HEALTHY SNACKING FOR MUMS:
SNACKS can be such a minefield for mums. What type of snacks, when to have them, store brought or home made, what ingredients should I be looking for….???? For many mums snacking and choosing the right snacks can be so difficult. I know when I had my daughter Sofia, snacking and choosing the wrong snacks became a terrible habit for me and really in my opinion was one of the major causes to my 25kg weight gain.
Being tired and exhausted I would find myself by mid morning craving sugar. So I would grab something sweet with my coffee, like a pastry or store brought muffin. All of a sudden I got a burst of energy and felt great again but within an hour or so I found myself feeling tired and my sugar levels low. So it would not take me long to grab something sweet again, a biscuit or a piece of chocolate. I would tell myself it was only one (but on some days one lead to two or three and it all began to add up)! By mid afternoon the craving were back. It became a vicious daily cycle that was hard to break. I know there are many mums out there who probably can relate/or have related to this. You maybe struggling with this cycle at the present time.
Many of you may have already read my first blog I wrote a few month back for New Mums Tips on my personal journey into whole foods and clean eating after finding myself 25kg over weight and suffering from a host of other health issues. http://www.newmumtips.com.au/body-image-new-mum/
For me a big focus on my new healthy journey was finding out how to control my constant snacking, diminishing my sugar craving and having more stable energy throughout the day. I do believe snacking is not a bad thing, but its about choosing the right snacks! For many mums having a mid morning and afternoon snack when you are busy running around with your little ones is essential. It ensures you keep you energy levels up and will also help to not over eating or grabbing the wrong foods at lunch/dinner time because you are starving and have no energy.
Keeping up your water throughout the day is also a key essential to ensuring you keep energy levels up and this will also help you not over snack. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. This will also give you an indication of how much you have drunk and how much more you need to be drink in your day. I recommend drinking up to 2 litres of water per day for optimal health and vitality.
These are my top tips to snacking right.
Top Snack Tips:
Firstly always start your day with a nutritious wholesome breakfast, this will set you up for the whole day and certainly ensure by mid morning you are not starving or have low blood sugar levels. I truly believe in the old saying breakfast is the most important breakfast of the day. Ensure your breakfast has a good mix of protein, good fats and high fibre carbohydrates. Try homemade muesli, with some organic natural yogurt, homemade almond milk and fresh berries, or a green smoothie, or a smoothie bowl topped with superfoods.
Try and avoid most store brought snacks, pre-packed foods are often packed full of refined and over processed ingredients (such as refined sugars and flours), which means they are depleted of any real goodness (you are not nourishing your body). Therefore you find yourself hungry again and very quickly reaching for the next quick fix. If you are buying something that is store brought (and there are some wonderful whole food products available now), I suggest your read the ingredients, do you recognize the ingredients, are they unrefined and are they made from whole food ingredients?
Making your own healthy snacks is really my Top Tip. Spend sometime in the weekend making and preparing your snacks for the week. By making your own snacks it ensures you know exactly what goes in them (using whole food ingredients) and are packed full of goodness. This also allows you to get your children involved in helping. It teachers them about healthy food options and eating. Fun for everyone!
By having your homemade snacks readily available you can pack your own healthy snacks (and for the children) before you head out the door. Saving on the budget also.
Sofia making homemade healthy hot cross buns
Ensure your snacks are packed full of whole food ingredients. A good combination of high fibre carbohydrates (especially soluble), organic lean protein and a little quality fats in your snacks is important. This will increase your energy, blood sugar levels will stabilize (meaning a more constant and steady supply of energy throughout the day) and keep your fuller longer. Some of my favourite snacks that I love:
Homemade granola or muesli bar
Homemade healthy loafs and muffins
Homemade cracker and hummus
Homemade healthy biscuits
Buys a couple of whole food recipe books which have lots of healthy snack options. Such as my Reveal Yourself Recipe e-books. http://revealyourself.co.nz/?page_id=1131. This will get you inspired and also show you that making your own snacks is not hard or time consuming.
A couple of Reveal Yourself Favourite Snacks:
Oat Berry Banana Biscuits:
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 small tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1 tsp organic vanilla essence
1 mashed banana
1 cup frozen blueberries or raspberries
1 free range egg
1 1/2 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
Dark chocolate chips or buttons (optional)
Pre heat oven 180° and line a baking tray with baking paper
Add all the ingredients except the coconut sugar into a bowl and mix well
Place spoonful mixture onto the baking paper and the sprinkle coconut sugar over the biscuits before you place in the over
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until golden
Note: You can make your own buckwheat flour by placing buckwheat groats into your food processor and processing until creates a fine flour.
Best stored in the fridge.
Vanilla Bliss Balls:
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp organic natural peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until comes together
Roll into balls
Note: Store in fridge up to about 5 days
I hope this has given you some tips and guidelines to healthy snacking. Remember to share all your new delicious recipes with your coffee or play groups.
LIKE my facebbok page for lots of daily inspiration and recipes https://www.facebook.com/revealyourself and visit my website for lots of healthy snack recipes www.revealyourself.co.nz
Christina Leon xx