Healthy Snacks for Midlife Women


Healthy snacks are the menopausal woman's friend. By snacking wisely on healthy foods and eating at suitable intervals, you can keep your blood glucose level from plumetting.

When your blood sugar drops, you feel shaky and sweaty. Your concentration lapses and you feel tired, bad tempered and generally fed up!

Menopausal women are particularly sensitive to shifts in blood sugar levels. Keep yours boosted all day with healthy snacks and small, regular meals, and you'll be less vulnerable to mood swings and energy loss.

Even better, you'll be helping to keep menopausal weight gain under control. Well-chosen snacks make you less likely to binge on junk food, and help you adjust to eating smaller portions at mealtimes. Your body thrives on regular nourishment, so welcome those snack attacks, and listen to them!

Healthy Snacking Guidelines

Reach for the fruit bowl when you fancy a snack
  • When to snack Try not to go for more than three hours without eating, so as to keep the glucose in your bloodstream topped up. Make it a habit to have a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon - and don't skip breakfast, lunch or dinner either.
  • Keep a supply of snacks ready What happens when you feel snackish and head for the kitchen or the food stall? You're very likely to make an unhealthy choice, because it's easy, familiar and just that bit too tempting.
  • Instead, have a stash of oatcakes, veggie sticks, fruits and other healthy snack foods prepared and handy in your fridge, desk drawer or bag. That way, you'll eat far more healthy snacks than unhealthy - it really works!
  • Snacks should be small If you choose nourishing foods, rather than 'empty', junk foods with no more nutritional value than their wrapping, you'll be satisfied with a much smaller amount. Think in terms of a palmful of nuts or seeds, a couple of medium-sized crackers, or a small stick of cheese. Food serving sizes are all-important.
  • Variety is the spice of snacking Look to eat a good variety of foods every day - this goes for meals as well as snacks. If you're especially fond of fruit or veggie snacks, go for different varieties and different colours for each snack. That way, you'll pack a great range of nutrients into your healthy snacks.

List of Healthy Snacks

Don't be stuck for healthy snack ideas. Check out this list for inspiration.

Fruit snacks

Smoothies are lovely - a snack in a glass. Try different combinations of fruits, depending on what you have, and add fruit juice, water, or milk to thin down the puree. These are super-snacks, which can keep you going for ages. Try a banana-raspberry smoothie – in a food processor, blend together 1/2 a banana, 115 ml (½ cup) frozen raspberries, 115ml (1/2 cup) fresh squeezed orange juice.

Take advantage of summer berries, which are low in calories and high in nutrients. Mix sliced strawberries with fresh raspberries, and blueberries or blackberries.

Bananas are great portable snacks. If you get bored with the whole fruit, try one sliced and sprinkled with a few chopped walnuts and 1 dessertspoon of plain yogurt. Or mash your 'nana and spread it on to a slice of wholemeal toast.

Thread cubes of fresh pineapple, mango, and apple on to a wooden skewer. Makes a pretty dessert as well.

Dried fruits are an excellent healthy snack, but they're high in sugar, so keep servings restrained. Try a tablespoonful of chopped dried apricots, raisins, mango or peach.

Snacks with bread or grains

A couple of oatcakes are an excellent snack, and the oatmeal will keep you satisfied for a long time.

Rice cakes are light and tasty, but check that they're not salt-coated. Add slivers of cheese or top with hummus or cottage cheese.

Toast half a wholewheat bagel and spread with a little peanut butter or some shredded smoked salmon with a squeeze of lemon.

Warm yourself up with a toastie: 1 slice of wholemeal toast covered with thinly sliced tomato and a few pinches of of grated (shredded) cheese. Grill or broil to melt the cheese and warm the tomatoes.

More healthy snack ideas

Spread mini pitta pockets with hummus and cram in a generous handful of salad greens.

Low fat plain yogurt is a good source of bone-building calcium. Stir in some chopped fresh fruit, or a teaspoon of honey.

You can buy little packs of seeds, nuts and dried fruits - but they cost. Buy in bulk from health food stores and make up your own - but portion it into small pots, and don't let yourself loose on the big container.

Homemade soup is a sustaining snack and very easy to make. Use vegetable stock or water and simmer chopped fresh vegetables until tender, then puree in a blender and thin to taste. Lentils are a great addition.

A sliced or mashed hard-boiled egg, loosened with a little plain yogurt or fromage frais, is a good topping for wholemeal toast.

Popcorn has the potential to be a healthy snack, but it's best to air-pop it rather than using hot oil. Check the pack for salt and sugar content. You may have to look at health food stores to find plain popcorn. And obviously, don't drench it in melted butter or shower with salt or sugar, like they do when you go to the cinema.

Try some of these suggestions for healthy snacks, and see which you like - then add them into your daily menu and enjoy!

Where to next?

Find out how to manage your menopause diet.

Check out these tips to help you avoid weight gain in menopause.

Go to Beat Menopause Weight Gain Home Page. Or go back to the top of Healthy Snacks.

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Midlife Women Need Snacks

"Snacking when you're hungry doesn't cause weight gain; it promotes weight loss.

"It prevents you from overeating at meals and helps you eat less overall."

From: Debra Waterhouse's book, Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell.


Beat-menopause-weight-gain.com does not offer medical advice. Please consult your physician before making any changes to your usual lifestyle.
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