Nutritionists' top choices: Snacks under 300 calories
If you love snacking between meals but don't want to gain too much weight, here are a few nutritionists' recipes, all of which are sure to fill you up without packing on the pounds.
Long working hours and improper eating can take a toll on your health. You may start the day with a healthy breakfast and follow it up with a balanced lunch, but what about the evening binge? Often we tend to go for wrong snacks that are high on calories, while snacking out or during office tea breaks.
Your daily diet needs to contain about 2000 calories. So, apart from main meals, whatever you munch on must not only be less in portion, but also low in calories. We spoke to a few nutritionists, who recommended these snacks under 300 calories each -- move on to the following pages for the recipes.
Photographs: Courtesy BoloHealth.com
Consultant dietician Sushila Sharangdhar suggests upma, a common yet healthy snack option. The semolina and urad dal used to make upma are good sources of complex carbohydrates. It can be made more nutritious by adding vegetables like peas, carrots, french beans and sprouts, which are rich in Vitamin C and other important nutrients.
Upma can also be made using dalia or broken wheat -- which is a good source of fibre that is digested slowly -- and makes for a satisfying meal.
- 1/2 cup dalia (broken wheat)
- 1 teaspoon urad dal
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (chopped carrots, beans, peas)
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 3 cups water, boiled
- 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
- Coriander leaves, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a cooking vessel and fry the urad dal until brown.
- Add the chopped green chillies and the mixed vegetables.
- Now add the dalia, salt and water.
- Cook on a medium flame till the dalia thickens.
- Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve hot.
One serving of Upma (with veggies mixed in), weighing about 90 gms, contains about 200 calories.
Nutri veg idlis
Dietician and nutritionist Richa Anand recommends low-calorie snacks like bhel, sprouted mung bhel, or besan chilla prepared on a non-stick tawa. All of these are under 300 calories. One of her favorite recipes is nutri veg idlis:
- 60 gms idli rawa (broken wheat, especially for idlis)
- 50 gms assorted veggies
- 100 gms beaten curds
- Salt to taste
- Add idli rawa to the beaten curds.
- Allow this to stand for 15-20 minutes.
- Add finely chopped vegetables.
- Steam in an idli maker till done.
Serve hot with mint chutney.
Mixed sprouts bhel
Hira Mahajan, consulting dietician and nutritionist, thinks homemade snacks are a better option than readymade ones bought from shops. These are not only healthier, but save money too.
Brown bread sandwiches, kurmura (puffed rice) slightly sauteed in oil with vegetables, and home-cooked popcorn instead of chaats, sev puri, momos or dosas are some of the snacks she recommends. Here is her recipe for mixed sprouts bhel, made healthier with the addition of some vegetables.
- 1 cup (200 gms) of mixed sprouts
- 1/2 cup boiled Kabuli chana
- 2 boiled potatoes, chopped into cubes
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 1 finely chopped tomato
- 1 finely chopped capsicum
- 1 finely chopped cucumber
- 1 finely chopped green chilly
- A pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chaat masala
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Mix the sprouts and vegetables together.
- Add chaat masala and a pinch of salt along with a spoonful of lemon juice.
- Mix it again and serve, or pack in an air-tight tiffin box to carry to work.
Apart from these, you can also try sandwiches with salad fillings, soya khakras, poha, rice idlis, or fruit salads. These snacks will satisfy your hunger and prevent craving and binging on high-calorie snacks.