Snacks or snacking often carries a negative connotation and are associated with weight gain, unhealthy lifestyle, and stress eating. However, snacking between meals is fairly common and is actually encouraged by dieticians and nutritionists as it helps an individual to meet their daily nutrients requirements and avoid binge eating during meal time due to hunger. However not all food can be snacked, and it depends on the type of food consumed and the portion size, cause not all small are the same.
So what is a snack and what kind of food is considered a snack? A snack can be defined as consuming small amounts of food between meals such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, eating burger with fries or a bowl of noodles would not be considered a snack even though it’s between meals.
Here are 7 quick and simple healthy snacks ideas for you to prepare when you’re in a rush or just want something to munch.
Fruits are the easiest, quickest, and most nutritious snack one can consume. It is packed with fibres, vitamins, and minerals and it tastes great! It is a perfect substituted of chips, chocolate and other snack food if you’re in a healthy diet regime or just want some low calorie and nutritious snack. Fruits such as :
Apples, grapes, papaya, banana, guava, watermelon, langsat, and any local fruits can be great munching options.
If you don’t have access to fresh fruits all the time, canned fruits are the next best option. Choosing lower sugar content would be a better option.
However, this does not mean you can consume a big bowl of fruits, that would defeat the purpose of snacks (small portion of food between meals) hence, be wary of your portion.
2. Breads, chapathi, flatbread
Wholemeal breads, flatbreads, tortilla wraps, chapathi etc are carbohydrate based but are perfect for a light snack. They give a huge energy boost and are perfect for “a pick me up” for an exhausted afternoon snack.
Spreading some jams, peanut butter, or putting slices of banana or ham, it can satisfy all the sweet tooth and savoury lovers.
With the TikTok wrap trend going around, here’s some ideas on easy flatbread recipe
3. Hard boiled eggs
For those who want low calorie snacks and/or a healthy snack diet, hard boiled eggs is the way to go. They are high in proteins, good fat, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. Gym goers would swear by hard boiled eggs as it is the best and cheap source of protein to get them gains, aside from chicken breast. Eating around 2-3 eggs would be the ideal snack portion especially as pre/post workout. Eating the right amount of eggs in your bulking or shredding diet could help with your weight loss or muscle gain progress as well (Ahammad et al., 2021). Consult your sport nutritionist or dietitian to know more.
Aside from the traditional hard boiled eggs, you could try Japanese styled soft egg or ramen egg which taste savoury on the outside and silky on the inside.
4. Yoghurt/smoothie bowl
A bowl of cold creamy smoothie or yoghurt as a snack could definitely hit the spot during a hot day. It can provide enough energy to fuel until your next meal with nutrients and probiotics to aid in your digestion as well. Adding toppings such as nuts, slices of fruits, cereals, seeds or prebiotic powder with complete biotics could further enhance your snack to a super snack. The recommended serving size would be 2-3 tablespoon of yoghurt with a handful of toppings a low calorie bowl.
Time taken to prepare a yoghurt/smoothie bowl can range from 2 minutes to 20 minutes but the basic would be to plop some yoghurt of your choice (greek for extra creaminess) or blended fruit smoothie in a bowl, and sprinkle your favourite topping. Add some supplements such as YourGutt Instant Probiotics for extra benefits and flavours, personally i would prefer mango for extra tang in your healthy snack diet.
If western snacks are not really your type and would crave for some local delicacies, kuih-muih may be one of your choice. Kuih-muih are southeast asian versions of pastries often made of rice, flour, coconut flakes, brown sugar, and coconut milk. There is a huge catalogue of kuih that can be found in your mak cik (aunty) local street vendor or wet markets. The general rules for kuih consuming 1-2 pieces would be sufficient as a snack.
Some of the kuih-muih that would fit for a healthy snack are:
6. Popiah/lumpia (fresh spring roll)
Created by chinese and soon spread all over southeast asia and assimilated into our culture, popiah found in Malaysia are often prepared in nyonya style. Popiah are filled with vegetables such as sliced turnips, cucumber, bean sprout, and carrot with sambal or chili sauce as base and are wrapped with thin skin made of wheat flour.
Popiah as a healthy snack are filled with fibres from all the vegetables used which could get your bowel moving and prevent constipations and provide satiety to last until your next meal. The recommended portion size for popiah could be half to one full popiah depending on the size.
Buying from your local market or aunties from the road side would be ideal if you’re in a pinch however if you’re feeling adventurous in making your own, here’s a recipe that could help you get your popiah fix.
7. Trail mixes (nuts)
Trail mixes are a combination of sweet and savoury from toasted nut varieties with raisins or dried berries. They are packed with proteins, fibres, and prebiotics to fill your after meal emptiness. They are extremely easy to find or to make, just toss a variety of nuts and raisins/berries in a bag and you’re done. Keeping the serving to a handful or ½ cup as a snack would be ideal as a low calorie snack.
If you’re feeling fancy, you could turn your trail mixes into a trail mix energy bar by caramelizing some cereals or rice crispies or get a store-bought one. Try to get bars with less sugar added and have a higher amount of nuts.
Ahammad, A., Asaduzzaman, M., Uddin Ahmed, M., Akter, S., Islam, M., & Haque, M. et al. (2021). Muscle cellularity, growth performance and growth-related gene expression of juvenile climbing perch Anabas testudineus in response to different eggs incubation temperature. Journal Of Thermal Biology, 96, 102830. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102830