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4 Healthy Snacks to Always Have on Hand

After sharing her tips on eating by trimester recently, Anita Mirchandani, M.S, RD, CDN, is back today to talk post-pregnancy nutrition — specifically, a few snacks that are great for new moms! Anita is a registered dietitian and maintains current fitness certifications in indoor cycling, kickboxing, group exercise and personal training. In 2012, Anita co-founded FitMapped, a platform to help users find fitness and connect with fellow enthusiasts. Starting June 2014, Anita will be representing the New York State Dietetic Association as media spokesperson. Follow @FitNutAnita or @FiTMAPPED for fitness and nutrition updates.

Whether you work 80-hour weeks, manage a family and a career, or perhaps you’ve just had a baby, finding time to eat right may not be in your favor. Sometimes we just grab whatever we can get our hands on because of our crazed schedules. As a dietitian and mom-to-be, I figured why not offer some healthy snack suggestions so that when you do reach out for them, it’s a win-win?


Healthy Snacks to Always Have on Hand

1. Yogurt. If we could write a book on the history of yogurt, it would be quite fascinating. While Greek yogurt is a fan fave, Siggi’s yogurt from Iceland is making its mark. Siggi’s produces skyr (pronounced “skeer”), the traditional yogurt of Iceland. Skyr is a strained yogurt with a creamy texture and even more protein than other strained yogurts. Siggi’s flavored yogurts have more protein than sugar in each cup without any artificial sweeteners. Furthermore, Siggi’s products do not contain any artificial preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors or colors. For example, Siggi’s Strawberry (14 grams of protein and 11 grams of sugar per 110 calorie serving) is made with pasteurized skim milk, strawberries, cane sugar, fruit pectin (from orange peel) and live active cultures.

2. Hummus. Hummus is a very easy snack to either make at home or purchase. Brands like Pacific Foods offer a line of organic flavored hummus (roasted red pepper, roasted garlic or classic flavored). Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus and are rich in fiber and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (chickpeas tend to be higher in folic acid than other beans), zinc and magnesium. A serving of hummus is approximately 50 calories and if you pair it with baby carrots, sliced cucumbers or celery or even a serving of Kettle Brand Real Sliced Potato chips, you’ve got a complete mini-meal.

3. Coconut chips. While coconut has a reputation for being high in saturated fat, looks like it’s making a comeback in packaged foods — most recently as a tasty snack. Coconut chips are made from the copra, nutritious meat, of mature coconuts and then toasted and flavored. Dang Foods offers snack-sized bags of coconut chips in a few flavors including original and caramel sea salt. The coconut chips are non-GMO, dairy-free and cholesterol free. A serving is only 110 calories, 7 grams of fat (saturated), 11 grams of carbs and 7 grams of sugars. You can add these chips to a yogurt, a bowl of oatmeal, as a topping to homemade trail mix and even salads.

4. Dried plums. Recent research provides evidence that naturally sweet, dried plums support bone health, digestive health and heart health. Also to note, they could help manage weight through improved satiety perhaps by producing lower-glucose and/or appetite-regulating hormone concentrations. Dried plums contain potassium, soluble and insoluble fiber, and antioxidants. In fact, a serving of ¼ cup contains 100 calories, 26 grams of carbs and 0 ggrams fat. In my opinion, an overall smart snack suggestion for just about anyone!

I can also vouch for dried plums for any new mama! The prune gets a bad rap, but it’s delicious (and helpful!)! —Erin

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