Healthy Snacks: Tips from Shelley Cavezza, PhD

Boost Your Energy Levels with Healthy Snacks: Tips from Sunshine Coast Functional Medicine Guru, Shelley Cavezza, PhD

healthy snacks - functional medicine practitioner Sunshine CoastHealthy Snacks: Nutritious Options for Adults and Kids

Maintaining our energy levels and staying productive throughout the day is crucial for leading a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, especially in our busy, fast-paced world. Eating healthy snacks is a simple yet effective way to keep our energy levels consistent and support our overall well-being. Shelley Cavezza, PhD, a functional medicine practitioner from the Sunshine Coast, shares her knowledge and expertise in health and nutrition, and her favourite healthy snacks to keep you powered up during the day.

Why Snacking is Important for Energy and Health

Contrary to popular belief that snacking can lead to weight gain, it actually plays a critical role in maintaining our energy levels throughout the day. When you eat at regular intervals, your body receives a steady flow of nutrients and glucose, fueling your body and mind with the energy it needs.

The benefits of healthy snacking are many, as they not only promote proper growth and functioning of the body but also help in keeping the metabolism steady. Opting for nutritious snacks over their unhealthy counterparts can greatly improve mood, focus, and productivity. On the other hand, unhealthy snacking can cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash, which results in fluctuating energy levels, poor focus, and sluggishness.

Cavezza’s Recommended Healthy Snacks

Shelley Cavezza, a functional medicine practitioner on the Sunshine Coast, has curated a list of healthy snacks to keep you going throughout the day:

1. Fruits: Fresh fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, or grapes, are incredibly filling, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help combat fatigue and support your immune system.

2. Veggie Sticks with Hummus: Carrots, celery, cucumber, or other veggie sticks paired with hummus make for a crunchy, satisfying snack. The veggies provide vitamins and fibre, while the hummus offers a healthy dose of plant-based protein and good fats for lasting energy.

3. Nut and Seed Mix: Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds can make a healthy and filling snack option. Packed with healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants, these nuts and seeds help maintain steady energy levels and support brain function.

4. Greek Yogurt and Berries: This delicious combination works great as a snack or a mini-meal. Greek yogurt is high in lean protein, which helps maintain muscle strength and promotes satiety, while berries are nutrient-dense, providing plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre.

5. Rice Cakes with Nut Butter: Whole grain rice cakes topped with almond or peanut butter make a delicious, healthy snack high in fibre, protein, and good fats that help keep you full and energised.

6. Edamame: Steamed or roasted edamame (soybeans) are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, fibre, and antioxidants that support healthy energy levels, digestion, and overall well-being.

By incorporating these snacks into your daily routine, you can maintain your energy levels, improve mood and productivity, and support your overall health. But what if you are stretched for time and surrounded by tempting unhealthy options, let’s check if it’s possible to eat healthy on the job.

Workday Wellness: The Best Healthy Snacks to Keep in Your Desk Drawer

Eating healthily on the job can be a real challenge, especially when you’re stretched for time or surrounded by tempting unhealthy options. However, many nutritious snacks require minimal prep and don’t spoil easily, making them ideal to store in your desk drawer.

Here is a selection of shelf-stable, non-perishable, healthy snacks that are perfect for your office stash:

1. Rice cakes or crackers: These are an excellent base for all sorts of toppings, like avocado, almond butter, or tuna.

2. Nut and seed mix: Create your own mix from your favourite raw, unsalted nuts and seeds. These healthy fats provide long-lasting energy, helping to prevent that pesky afternoon slump.

3. Dark chocolate: Choosing dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (70% or above) provides a small dose of antioxidants and may help to satisfy sweet cravings.

To make the most of your healthy office snacking, exercise portion control by using small containers, bags, or cups, and practice mindful eating by taking breaks and fully enjoying your snack, away from distractions.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

It’s essential to establish healthy snacking habits for children too, because these play a significant role in their growth and development. In comparison to sugary treats and processed foods, nutritional snacks provide kids with energy, vitamins, minerals, and brain-boosting nutrients they need to concentrate, learn, and develop their body and mind.

Here’s a list of kid-friendly, nutritious snack options, along with some ideas for making them extra appealing to younger tastes:

1. Fruit skewers: Thread pieces of fresh fruit, like kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, and grapes, onto wooden skewers for a fun and colourful snack. You can also include chunks of organic cheese for added protein and flavour.

2. Veggie sticks and hummus: Cut up rainbow-coloured vegetables, such as carrot, cucumber, capsicum, and celery, and serve them with a side of creamy hummus for a protein-packed dip.

3. Trail mix: Mix together a combination of raw unsalted nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for a nutrient-dense snack that will energise little bodies. Be sure to check your school’s nut policy before sending this snack to school.

4. Whole-grain crackers with avocado: Spread whole-grain crackers with mashed avocado for a creamy and vitamin-rich topping. Add a few cherry tomatoes or a slice of cheese for extra yumminess.

5. Yoghurt parfait: Layer plain yoghurt with fruit, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of muesli for a calcium-rich, healthy dessert alternative.

When it comes to incorporating healthy snacks into your child’s lunchbox or for after-school treats, think about combining different food groups for maximum nutrition and variety. Bonus points for making the snacks visually appealing by using fun shapes, colours, and presentation ideas.

Experimenting with Healthy Snack Recipes

Healthy eating doesn’t mean a tasteless or boring diet. On the contrary, finding and trying out new healthy snack recipes can add excitement and variety to your daily snack routine. By experimenting with different ingredients and combinations, you’ll never get bored of eating the same old stuff, and snacking will feel more like a fun and guilt-free experience than a chore.

To start you off on this snacking adventure, here’s a super simple and quick snack recipe that’s not only delicious but also packs a nutritious punch.

1. Combine 1 cup of organic rolled oats, ½ cup of organic almond butter, ¼ cup of honey, and ¼ cup of your choice of add-ins (chia seeds, chopped nuts, etc.)
2. Roll into bite-sized balls and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before enjoying.
3. Store remainder in an airtight container in the fridge.

Incorporating healthy snacking habits into your daily routine can contribute significantly to your energy levels, mood, and productivity. By following Shelley Cavezza’s expert recommendations and exploring new recipes and snack ideas, you can make healthier, more mindful choices for both yourself and your family. Share your favourite healthy snacks and recipe ideas on Shelley Cavezza’s social media channels to inspire others on their own healthy snacking journey!