Ask my husband to define my eating habits, and he won't hesitate to say that I am a serious grazer.
I eat a little at a time, all the time, and snack throughout the course of the day.
I've tried opting for larger meals to combat this perpetual snacking, but it didn't really work out, and honestly, I'm not mad about it.
I love picking at a wide variety of foods to combat any cravings I may have, whether they be salty, sweet, or somewhere in between.
I'm just a firm believer in listening to my body, especially when that afternoon crash comes around, and my stomach is screaming for nourishment.
Because I eat a lot, and I eat often, I make it a top priority to curve my cravings with yummy options that make my taste buds and my stomach happy.
Here are seven grab-and-go options for smart snacking when you start experiencing that inevitable afternoon crash.
1. Granola Bars
My pantry is readily stocked to satisfy any and all food cravings, but when I'm in the mood for something sweet, granola bars do the trick quickly, and they provide a ton of health benefits.
Lately, my go-to is a KIND Bar because all of their snacks are made from a limited ingredient list (all of which you can pronounce, which is a huge plus), and they nourish your body with fiber and protein.
Plus, if you're feeling ambitious, these staples are super easy to make at home.
As long as you aren't drowning your kernels in butter and salt, popcorn is one of the best foods to reach for come snack time.
It's low in both calories and fat, making this a number one choice for mindless munching.
Season with a dash of salt or cinnamon for extra flavor.
3. String Cheese
Fried cheese may sound good, but you probably know deep down that fried-anything is never really good for you.
Swap the greasy option for this healthy, but still delicious, alternative.
Looking for a little more? Spice up this snack by dipping the cheese in marinara sauce! Yum.
4. Apples and Peanut Butter
This playground classic always hits the spot, no matter how old you get.
The combination of fruit and peanut butter is particularly pleasing for the indecisive palette, and if you're still looking for a little something extra, add granola and a few semi-sweet dark chocolate chips to the mix for a slightly more decadent treat.
5. Roasted Chickpeas
You know what they say about potato chips: You can't just have one, which is definitely a problem, considering most store-bought bags are heavy on salt and grease, with hardly any nutritional value.
Roasted chickpeas are a delicious alternative that are packed with veggie benefits like fiber and protein (15 grams per cup) to leave you fuller, longer.
6. Kale Chips
Looking for that satisfying crunch in your midday snack?
Kale is the versatile, leafy green that can be just as delicious as any store-bought bag.
Drizzle a bunch with olive oil, and massage it in before seasoning with sea salt (and any other spices you like).
Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy, and let them cool before dividing into baggies for on-the go convenience.
7. Protein Bars
Oftentimes, protein bars are marketed as meal replacements, so if you're not really interested in a big meal come lunchtime, these are an excellent snacking alternative to fill you up and fuel you for the second half of the day.
Perfect Bars are my personal favorite because they offer just enough natural sweetness to curve a craving, and the protein is derived from nut butters rather than whey, which can be hard on your digestive system.