The most common way to calm hunger pangs between meals is reaching out for pre-packaged snack foods. Easy and quick, they save you the effort of going into the kitchen and deciding what you should make. While these quick-fixes may fill you up temporarily, they also end up filling you out. Thanks to all the extra sodium, sugar and preservatives that come along with such snack foods. Even if you do make some snacks at home, you may end up consuming calories worth a whole meal in the garb of a snack.
For healthy snacking, all you need is a little planning. Besides, not only do nutritious snacks fill you up but also keep you feeling energised between meals. Three nutritionists help us compile a list of small yet satisfying snacks that take care of hunger pangs in 100 calories or less. Keep this list of nutritionist recommended low-calorie snacks handy and you won't have to depend on packaged snack foods the next time hunger strikes.
Under 100 Calories
Steamed momos: 60 Calories
Two pieces of steamed momos make for a quick and filling snack, says Kavita Devgan, a Delhi-based independent nutritionist and author. This healthy snack is a great source of fibre and antioxidants.
Check out this vegetarian momos recipe.
Fruit Bowl: 75 to 100 Calories
Another refuelling suggestion from Amreen Sheikh, Dietician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, is a bowl of fresh fruits. The ideal fruit bowl, to be considered balanced and healthy, should contain 100 grams of strawberries, one medium-sized orange and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder or chilli flakes. Sheikh says, "This will not just fill you up but also contribute to your daily vitamin intake." In case you don’t like the fresh fruits just as they are, you can add about 25 to 30 grams of low-fat curd which will also contribute to your protein quota.
From picking the right fruit to storing them correctly, chef Pankaj Bhadouria shares hacks for fresh fruits.
Air-popped corn: 95 Calories
Sheikh promptly suggests three cups of air-popped corn when asked about a quick but healthy snack. The expert suggests you sprinkle some chilli flakes over the popcorn for taste.
Bored of popcorn? Bring in some variety, check out other healthy snacks to munch on instead of popcorn.
Carrots with Hummus
Sheikh suggests carrot with hummus, a high protein snack you must consider including in your daily diet. All you need is two to three carrots cut into sticks and two tablespoons of hummus made with 15 grams of chickpeas and a teaspoon of oil. Don’t forget to season the dip with some salt and your favourite herbs. This quick carrots with hummus recipe video will help you.
Chia Seeds with Milk and Honey
Bangalore-based food coach and nutritionist, Anupama Menon, says a cup of milk with a teaspoon of chia seeds and honey works as a great snack. “You can add cocoa powder to the milk to better the flavour,” says the expert. What's so great about chia seeds? Read all about the health benefits of chia seeds.
Next up is an open sandwich idea from Menon. Take a slice of whole wheat bread, assemble 10 grams of feta cheese, two tablespoons of grilled vegetables of your choice and a dollop of salsa on it. Your open sandwich is ready to eat. A sandwich in just 100 calories? Isn’t that amazing? *runs into the kitchen to make it*
Check out more sandwich recipes.
Calling all yoghurt lovers! How about taking care of hunger pangs with a bowl of low-fat yoghurt. A helping of about 150 grams of yoghurt with a pinch of cinnamon powder makes for a tasty snack. "Yoghurt is high in protein and cinnamon acts as a natural fat burner," says Sheikh.
Spinach with Eggs or Paneer
Sheikh says, take a teaspoon of oil and sauté 100 grams of spinach with the whites of 2 eggs. If you don't eat eggs, use 30 grams of cottage cheese or paneer. And add some salt and crushed garlic for additional flavour and voila! You’ve got a snack which is high on fibre and protein.
Adding spinach to a meal is the quickest way to ensure it will be healthy. Check out all the health benefits of spinach.
Want something light? Try snacking on a cup of makhana or lotus seeds roasted in ¾ teaspoon of ghee. Menon says you can season the seeds with some salt and pepper. So simple, right?
Apart from lotus seeds, the leaves, stem and roots of the lotus flower are also used in cooking. Read about their health benefits and how you can include them in your diet.
One of our favourites on the list is this roasted almond suggestion by Menon. The expert recommends eating eight roasted almonds and to make them tastier, Menon says you can coat or drizzle the almonds with two teaspoons of melted chocolate chips. This will surely turn snack time into fun.
Read more on the health benefits of almonds.
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