Healthy Snack Ideas to Keep Hands Busy (For Kids and Quitters)

As a former smoker and probably due to being a fidgety person (and spending a lot of time at a desk), I'm always looking for "healthier" snack ideas that will help to occupy my hands. Here are some that work for me…hopefully they will help others that have quit smoking or just like healthy finger foods:

  • Cut up raw veggies (carrot sticks, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, snap or sugar peas)
  • Sunflower seeds (in shell for extra busy work)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Grapes and berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries) — freeze 'em for more fun
  • Apple or pear slices
  • Dried fruit
  • String cheese
  • Cheese wedges
  • Trail mix
  • Raisins
  • Granola
  • Nuts (in shell to keep hands even busier)
  • Flavored nuts (watch the ingredients though…or see footnote below*)
  • Soy nuts
  • Wasabi peas
  • Popcorn (watch the butter and salt)
  • Rice cakes
  • Whole grain crackers

You can combine many of the snacks to create your own interesting mix. Be mindful of the salt, fats, and sugars. You can have too much of anything, so moderation is the key.

*There are many flavored nuts available, however to make your own and control the ingredients used, check out Party Nuts!: 50 Recipes for Spicy, Sweet, Savory, and Simply Sensational Nuts that Will Be the Hit of Any Gathering.

A yummy idea that kids especially are sure to love is frozen yogurt graham cracker sandwiches. Just take two graham crackers and spread yogurt between them. Wrap and freeze.

I've been a non-smoker for years now, but still haven't broken the habit of the hand to mouth thing. Nutritious snacks help me to satisfy that urge without filling my body with junk and adding pounds. (Things like straws and flavored toothpicks also help. You can find really strong toothpicks made with tea tree essential oil and cassia (cinnamon) at your local health food stores.) I also find limited chewing gum and mints helpful.

Since drinking plenty of water is good for you (and can also be really helpful when you're trying to kick bad habits like smoking and poor diet habits like soda), I suggest trying MetroMint flavored waters. There's Metro Mint Spearmint Water and Metro Mint Peppermint Water, as well as groovy flavors like Lemon Mint and Orange Mint. No artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners added.

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