One fundamental guideline to clean eating is to eat 5 small meals a day. This helps to keep you body nourished and energized from morning to night. I started eating this way a couple years ago and it is now my preferred way to eat my meals. I eat my three main meals a day but also include snacks around 10:00am and 3:00pm. Basically, you want to eat your snacks between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. Some people like to have a snack after dinner. Personally, I don’t like to eat past 7:00pm but do what works for you.
Eating 5 smaller meals a day requires you to think a little differently about food. Instead of planning for breakfast, lunch, and dinner you also need to figure in nutritious clean snacks. This might not seem difficult but from experience it does get a little tricky trying to think of new snack ideas week after week. You might not mind eating raw almonds all the time at first but trust me at some point the same foods will get boring.
To help keep variety I compiled a list of easy to prepare homemade clean eating snacks. Some of these snacks might not be 100% clean. I did my best to choose the cleanest snack recipes I could find. However, they might have a chocolate chip or two or maybe a little sugar. That’s okay. We have to live too, right? In my opinion, most snacks you take the time to prepare homemade are going to be better (and healthier) than the processed junk you find in stores.
When you make your own food you control the ingredients. Right there you are ahead of the game.
Of course, to keep your snack recipes clean you need to use quality ingredients. Here are some easy clean eating guidelines when grocery shopping.
- Purchase organic when you can.
- Choose whole grain over white.
- Choose healthy oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, walnut, etc.) over canola or vegetable oil. Stay away from hydrogenated oils.
- Choose natural sweeteners (honey, pure maple syrup, etc) instead of white sugar.
- Don’t use low fat or light ingredients. These are filled with chemicals, additives, and sugar. You are better off using less of the full fat version.
- Read labels. Most ingredients you purchase won’t even have a label (ex. apples) and if they do they should only have a couple ingredients. For example, the only ingredient in peanut butter should be peanuts.
Keep in mind clean eating is about eating food in its most natural form free of chemicals, preservatives, and additives. Clean eating recipes are prepared using simple clean ingredients. Therefore, most snacks or snack recipes won’t require a lot of ingredients.
The best clean eating tip I can give you is to make sure your snacks are ready ahead of time. I take time every Sunday to prep my meals and snacks for the week. I put together a snack bin so all of our snacks are visible and ready. This helps tremendously with sticking to eating clean during the week. Here are a few posts with more tips and instructions on prepping food ahead of time.
40 Clean Eating Snack Recipes and Ideas
Cut up and wash fruit
Plain Greek Yogurt with Homemade Berry Sauce
Plain Greek Yogurt with Coconut Granola
Cut up vegetables/pita/or wholegrain crackers with homemade hummus
*To keep these recipes clean make sure to pick organic nitrate free meats. The higher quality the better.
Green Smoothies – here are all of my green smoothie recipes and a how to guide.
Cucumber sandwich bites – take two slices of cucumber and place a piece of cheese and meat in-between. These will fill you up!
Guacamole and whole grain chips or pita
Cup of soup. Try Butternut Squash, Mexican Chicken Soup, Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup, or Black Bean Soup. Freeze in single serving portions for a quick snack that will keep you full and satisfied till dinner.
As you can see clean eating does not mean eating the same foods over and over again for snack time. Nor does it mean complicated recipes. Depending on your craving there are many simple recipes and snack ideas to choose from. Again, the key is to meal plan then prep your snacks ahead of time. This ensures you will have your clean eating snacks ready for when you need them.
What are some clean eating snacks you would add to this list?
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