It’s late at night and you’re hungry. Maybe you’ve had a busy evening and just got home or perhaps you just can’t sleep and your stomach is letting you know it’s empty. So, what are some quick and healthy snack ideas that are good for a late-night snack? Here are some of our favorites.
1. Cereal and Milk
The best midnight snacks are light and easy to digest. Nighttime is the perfect time to nosh on something with plenty of carbohydrates because they’re easy to digest. Add a little protein and fiber, and you have a perfect midnight snack. Avoid heavy meals, especially if you have problems with heartburn.
Cold cereal will give you a little fiber, extra vitamins, and minerals, plus it’s good if you’re craving something sweet. Keep healthy portion sizes in mind when you make your snack. One serving of cold cereal is about 3/4 cup.
Add a little milk, almond milk, or rice milk, and you have a quick and healthy late-night snack.
2. A Bowl of Berries
Berries are some of the most nutritious foods you can find. They’re high in vitamins and minerals, plus the pigments that give berries their color are loaded with antioxidants that might have health benefits—and they taste so good.
Blueberries are delicious by themselves or mixed with strawberries. Raspberries and blackberries go together nicely too. Serve your berries plain, add some chopped nuts or granola, top with a dab of whipped cream, or a splash of almond milk.
3. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Feel like a kid again and make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pour a glass of milk to go with it. But make your PB&J a bit healthier by choosing whole grain bread. Prefer almond or cashew butter? That’s fine, too.
Also, stock up on 100-percent fruit preserves. Maybe they’re not much healthier than plain old jelly, but they’re much tastier.
4. Cheese and Crackers
Here’s a savory midnight snack idea for you. Serve a few slices of cheese with whole grain crackers. Cheese is a great source of calcium, and whole grain crackers offer some extra fiber.
Use a cheese slicer and thinly slice some aged cheddar, gouda, or provolone. Blue cheese and brie are also good, especially with crackers that are slightly sweet.
Keep an eye on your serving sizes if you’re watching your weight because cheese snacks can get high in calories if you are eating big chunks of it. If you need a little more volume to fill your tummy, add some fresh grapes, apple slices, or fresh veggies.
5. Yogurt and Fruit
Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and probiotic bacteria that are good for your digestive system. Start with plain yogurt and add flavor with berries, some chopped nuts, and some honey.
You’ve probably seen all kinds of flavored yogurt cups in the grocery store. Pick up a few of your favorite flavors to have on hand. But be sure to read the labels before you purchase them because some varieties are high in sugar and calories that you don’t need.
6. Turkey Sandwich
A turkey sandwich with whole grain bread and a little mayo or mustard will satisfy your hunger without making you uncomfortably full. That’s because you’ve got the combination of protein and fiber. Add a slice of tomato and a bit of lettuce, and you’ve got a perfect midnight snack.
7. Fresh Veggies and Dip
Fresh veggies are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they’re perfect to serve as a healthy crunchy midnight snack. Any combination of raw carrots, broccoli florets, cucumber slices, celery, zucchini, peppers, and grape tomatoes will do nicely. Enhance the flavor with some veggie dip, lite potato chip dip, a bit of salad dressing, or hummus.
Popcorn counts as a whole grain, which makes it both delicious and awesome. It’s also good for your waistline as long as you don’t drench it in butter. In fact, three cups of air-popped popcorn have less than 100 calories and about 4 grams fiber.
Don’t have an air-popper? You can still make healthy popcorn with just a bit of oil, brown paper lunch bag (easy to find in any grocery store) and a microwave. Just place 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn and one teaspoon vegetable oil in a bowl and mix until the kernels are coated, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Pour popcorn, oil and salt mixture into a brown paper bag and fold the edge of the bag over twice.
Place bag in microwave and cook at full power for about three minutes or until popping slows down to about one or two pops per second. There will be some unpopped kernels, but cooking too long will burn the popcorn.
9. Fresh Fruit and Nuts
Fresh fruits are loaded with flavor, fiber, and vitamins. Nuts add minerals and a little protein, so the combination makes for a nourishing combination that will keep you satisfied so you can fall asleep.
Tasty combinations include an apple with a handful of almonds, a banana, and a dozen pecans, or a pear with a few walnuts. If you’re all out of nuts, you can spread peanut butter on banana slices or dip your apple slices in almond butter. If your almond butter is too solid and thick for dipping, put a tablespoon or two of almond butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds or until it’s nice and melty.
A warm, soothing bowl of oatmeal may be just the thing for a cold sleepless night. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, including beta-glucan, which can help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Steel cut oats have the best texture and flavor, but it takes a long time to cook, so keep some rolled quick oats on hand so you’re ready for a quick and healthy midnight snack. Boost your nutrition by adding fresh berries, nuts, or dried fruit.
The United States Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Service. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, 8th Edition.”
Read full article at the source http://www.verywell.com