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The key to healthy snacking is portion control and moderation. Here are five tips for healthy snacking that will help you achieve your New Year's resolution.

Image of a person searching their fridge.

The most common New Year's resolution is to lose weight. Over the next several months you are guaranteed to hear, "I will not touch another dessert!" or "No more snacking for me!" at least once, as many strive to reach their weight loss goals. Well, here's some news for you--not including snacks can actually sabotage your weight loss resolution! 

Snacking, the right way, helps you avoid overeating later and keeps your metabolism in high gear. The key to healthy snacking is portion control and moderation. 

Here are five tips for healthy snacking that will help you achieve your New Year's resolution:

  • PLAN AHEAD. Think of snacks as mini meals and give them planning time as you would a full meal. Having healthy snacks on hand and preparing them in advance will make healthy snacking seem effortless. 

  • GET THE GEAR. Measuring cups, small containers, and snack sized baggies will help with portion control. Plus, prepackaging individual bags of whole grain crackers or cereal is a great activity for children to help them learn the concept of measuring while working on fine motor skills. 

  • PROTEIN POWER! Pair a protein with a carbohydrate at every snack. This will keep you satisfied until your next meal much longer than a snack that is solely carbs. Think hummus and veggies, peanut butter and fruit, Greek yogurt and berries...the pairing possibilities are endless! 

  • TRY THE SEE-FOOD DIET. Research shows foods that are easily accessible are more likely consumed. Use this to your advantage, keep bowls of fruit or almonds out on your counter or desk and keep the less-than-healthy foods out of sight. 

  • STAY TUNED IN. Are you really hungry? Often we are bored or thirsty and wind up reaching for a snack anyway. Tune in and listen to what your body is saying. 

Here are some ideas to satisfy all of your snack cravings while still helping you reach your goals: 

  • SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH. Savor a handful of almonds with a dark chocolate square to give your body protein, fiber and sweetness. Or try Greek yogurt with fresh berries for a refreshing sweet treat. 

  • CRAVING A CRUNCH? Reach for air-popped popcorn or whole grain tortilla chips that have been pre-portioned with fiber-rich black bean salsa. 

  • BE NUTTY. Pair 1 tablespoon of nut butter with an apple, celery, or whole grain bread. 

  • CHEESE PLEASE. Couple cheese cubes or string cheese with crackers for the perfect carb-protein pair! 

  • EGG-CELLENT SNACK. Eggs aren't just for breakfast; they make a delicious snack too. Try a microwaved omelet recipe by mixing veggies, eggs, and a splash of milk in a coffee mug and heating until cooked through!

Caitlyn Ferin RD, LD

Caitlyn Ferin RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Caitlyn graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Dietetics. She has worked in nutrition at Mid Iowa Community Action and as a clinical dietitian for the Iowa Veterans Home and Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center. Her goal is to help you and your family develop and maintain healthy lifestyles by sharing creative and practical nutrition tips.

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