Healthy Pre-Dinner Snacks: What to Eat When You Can’t Wait Until Dinner
When I get home from work, I'm too hungry to wait for dinner… and then I overdo it on my pre-dinner snacks! What are some smart options that won’t derail my healthy diet?
Can't Hardly Wait for Dinner
This completely makes sense — it's the reason they put bread baskets out at restaurants! But since you'll be in your own kitchen, you can stock much better options than dinner rolls. Here are my top suggestions…
Veggies & DipHaving raw cut veggies ready for snacking is a winning strategy. I especially love baby carrots, mini bell peppers, and jicama sticks. I like to keep healthy dips on hand, like salsa and hummus, to boost the yum factor. Not great at remembering to cut your veggies? Buy them precut. And if raw veggies aren't your favorite, roast up a baking sheet full ahead of time!
FruitApples are great anytime — I've definitely been known to chomp on a Fuji while preparing dinner. A handful of grapes or berries is another good no-fuss option. And don't limit yourself to fresh fruit only — freeze-dried fruit is terrific, and even a bit of regular dried fruit can really help to calm down the "hangries" until dinnertime.
SoupNow this is where you can take a cue from restaurants — have a cup of broth-based soup before your meal! Not only will it calm your rumbling hunger, but studies have found that people who start meals with a broth-based soup tend to eat fewer calories in their subsequent meal.
Salty SnacksIf the salty stuff is what does you in, this section’s for you. A handful of nuts has the crunch, salt, and nutrition to help hold you over 'til your meal is ready. A bite of jerky can go a long way in buying you time until dinner too!
A Few Additional Tips* If you know you're always ready for dinner as soon as you get home, don't plan on making something time-consuming. Click here for recipes that take less than 30 minutes.
* Stock your kitchen with time-saving meal starters for easy assembly.
* Cook make-ahead meals on the weekends (or whenever you have more time), then just heat & eat later.
* Have a late-afternoon snack with protein & fiber to take the edge off your hunger.
Chew on this:
October is International Microwave Month. The microwave is also a great way to get dinner in your mouth faster — try this Deep-Dish Cauliflower Pizza Bowl!
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