If too many holiday indulgences are weighing you down, you're not alone. Even Santa and his reindeer report feeling sluggish, sleepy and out of sorts after savoring too many seasonal snacks.
This year, give yourself and your family the feel-good gift of energy and focus with these satisfying super snacks. The secret to our snacking: pair one protein source with an energy-boosting, high-fiber carbohydrate source.
For a satisfying super snack, remember this simple equation:
A protein + a fiber-rich carbohydrate = more energy.
For a quick snack idea, kids (and reindeer) love this holiday trail mix. Combine whole grain cereal (at least 3 g fiber) or air-popped popcorn and dried fruit (such as cranberries) with nuts or sunflower seeds.
Slice up celery, red and/or green peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, then pair them with Greek yogurt dip (it has twice the protein of regular yogurt).
Santa's little helpers could use a healthy snack, such as sliced fruit (red/green apples, raspberries, kiwi, green grapes for holiday color) with a side cup of low-fat (1 percent) or fat-free (skim) milk (each 8-ounce glass has 8 grams of protein). Or how about some star fruit as a symbol of the season?
Sure, Santa loves cookies, but we bet he'd love a few whole-grain crackers with peanut butter too! For variety, try other nut butters, such as almond or cashew.
For a healthy snack that's quick and tasty, try whole-grain pita chips with hummus. Add diced veggies to your hummus for flavor and crunch. How about red and green peppers for festive color?
Santa's team needs water to stay hydrated throughout the season, and so does your family. Set up a holiday water station: add kiwi or lime slices and raspberries for Christmas color, and blueberries and kiwis for Hanukkah.