If you're trying to raise energy without raising blood sugar level, try low-carbohydrate, high-protein snacks for you and your family. The protein will give you a kick, especially if you or your teens ones are experiencing a midday slump or crave sweet or starchy snacks before dinner. The low carbohydrate count will keep your sugar levels on an even keel, without the spike that may have you craving more and more sugar or feeling another slump in an hour. Your family may even lose a few pounds in the process.
Eggs carry a big protein punch and help you feel full until your next meal. Make several deviled eggs and pack one or two in insulated lunch boxes. Blend the yolk with creamy dressings besides the typical mayo and mustard for flavor variety. Serve a hard-boiled egg and some red bell pepper for another low-carb snack that keeps your blood sugar down. It's easy to cook a dozen hard-boiled eggs at once and have them on hand. For another option, slice a hard-boiled egg and roll it up in a low-carb tortilla with creamy dressing and lettuce.
Dips and Spreads
Fix a healthy wrap for a low-carb, high-protein snack. Fill a low-carb tortilla with hummus or creamy dressing, cucumbers, black olives and feta cheese. Add something with a flavor punch such as roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.The feta cheese adds even more protein. For another snack, dip fresh vegetables into hummus or creamy ranch dressing.
Cottage cheese is a healthy snack full of protein and low in carbs. Try it with cubes of cantaloupe, slices of pineapple or tomatoes. A 1/2 cup of diced cantaloupe with 1/2 cup of cottage cheese has less than 7 g of carbs and a whopping 13 g of protein. String cheese has between 6 and 9 g of protein and a very low carbohydrate count. Instead of flavored yogurts marketed for kids, which tend to be high in added sugar, stir together a little jam and water and add it to plain yogurt. You can control the amount of sugar more easily that way.
Peanut Butter and Nuts
Two tbsp. of peanut butter has 8 g of protein and minimal carbohydrates. Try peanut butter with celery sticks or apple slices instead of high-starch bread or crackers. It's also an excellent source of vitamin E and has monounsaturated fats, which are more heart-healthy than other fats. Choose a natural peanut butter with just peanuts, salt and no added sugar. A handful of almonds, macadamia nuts or pecans is also a good high-protein snack. These nuts are lower in carbohydrates than other nuts, such as cashews. Add chopped nuts or sunflower seeds to low-fat yogurt for another snack option.
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