, plain or flavoured.
These little green marvels pack about 19 grams of protein in a cup, along with a lot of other nutrients. They can be roasted for extra flavour or eaten raw.
Also called chana, chickpeas are very commonly eaten in Asia but are becoming popular in North America. You can buy them roasted of salted and they’re packed with a whopping 15 grams of protein in a cup. They’re excellent sources of fibre, are great for your gut health, and are super-safe and hearty, so they can really be taken anywhere for the long-haul. Keep them tightly sealed so they don’t lose their crunch.
These popular snacks come in a variety of flavours.
While this snack isn’t really well known in North America, it’s been enjoyed all over the world for centuries. They are a tuberous rhizome of a grass, and they are not in fact nuts at all! They have a sweetish, nutty-ish flavour (similar to coconut and almonds), and a neat wrinkly texture. They are very high in fibre that’s fantastic for our blood sugar and guts, but very low in carbohydrates that increase insulin in the body. The best part is the richness of magnesium, phosphorous and vitamins C and E, a perfect choice if you want nutrition with less carbs.
Grape or cherry tomatoes
You can eat these by the container if you wish; they are packed with nutrients such as lycopene, vitamin C and potassium, with only about 6 grams of carbs kicking around in a cup. They are so sweet right now as well, and are a lot more travel-friendly than other fruits!
Snacks to keep kids on track
Use some of these summer moments to have more nuts in your diet. Cashews are rich in copper, a trace mineral that you don’t think about much, but is very important for helping our bodies use iron and zinc properly. They are also super high in magnesium, which lots of Canadians are deficient in.
They are super sweet right now, very crunchy and great all on their own. The naturally-occurring sugars give then sweetness that kids who have been living off of freezies in the summer have grown accustomed to, but they also have about 3 grams of protein and fibre in every cup! They are packed full of water which is hydrating, and amazingly contain 13 mg of omega-3 fats and your total vitamin C for the day in one cup.
Firstly, it’s fun to eat, and it contains fibre, but also carbs; kids need a lot of carbs in the summer months because they are active and outside running around more. You can find some great products now made with olive or avocado oil, and lower amounts of salt, if you don’t want pop-it-and-pack, you can certainly rely on some plain-pre-pooped popcorn with a bit of sea salt.