You know that time between lunch and dinner? After kids get back from school. When everyone is grumpy, tired and hungry for ‘something’. But dinner is still two hours away. So you open and close the fridge 10 times in 15 minutes looking for a snack.
Yup. That time. That’s the danger zone.
That’s when you find yourself reaching for a bag of crisps, box of biscuits or stopping by the drive through and eating an entire day’s worth of calories in one 15 minute session. Then you get mad at yourself. But you do it again tomorrow.
You get the family to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner…. but what about snacks?
Snack times are when you get the most cravings. And by the end of the day your willpower has reached it’s daily limit . You can’t trust it to steer you away from bad food decisions. You need a better plan.
You definitely need a foolproof way to overcome the temptation to reach for crappy foods in the afternoon before it becomes a habit. Prepping snacks is the answer. And it’s easier than you think.
Our Clean Eating Snack System
I work snacking into our family’s daily meal plans. Not because I have any rules about how often we should eat or anything like that. I just know my family. We all like to snack.
To keep this simple, we have two ‘Snack Boxes’ – a pantry and a fridge box – which the kids know they can go to if they are feeling a little peckish. This is not a ‘grab as much as you want’ box.
A snack is only a snack. It’s job is to tide you over to the next meal. So my kids (and I) get to grab one thing from each box at snack time. Then they wait for lunch or dinner.
What we keep in our Snack Boxes:
- The Pantry Box – this is for snacks that don’t need to be kept in the fridge like: nuts, popcorn, homemade biscuits, crackers, some muffins and trail mixes.
- The Fridge Box – this box stocks the food we like to eat chilled like: yogurt, fruit, vegetable slices, cold meats, slices & cheese.
More Clean Eating Snack Ideas
- 50 Clean Eating Snacks (with a FREE PRINTABLE to Keep on the fridge).
10 Insanely Easy No Cook Clean Eating Snacks
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Cheese squares I cut a block of cheese into little squares so the kids can make their own ‘lunchables’ with crackers, cucumber and cheese.
- Vegetable sticks (celery, carrots, cucumber) and hummus
- Fruit Slices or whole fruit
- Bliss Balls
- Bags of Homemade popcorn (We have a popcorn maker I picked up from the thrift store for $8. Best buy ever!!)
- Homemade Trail Mix (mix of popcorn seeds, nuts and raisins)
- Wholewheat Crackers (store bought). We eat these with hummus & cucumber and cheese slices from the fridge.
- No bake Fruit bars
- Beef Jerky (we get this from the local farmers market on a Saturday)
You can get 50 more Quick Cleaning Eating Snack ideas here
Why Planned Snacking is important?
- It stops you eating crappy foods between meals.
- Actually helps you lose weight as you are in control of the food you eat rather than succumbing to unhealthy, last minute fast food choices.
- Saves you money by avoiding shop stops and takeouts.
- Teaches the kids what snacks are good snacks.
- Allows you to control your grocery budget and pantry stock (no more opening the pantry to find ‘someone’ has eaten the bag of nuts you planned to use for this weeks granola recipe).
- Makes school lunchbox making easy. By the way …. I have a no fuss free lunchbox planner here.
Your Clean Eating Snack Challenge
- Try planning some easy snack choices this week.
- Allocate two snack boxes – one for the fridge and one for the pantry.
- Stock each box with two snack options. I suggest something easy like the no cook clean eating snacks I mentioned above.
- In your fridge box: fruit, yogurt pots (I use the small Systema pots that fit into my kids lunch boxes).
- In your pantry box: Homemade bags of popcorn and Trail Mix
More Clean Eating Snack Ideas
- Three Ingredient Clean Eating Recipes
- Clean Eating banana Pancakes
- Fruit and yogurt cups
- Raspberry Chai Pudding