Easy Waistline Friendly Winter Snacks You Can Make At Home

Now that it’s darker and colder, at the end of a long wintry day, do you find yourself snuggled up on the sofa, with the TV remote in one hand, and a ‘sharing’ packet of crisps, or your favourite chocolate in the other?

healthy snack alternatives - hot drink and popcorn by a roaring fire

The problem with these oversize snack bags (aside from their typical sky-high calorie content) is that, unless you’ve got the willpower of a saint, getting through an entire pack in one sitting is all too easy – and getting into the habit of this can wreak havoc on that healthy eating routine you’ve worked so hard on!

Or perhaps, like me, you’ve over-indulged during Lockdown out of stress and boredom?  Let’s just say my clothes all fit much more snugly these days!

So what do you do when you want a treat, but a piece of fruit just isn’t going to do the trick?

Finding healthier alternatives to your favourite snacks can help you to indulge in your evening treat, without the high fat and calorie contents!

And without worrying about how long to boil, baste or any other complicated cooking techniques, you’ll find these snacks very easy to do.

Healthy snack alternatives

Here are a few healthy alternatives from vavistalife.com and Dr Sally Norton, NHS Weight Loss Consultant Surgeon.

Healthy Popcorn

DIY Popcorn

Popcorn isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of healthy eating. But we’re not talking about the traditional kinds, coated in toffee or swathed in butter and sugar – some of these bags can reach a whopping 800 calories for a 200g serving! When you take it back to basics, popcorn can be a low-calorie, healthy alternative to snack on.

How to make it: Drizzle a little olive oil in a large saucepan and heat on high. Pour in your popcorn kernels (50g of kernels will make around a litre) and pop the lid on the saucepan. Wait a few minutes, and you’ll soon begin to hear those tell-tale popping sounds. Wait a couple of minutes and when the popping begins to slow down, take off the heat. At this stage, you can take the lid off, but be wary of stray kernels popping out at you!

To add some flavour, sprinkle over some grated dark chocolate, and freeze-dried raspberries for a sweet indulgence, or try peppering with a tsp of smoked paprika for a warming, spicy treat.

Baked Apples

Warm apple pie is a British winter favourite. But for those of trying to eat a little healthier, the high calorie and fat content in your traditional pie-crust spell disaster. But what’s to say you can’t indulge in those same flavours, without the sky-high calorie content. This baked apple recipe does just that.

How to make them: Simply peel and thinly slice a couple of good-quality cooking apples and pop in the oven until browned. When they’re done, take them out, sprinkle with some cinnamon, and serve up with a good dollop of natural yoghurt. All the flavour, and just a fraction of the calories!

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

If your cravings tend to be more savoury than sweet, then these kale chips make a tasty alternative to your usual bagged crisps.

How to make them: Wash and dry one bag of prepped kale. Remove any of the very thick stalks, and scatter the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spritz or drizzle lightly with olive oil (or any flavoured oils if you prefer). Next, sprinkle with some sea salt or black pepper to your taste preferences. Finally, pop into the oven at 190 degrees C, for around 7-10 minutes until crisp. Keep an eye out though, as kale can quickly burn and turn bitter!

Frozen Banana Ice-cream

This ice-cream alternative is perfect for those of you with an ultra-sweet tooth – and a great idea to serve up for your kids as an after-dinner treat! With just two base ingredients, this one’s also something you can whip up in a moment’s notice – we recommend keeping a couple of bananas in your freezer at all times, for when those sugar cravings hit.

How to make it: Pop your frozen bananas (1-2 per person) some unsweetened almond milk (1 tablespoon per person) into your food processor and blitz until you get that ice-cream consistency. For added flavour, try adding some frozen berries, or a handful of dark chocolate chips.

Baked Vegetable Crisps

Baked Vegetable Crisps

I love the idea of vegetable crisps, but am always a little underwhelmed with most store-bought packs, which often pack a little too much salt and oil for my liking. Instead, why not make your own baked versions at home, which help satisfy your cravings for crisps, without the high fat and salt levels:

How to make them: Choose which vegetables to use – carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes and beetroot all make great baked crisps! Peel and slice up enough of your picks to layer a baking sheet. Spritz with a little olive oil spray or drizzle lightly. Pop into the oven for around 20 minutes at 200 degrees C until golden, keeping an eye out to avoid them burning. Take them out and pop onto a paper towel to cool. Sprinkle with your flavouring of choice: salt and pepper, chilli flakes, and paprika all work really well, but feel free to experiment with your flavours. Pop into a bowl and enjoy!

Which one of these low-calorie, healthy snack alternatives would you try first?


  1. Jeanette Leighton
    15 November, 2020 / 4:01 pm

    Some great food ideas its always difficult to watch your waistline at Christmas!

  2. Allison Sherwood
    13 November, 2020 / 8:13 am

    I will definitely be trying some of these

  3. Carolyn E
    12 September, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Nice ideas ! Think I will do popcorn and apples this weekend,

  4. Eva Vida
    29 November, 2017 / 10:20 am

    good ideas.Thank you for the suggestion 🙂

  5. A S,Edinburgh
    28 November, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    Love these ideas! Homemade popcorn is always a winner, and vegetable crisps are a great alternative to potato ones.

  6. Charlotte Braithwaite
    21 November, 2017 / 8:19 pm

    This is perfect!
    I’m trying to do the whole healthy eating at the moment.
    I always forget some healthy eating snacks are so easy to put together.
    Thank you for this 🙂

  7. WhatLauraLoves
    17 November, 2017 / 2:49 am

    I make my own popcorn on the regular. Next challenge is the veg crisps. I love buying pre made ones but it would be great to save the cost and make my own xxx

  8. anthea
    15 November, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    What a lovely tasty lost of winter warmers. I juice a lot of kale but never get round to doing anything else with it so I’m going to try some kale crsips

  9. 15 November, 2017 / 2:15 pm

    Omgh all of these sound mouthwateringly good!! I am definitely making my own popcorn…I love it!

  10. Han
    15 November, 2017 / 11:25 am

    Baked apple is a favourite of mine – definitely must try making my own vegetable crisps, I had no idea they were so simple!!

  11. Hannah
    15 November, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Id like to make my own popcorn. It makes a really good snack

  12. 15 November, 2017 / 6:26 am

    You had me at frozen banana ice cream 🙂

  13. 14 November, 2017 / 9:05 pm

    Lovely ideas! I actually made a big batch of plain popcorn the other night, because I need a more healthier thing to snack on! It’s SO easy to make isn’t it!

  14. 14 November, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    fab ideas here! It can be tempting to just reach for the chocolate or warming winter pies when its cooler, so healthier options is great 🙂

  15. ashleigh allan
    13 November, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Great ideas – just what I am looking for! Baked apples sound good!

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