I often get asked about healthy snacks. The real answer is “there aren’t any”. In the early stages of dietary change you can look for ‘healthier’ options such as sugar (all types) free, whole grain etc.
Eat nutritious snacks if you are likely to skip a meal.
Snacking was invented by the food companies in the 1920s to make us buy more food. Prior to this, we did not snack, we simply ate 2 or 3 meals per day. (Sometimes only one meal per day).
If you eat a nutritious breakfast or lunch you won’t be hungry 3 or 4 hours later.
Ask yourself how much of your snacking is hunger (often driven by eating non-nutritious food such as sandwiches at lunch), versus habit. Do you always look for food at 4pm? Are you bored? If it is habit – add in distractions and give yourself positive alternatives (eg: “if I am craving biscuits, I will make a cup of tea/drink water/go for a walk/read 10 mins of my favourite book” etc).
Start by snacking less, snacking with home-made healthier options and over time (6-24 months) reduce your snacking to nothing, or just a square or two of dark chocolate.
I initially snacked on some sugar-free baking, microwaved poppadums or homemade air-popped popcorn, but now find I rarely need it.