The laws governing the universe do not mandate that healthy snacks should taste bland and boring. In fact, nature seems to take delight in providing us with a wide assortment of healthy fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to satisfy our urge to nosh. If you are willing to experiment, you will discover a new world of tastes and textures.
Fruit Cups and Canned Fruit
When you're on the go, unsweetened applesauce, fruit cups and canned fruit provide fiber, vitamins and minerals and satisfy the sweet tooth. Avoid the extra sugar by choosing canned varieties packed in water, not in syrup.
Whole-Grain Breakfast Cereals
Whole-grain breakfast cereals -- with or without milk -- make a vitamin- and fiber-rich treat. Toss a handful of nuts, dried fruit and your favorite cereal into a plastic bag for an easy and tasty trail mix.
A tasty whole grain, air-popped popcorn is a delicious fiber-rich treat. For a protein boost, toss a handful of chopped almonds or pecans into your popcorn bowl.
Whole-Grain Granola Bars
The crunchy, chewy, sweet and salty taste of granola bars satisfy candy bar cravings while providing some nutrition as well. Read the nutrition labels and ingredients list carefully, though. Many granola bars contain extra sugar and fat for taste.
Low-fat Plain Yogurt
Low-fat, plain yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, protein and B vitamins. Add fresh sliced fruit or no-sugar-added canned fruit for added flavor. For an extra protein boost, try Greek yogurt.
Check out ethnic supermarkets for a wide assortment of exotic dried fruits. These products are chewy, naturally sweet, nutrient-rich and delicious. Eat some dried -- not fried -- banana or plantain chips to satisfy your craving for a crunchy snack.
Raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, broccoli or cherry tomatoes make satisfying snack foods, especially if you dip them in your favorite low-fat dressing or dip.
Frozen Fruit Juice Pops
Make your own frozen fruit pops with 100-percent fruit juice. Add bits of fresh or no-sugar-added canned fruit to your pops for an even healthier treat.
Nut Butter on Whole Wheat Bread
Add banana slices and a thin layer of low-sugar peanut butter to a couple of slices of whole-grain wheat bread. Try one of the alternative nut butter products such as cashew, almond, hazelnut or cashew butter.
There is no end to the ingredients you can combine to make fruit smoothies. Try recipes for apple, banana, watermelon, or chocolate smoothies. Try adding a little cooked oatmeal or banana to replace milk in your favorite smoothie recipe.
- snack image by Silvia Bogdanski from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.