Healthy Snack Recipes for Hungry Athletes

STACK Expert Sara Haas offers tasty recipes for both small and big versions of 7 healthy snacks.

To perform at the top of your game, you need an almost constant supply of energy. But when you're busy, it can be tempting to just grab something prepackaged from the convenience store or vending machine. Resist the urge! Here are some quick, easy and healthy snack recipes that will help replenish your energy and repair your body after a hard workout or game.

Each snack below has two options—"Small" (between 200 and 250 calories) and "Big" (between 400 and 450 calories). Let your activity level dictate which size you require. Sports dietitian Leslie Bonci recommends eating 1 to 2 snacks per day, depending on your fitness and diet goals. Check out her video above to learn how to incorporate snacks into your daily meal and nutrition schedule.

RELATED: 5 Filling, Healthy Snacks to Boost Performance

Parfaits

Parfaits

Small

  • 3/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup frozen berries
  • 1 large rectangular piece of graham cracker

Place 1/2 cup of yogurt in a bowl or cup, top with 2 tbsp. berries and crumble half the graham cracker on top. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, 1 tbsp. berries and the remaining graham cracker crumbled on top.

Big

  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. chopped pistachios
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup low-fat granola

Place 1/2 cup of yogurt in a bowl or cup. Top with 1 tbsp. chopped pistachios, 2 tbsp. apricots and 2 tbsp. of granola. Top with remaining yogurt, 1 tbsp. pistachios, 2 tbsp. apricots and 2 tbsp. granola.

English Muffins

English Muffins

Small

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • 2 tbsp. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 thick (1/2") slices of tomato
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil

Toast the English muffin. Spread ricotta cheese on each half. Place a tomato slice on each half and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Top with basil leaves.

Big

  • 1 whole wheat English muffin
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 1 tbsp. BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions and peppers
  • 1 oz. pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place English muffin halves on a cookie sheet and spread BBQ sauce on each half. Top with chicken, onions, peppers and cheese and cook for 10-15 minutes or until muffin is toasted and cheese is melted.

Eggs

Eggs

Small

  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fresh dill chopped (or 1/4 tsp. dried dill)
  • 2 flatbread or crispbread crackers
  • 1/2 apple, sliced.

Chop the hard-boiled egg and mix with Greek yogurt and dill. Spread on top of crackers and enjoy with apple slices.

Big

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 whole wheat pita cut in half
  • 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup lettuce
  • black pepper
  • hot sauce (to taste)

Slice the hard-boiled eggs and stuff them into pita halves along with cheddar cheese and lettuce. Grind black pepper over the top and drizzle with hot sauce.

RELATED: 5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Eggs

Nut Butters

Nut Butters

Small

  • 1 tbsp. almond butter
  • 5 whole wheat crackers
  • 5 strawberries, sliced

Spread the almond butter on the crackers and top each one with sliced strawberries.

Big

  • 2 whole wheat waffles
  • 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 small banana sliced

Toast the waffles. Top with the peanut butter and banana slices. Eat individually, open-face style or press together to make a sandwich.

Bean Spreads

Bean Spread

Small

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla (soft taco size)
  • 2 tbsp. hummus
  • 1 cup baby mixed lettuce
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds

Warm the tortilla in the microwave for a few seconds. Spread the hummus down the middle of the tortilla and top with lettuce and toasted pumpkin seeds. Roll up and enjoy.

Big

  • 1 thick slice (about 1.5 oz) whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup black beans, mashed
  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup avocado, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. salsa

Toast the bread, top with the mashed black beans and cheddar cheese. Microwave for 10 seconds to melt the cheese, then top with avocado slices and salsa.

Quesadillas

Quesadillas

Small

  • 1 whole wheat tortilla (soft taco size)
  • 1/4 cup low-fat refried beans
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt
  • (Optional: 1 cup baby spinach)

Place tortilla on microwave-safe plate. Spread the beans on half of the tortilla and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder and cheddar cheese. Fold tortilla in half and microwave for 15-20 seconds, until warmed and cheese is melted. Serve with Greek yogurt. (This can also be done in a pan set over medium heat.)

Big

  • 2 whole wheat tortillas (soft taco size)
  • 2 oz. low-fat, low-sodium thinly sliced ham
  • 1/4 cup sliced pear
  • 1 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp. low-fat Greek yogurt
  • (Optional: 1 cup baby spinach)

Set a pan over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and top with ham, pear and cheese. Place other tortilla on top and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook the other side another 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cut and serve with Greek yogurt.

Sandwiches

Sandwich

Small

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 2 tbsp. plain hummus
  • 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

Spread the hummus on both sides of the toasted bread slices. Place the cucumber slices on one piece of bread and top with mustard and sprinkled feta. Cover with remaining bread slice.

Big

  • 3 oz. sliced turkey breast
  • 1 tbsp. apple butter
  • 1 oz. sliced sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pretzel roll (about 2 oz.)
  • (Optional: 1/2 cup baby lettuce)

Slice pretzel roll in half. Spread apple butter on the bottom half and top with turkey and cheddar cheese. Cover with remaining half of roll. Enjoy cold or toast it in a hot pan or oven before serving.

RELATED: Fuel Up With 10 Healthy Late-Night Snacks


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: HEALTHY SNACKS | TOAST | CHEESE | GREEK YOGURT | SNACKS | YOGURT | BEANS | BREAD | BERRIES | HUMMUS | GRANOLA | LETTUCE | SHREDDED | CRACKERS