Your favorite evening show goes to commercial, and what you should be thinking about is slipping into your pajamas and setting your alarm clock. But sweet and carby thoughts creep into your brain instead, and there’s no ditching them.
There’s no need to ignore those thoughts completely, but proceed with caution. This is how bottomless helpings of ice cream and cookie-induced pounds find their way to your thighs. And everybody knows that hummus and veggie sticks really don’t do the trick for this sort of nighttime craving.
Heading off the Midnight Munchies: Nightttime Snacks That Don’t Do In Your Healthy Day
Your best bet? Prepare ahead of time for nighttime snacks that are crave-worthy and calorie controlled. Bonus points if you can squeeze a serving of fruit or dairy into your snack, too. Keeping your nibbles satisfying but in check (our list keeps the calories well under 200) ensures that you don’t do in your healthy day just before the clock strikes midnight.
Sweet and Satisfying Just-Right Nighttime Snack Delights
- Nutella bagel + moo: Toast half a whole wheat bagel thin, then spread with 1 teaspoon Nutella Hazelnut Spread. Enjoy with an 8 oz glass of low-fat milk.
- Breakfast for snack: Toast up a frozen blueberry waffle and serve topped with 5 sliced strawberries and a drizzle of 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup.
- Sipper and dipper: Heat up a tasty mug of hot chocolate by stirring together 1 cup low-fat milk with 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup. Serve with 5 animal crackers.
- Sweet protein crunch: Spread two graham cracker squares with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and serve with a steaming cup of decaf hot tea with 2 tablespoons 1% milk.
- Simply cereal: Pour ¼ cup chocolate flavored Cheerios and ¼ cup original Cheerios in a bowl with ½ cup skim milk and top with ¼ cup sliced strawberries.
- Quick banana pudding: Slice half a medium banana and add to ½ cup banana-flavored instant pudding made with 2% milk.
- Peach freeze: Slice 1 medium sweet peach over ½ cup vanilla frozen yogurt.
- “Kettlesque” corn: Spritz 4 cups air-popped popcorn with butter-flavored cooking spray and toss with a tablespoon of brown sugar.
The Bottom Line
Ideally, you’d skip the late night nibbling – but when the midnight munchies set in, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Our collection of snacks can curb the cravings and keep your calories under control, too.
Beth Sumrell Ehrensberger is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Master Degree in Public Health. An experienced nutrition counselor, writer and public speaker, Beth specializes in translating complex nutrition information into practical concepts. Beth was awarded a Nutrition Communications Fellowship to the National Cancer Institute, and has worked on the internationally recognized Nutrition Action Healthletter of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.