Choosing a high-calorie morning snack will help keep you and the kids feeling satisfied – and energized -- all morning long. High-calorie, nutrient-dense morning snacks are especially beneficial for children who are underweight or who spend long morning hours trying to concentrate at school. Whatever your reason for choosing high-calorie morning snacks, be sure to make nutritious choices.
1. Nuts and Seeds
Not only are nuts and seeds rich in calories, but they're also packed with beneficial nutrients – such as fiber, protein, healthy fats and vitamin E. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, 1 ounce – or about 23 kernels – of almonds contains about 165 calories. The same portion of almonds provides 6 grams of dietary protein and 3.5 grams of fiber, which are two nutrients that keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
2. Nut Butters
Similar to nuts and seeds, nut butters – such as peanut, almond and cashew butters -- are nutrient-dense, and rich in calories. Spread nut butters on raw veggies, fruits or whole-grain breads or crackers to make a delicious, healthy mid-morning snack. The USDA National Nutrient Database reports that 2 tablespoons of peanut butter provide about 190 calories, 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber and about 12 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acids – which can reduce heart-disease risk when used in place of saturated and trans fats.
Choosing avocados for a mid-morning snack will give you a boost of energy -- and your daily dose of heart-healthy fats. Try avocado slices on whole-grain crackers, topped with almonds, cashews, walnuts or reduced-fat cheese. Or, top a whole-grain tortilla with pinto beans, veggies, reduced-fat cheese and avocados. According to the USDA, one-half of an avocado provides you with about 160 calories, and is loaded with heart-healthy fats.
Although fresh fruit is an excellent source of calories in the morning, dried fruits – such as raisins -- contain more calories per volume, and provide quick relief from mid-morning sluggishness. The USDA reports that one-half cup of unpacked raisins contains about 217 calories. Raisins are also an excellent source of carbohydrates, dietary iron, potassium and vitamin K. Mix raisins with nuts to further increase the calorie -- and protein -- content of your nutritious mid-morning snack.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 12061, Nuts, Almonds
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 16098, Peanut Butter, Smooth Style, with Salt
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 09037, Avocados, Raw, All Commercial Varieties
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Basic Report: 09298, Raisins, Seedless
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