Most of us are hit by an energy slump in the middle of the afternoon. The sugar rush you get from junk food will disappear in minutes, leaving you feeling groggier than you were before, not to mention guilty. Instead, be prepared for the afternoon slump by having some satisfying healthy snacks at the ready.
1. Blueberries 150g = 85 calories
A fantastic snack choice, blueberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and will deliver the sweetness that we often crave. With only 85 calories in a 150g serving, they are very diet friendly. Bought fresh they can be expensive. Frozen blueberries are much better value and make a great crunchy, sweet treat.
2. Special K Cracker Crisps = 95 calories
Just because you are trying to be good, you still might still want to occasionally enjoy your favourite treat. At just 95 calories per bag, this savoury snack will satisfy your crisp cravings. They come in four flavours, sea salt and balsamic vinegar, sweet chilli and sour cream and chive flavours which are available in individual bags.
3. Wholegrain toast and low-fat spread = 125 calories
When stocks are low and you have nothing that excites you in the cupboard, a slice of wholemeal toast and a cup of tea are a life-saver. Wholemeal bread is a much wiser choice as wholegrains are slower to digest and make you feel fuller. A slice of wholegrain bread = 65 calories; 10g low fat spread = 46 calories
4. One Hard-Boiled or Poached Egg = 78 calories
Boil up a batch of eggs, keep them in the fridge, and you've got an instant snack. High in protein, an egg will make you feel fuller for longer. If you don’t like the idea of a cold egg, poach your egg and eat with a slice of wholemeal toast for a 143 calorie snack that will definitely keep you going until dinner.
5. One Orange = 60 calories
Sweet and delicious, an orange is a great mid afternoon pick-me-up. Oranges are high in vitamins, low in natural sugar, and bursting with flavour. Easy to pop into your bag for work, or tantalising you from the fruit bowl. The fact that you have to take a moment to peel and section an orange will help you savour your sweet snack more slowly.
6. Strawberries 150g = 46 calories
With just 46 calories in a 150g serving, you can eat a whole heap of strawberries and also reap the benefits of lots of vitamins and antioxidants. Juicy and delicious, strawberries are a great way to deliver that sweetness hit that we crave. Try to eat them when they are in season.
7. Cheddar cheese 25g = 100 calories
If a piece of fruit just doesn't cut it, don’t be afraid to opt for some cheese, which will certainly satisfy your hunger, but keep a close eye on portion size. Serve with a low-fat cream cracker (33 calories) for a quick tasty snack.
8. 20 Almonds = 135 calories
Raw nuts are full of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats, but almonds might be the healthiest nut of all. They are associated with reduced risk of heart disease, lowering cholesterol and are packed with essential minerals. They are delicious and filling, but keep an eye on portion size.
9. Dried Cranberries 50g = 150 calories
Dried cranberries are often heavily sweetened, so keep your portion to a waistline-friendly 50g. High in antioxidants and fibre, they are sweet and filling and require no effort to prepare.
10. Carrots 125g = 50 calories
Carrots are sweet and crunchy and very low in calories. A great idea is to prepare a large sealable tub of carrot sticks and keep in the fridge to snack on all week. For added zing, eat with a small portion on hummus.
11. Reduced Fat Hummus 2 tablespoons = 93 calories
Hummus is high in calories so limit yourself to two tablespoons. Scoop it up with cucumber, carrot sticks or celery and you’re still under the 150 calorie healthy snack limit. Hummus is a great source of protein, and fiber, which makes this great filling snack.
11. Small bowl of Special K with skimmed milk = 114 calories
This classic breakfast can also work as a mid afternoon snack . A small 30g serving of Special K with 125ml of semi skimmed milk is only 114 calories. Fortified with vitamins and minerals and calcium from the milk, a bowl of Special K will deliver a carbohydrate boost with minimal fats.
12. One half cup of Sunflower Seeds
Opt for shelled, salt-free sunflower seeds for a snack that’s bursting with vitamins, antioxidants, and selenium, a mineral that’s thought to help prevent occurrence of cancer. Plus, you can have a full half cup for exactly 100 calories.
13. Small Latte With Skimmed Milk = 80 calories
A hot, milky coffee will really satisfy hunger pangs. Make your coffee fix into a healthy snack. Order a decaf latte with skimmed milk and no sugary, flavoured syrups. If making at home, remember 200mls = 73 calories. If you must sweeten it, each teaspoon of sugar = 16 calories. Froth the milk if possible to make it even more of a treat.
14. Air-Popped Popcorn 25g = 93 calories
Popcorn is a fantastic healthy snack. Light and bulky, you can eat what seems to be a large portion for under 100 calories. By using an air popper, you get the nutrition and fibre of popcorn without the fats, but if you don’t have an air-popper, make it in a pan with a small amount of sunflower oil.
15. Low fat Yoghurt
Depending on the brand, a single-serving yoghurt pot can have a calorie count of 150 calories or very often less. We looked at three Irish yoghurts and found that the all came in under the 150 calories register. Such an easy snack, straight from the fridge, sweet and delicious and delivers plenty of calcium to us girls.