August 26, 2023

Whether you’re headed back to the office after summer vacation, prepping for the back-to-school rush or simply just trying to fuel your growing athlete – filling your day with protein- and fiber-rich options from meals to snacks is the key to satisfaction success! While you may prefer sweet to salty, or vice versa, there are plenty of options in both categories that will satisfy that CRUNCH you have been craving!

You may have been told to avoid your cravings – but what if you could incorporate them into your regular meal plan without the guilt or worry they will throw your plan off track? Keep these top three dietitian tips in mind in order to satisfy your crunchy cravings with nutrition in mind!

• Unlock the key – The key to fueling throughout the day starts with protein and fiber! Combining protein- and fiber-filled choices will help keep you full longer and prevent that feeling of “hitting the wall” mid-afternoon. These two key nutrients also help with blood sugar control by preventing rapid spikes and consequential rapid drops in blood sugar that can often cause you to feel hungry again – even if you recently ate!

• Check the label – Pay special attention to the grams of fiber and protein in your favorite products – from tortillas to cereal or crackers, it all adds up! The daily recommendation for fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men. Fiber not only helps you to feel full longer but also helps with digestive regularity, blood sugar control, cholesterol management and weight management. If you set a goal to increase your fiber intake, don’t forget to increase your fluid intake to avoid feelings of constipation or bloat!

• Crunch away – It’s time to remove the food guilt associated with eating full meals or snacks and embrace our hunger and satiety cues. If you are working toward a goal of weight management or simply trying to fuel your student athlete pre- or post-workout, it’s important to consume regular meals and snacks that incorporate the five food groups and support our nutrition goals.

Here are some dietitian crunch-tastic favorites in the grocery aisles:

• Catalina Crunch cereal – Start your day strong with 11 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber! Made with a plant-based blend of pea protein, potato fiber, corn fiber and chicory root fiber, Catalina Crunch is a healthier breakfast cereal option or a great crunchy topping for yogurt! Or enjoy it in ready-prepared snack mixes with tempting flavors like Creamy Ranch Snack Mix!

• Banza Chickpea Pizza Crust – Frozen pizzas may satisfy salty and crunchy cravings and yet are often lacking in nutrition – but dietitian-approved Banza Chickpea Pizza Crust is here! In ¼ of the crust you receive 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and only 135mg of sodium. Plus – these plain pizza crusts allow you to build your favorite pizza with extra toppings like crunchy bell pepper strips, fresh mushrooms and ground turkey or lean ground beef for extra protein. You can pack in the nutrition while still enjoying a family-favorite meal!

• Orchard Valley Harvest Dark Chocolate Almonds – Satisfy your sweet tooth and crunchy cravings in perfectly portioned on-the-go packs of chocolate-covered almonds! Great for packing in lunches, throwing in your purse or packing for your next road trip – they pack in 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving plus 10% of your daily value of iron and nutrient-dense fats.

• Produce Department: Let’s not forget that you can find crisp and crunchy, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables at your local Hy-Vee! Enjoy bell pepper strips, sugar snap peas, fresh apple slices, crisp grapes and more to add valuable vitamins and minerals to your diet and satisfy your cravings!
If you are ready to satisfy your cravings and take the next step in your health and wellness journey – reach out to your local Hy-Vee dietitian for more information on our Healthy Habits Menu Plan program or our NEW Healthy You Subscription service!

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.