Everyone needs a little downtime to kick-back and relax. Sometimes being a couch potato for a little while is just what you need. Maybe you want to relax in front of the TV and watch your favorite show or sporting event. It seems like watching TV and snacking go hand and hand, but allowing yourself some time to be a couch potato does not mean you have to reach for unhealthy snacks. Switch out the potatoes chips and ice cream for something better for you. There are plenty of foods to eat, which are quick to prepare, healthy and satisfy that snacking urge. Try some of the 10 healthy snack ideas for couch potatoes below.
1. Roasted Chickpeas
This crunchy and easy to make snack is a good alternative to munching on nuts. Although nuts can also be a healthy snack, they can be high in calories. Roasted chickpeas have fewer calories per ounce than many types of nuts and are high in fiber and folic acid. In addition to protein, roasted chickpeas are high in zinc, iron and magnesium. Sprinkle a little olive oil and whatever seasoning you like, such as cilantro, pepper or chipotle powder and bake for about 15 minutes or until crunchy.
2. Frozen Grapes and Blueberries
Everyone knows fruit makes a healthy snack. Grapes and blueberries both contain vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin K. They also contain fiber. According to the USDA, blueberries are also ranked as the number one fruit containing antioxidants. Try something a little different. Put some in the freezer and take them out when you’re ready to snack. Frozen grapes and blueberries make a cool and low calorie snack. Plus preparation can’t get much easier.
3. Mini Flatbread Pizzas
If pizza is your favorite snack while watching TV, you’re probably not alone. Try a healthier version of pizza and reduce calories using flatbread instead of traditional pizza crust. There are several varieties of flatbread including whole wheat and multigrain, which also increases the amount of fiber in your pizza. Consider using low fat cheese and toppings, such as fresh mushrooms, spinach and green peppers.
4. Seared Fruit Kabobs
Putting a new twist on a healthy snack can make it fun. Seared fruit kabobs provide nutritional benefits, such as vitamins C and vitamin A and they are a different way to enjoy fruit. Use chunks of pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberries or any of your favorite fruits. Brush with butter or olive oil and place the kabob on the grill for about a minute on each side. Don’t overcook or fruit will become too mushy.
5. Kale Chips
If you are craving a salty snack, don’t grab a bag of potato chips. Kale chips are a healthy option and they contain nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B2, B6 and vitamin C. You can buy kale chips or make your own at home. Mix kale leafs with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place kale on baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Bake at about 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until crisp.
Edamame is a healthy snack and a great finger food. It is low in fat and high in vitamin A. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and fiber. Edamame can be boiled and seasoned to taste or eaten raw for a crunchy snack.
7. Yogurt Covered Frozen Banana
If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth and want something healthier than cookies or ice cream, try a yogurt covered frozen banana. Bananas have vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps fill you up. Covered with yogurt, you get the added benefit of protein and calcium. Plus it makes a sweet, refreshing snack.
8. Healthier Spinach Dip and Whole Wheat Crackers
Crackers and dip are a favorite couch potato snack for some, but dips can be unhealthy and loaded with calories. It’s possible to still enjoy dips without the guilt. Many types of dips use sour cream as their base, which is high in both fat and calories. Save half the calories and almost all the fat by substituting yogurt for sour cream in favorite dips, such as spinach dip.
9. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Baked sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular French fries. The combination of salty and sweet may be just what you’re craving. Baked sweet potato fries are high in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. If you want to add more fiber to your diet, leave the skins on the potatoes.
10. Asparagus and Roast Beef Rollups
Take a little asparagus and wrap a piece of lean roast beef around it and what do you get? You get a crunchy, quick snack high in protein. Asparagus is high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and minerals including selenium and zinc. Lean roast beef wrapped around asparagus provides protein and helps satisfy your hunger.
Snacking can be beneficial for your health and for weight control. According to Mayo Clinic, eating healthy snacks between meals can keep you from binge eating and satisfy cravings. Just remember to snack in moderation and add regular exercise to your day. So go ahead, allow yourself a little time to be couch potato and snack without the guilt.