When you’re looking for sweet snacks on-the-go or indulgent treats to enjoy, there’s nothing better than finding foods that satisfy those cravings without sacrificing your nutritional goals. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from, if you know where to look.
Registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN, based in the US offers her advice for treating yourself while also getting the protein, fibre and other nutrients your body needs to feel its best.
"Having a variety of thoughtful options on hand at home and on-the-go helps you meet your nutritional needs at the same time that you’re satisfying your very human cravings for tasty food," said Kirkpatrick. "Adding these items to your shopping list can help you enjoy your indulgences while also knowing you’re choosing foods that are better for you."
Knowing what’s in season helps you choose the freshest fruit that will taste sweet while also being full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Outside of growing your own, find fresh seasonal produce by visiting local farmers markets — or farms where you pick your own.
"Make enjoying fruit easier by washing and storing it where you can easily see it," said Kirkpatrick. "Keeping fruit on the counter while it’s ripening, or at the front of the fridge, will remind you to eat some every day."
Choose sweet snacks thoughtfully
Read labels on snacks and treats, looking for quantities of sugar, protein, carbs and fiber to understand what’s in the foods you eat.
Combine sweets with protein
You can enjoy sweet foods you love and still boost your nutritional intake by choosing or adding protein-rich foods to your treats, like yoghurt, nuts, eggs or peanut butter.
"Protein helps provide longer-lasting energy," added Kirkpatrick, "while also helping maintain and repair your body's tissues."
Bake your own
There’s nothing more satisfying than baking your own treats. Between the wonderful aromas and the tempting sight of fresh baked goods, enjoy desserts you can make yourself while choosing recipes using some ingredients that are "better for you."