Every now and then it can take a quick nutritional pick-me-up in the morning to stay awake and alert until lunchtime, and there are plenty of delicious snacks out there to help deliver that mid-morning energy boost. Of course, there’s no need to break your diet by indulging in these delights, and getting a satisfying fix in the morning can make all the difference when it comes to making healthy eating decisions at lunchtime.
Enjoy any of these pre-lunchtime bites for a bit of tasty, satisfying goodness — all for fewer than 200 calories.
1. Delight in the exotic, fruity, and spiced flavors of this simple smoothie from Cooking Light. The Ginger, Berry, Oat Smoothie has an irresistible zing thanks to the addition of freshly grated ginger, and it all totals out at just 179 refreshing calories.
2. Everyday Health offers the simple combination of flavorful mandarin oranges and protein- and calcium-rich cottage cheese for a sweet, delicate morning snack totaling at just 169 calories.
3. One ounce of raw almonds — about 23 whole nuts — makes a quick, easy snack that boasts 6 grams of energy-boosting and appetite-satisfying protein. Enjoy their natural, healthy taste free of guilt; the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that an ounce of almonds contains just 164 calories.
4. The sophisticated palate may choose to indulge with a morning munch on an ounce of brie cheese along with 2 cups of halved strawberries. These sweet and savory flavors together contain 193 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein.
5. Sometimes, a simple snack is the best way to get through the morning. Try enjoying 1 cup of grapes along with an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese — this combination adds up to 176 calories and 7.6 grams of protein.
6. Pecans weren’t commonly domesticated until the 1880s, note scholars at the Texas A&M Department of Entomology, but these flavorful nuts have experienced a boom in the century or so since. If you want a bit of tartness along with a crunch in your snack, help yourself to 10 pecan halves with ¾ cup of unsweetened applesauce, adding up to just 177 calories.
7. For a savory 200-calorie wake-up call, enjoy eight carrot sticks with a ½ cup of hummus, recommends Cooking Light. The snack packs 10 grams of fiber, meaning you’ll feel energized and satiated up until lunchtime.
8. Spice up your a.m. snacking with Eating Well’s refreshing recommendation: Cinnamon Oranges. Follow the quick recipe on their website to get a sweet, citrusy snack for only 86 calories per serving — so feel free to double up on this one! Each serving contains 3 grams of fiber.
9. Shape has a quick pre-lunch fix for those craving both sweet and savory flavors. Its miniature snack salad consists of watermelon, feta, and a bit of fresh mint for a cooling aftertaste. Learn more about the 146-calorie Mini Watermelon Salad on Shape’s website.
10. Tart, protein-rich Greek yogurt makes a great base for granolas and other sweet flavors. Try combining ¾ cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon of honey for a snack totaling 189 calories and containing nearly 22 grams of protein.
11. Craving something crunchy? Try an ounce of raw cashews along with a large green bell pepper cut into strips. Together they add up to 190 calories and contain just over 5 grams of protein. Feel free to substitute your preferred veggies in for the bell pepper.
12. Bring on the sweets! Fitbie’s snacktime recommendation may feel like a dessert-type indulgence, but it’s surprisingly healthy. Simply slice a pear in half, drizzle it with a teaspoon of honey, and top with a tablespoon of chopped walnuts for this 174-calorie delight. Healthy bonus: Walnuts will help you get your fix of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids for the day.
13. Sipping your way to lunchtime can be just as effective as chowing down. Enjoy an 8-ounce cup of nonfat chocolate milk (8 ounces skim milk with 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup stirred in) for a snack consisting of 137 calories and over 8 grams of protein.
14. Let’s face it, no one is ever too grown up to enjoy good old-fashioned Ants on a Log at snack time. Take one long celery stalk and halve it, then spread a tablespoon of almond butter over the halves. Take an ounce of raisins and sprinkle them on top of your stalk, enjoying the rest of them on their own. The snack adds up to 195 calories total.
15. It doesn’t get much easier than this: Grab one medium-sized apple (Granny Smith, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious — you name it), slice it up, and enjoy them along with a tablespoon of rich peanut butter. The snack totals in at 191 calories, offering about 5.5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
17. The Food Network shares an excellent homemade trail mix recipe that combines pumpkin seeds with almonds and sunflower seeds, along with dried cherries and maple syrup for a bit of added sweetness. Each serving of that wonderful mix adds up to just 150 calories along with 6 energizing grams of protein.
18. To indulge in another grab-and-go morning munchie, sandwich a tablespoon of apple butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon between two store-bought whole-grain waffles (offered by brands such as Kashi). This delightful snack totals in at just 170 calories and will keep you satiated with 7 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.
19. Light, fluffy, and fantastic! Skinny Kitchen shares a quick make-at-home recipe for sweet and salty kettle corn. Chowing down on 2½ cups of the delicious stuff will total just 125 calories.