Confessions of a Late Night Snacker: 8 Better Alternatives to Common Snack Cravings

I have a confession — I am a habitual late-night snacker. I know how bad that is and it’s made even worse because I don’t reach for something smart like an apple — it’s always something on the ‘unhealthy list’. I have always enjoyed something extra to eat after dinner while I am hanging out watching tv or reading a book. It wouldn’t be so bad if I limited myself to something small or healthy but that’s rarely the way I go.

I figured out the reason I reach for the snacks just before bed is because I am the worst at making sure I eat. It’s bad really — I don’t usually eat until dinner time so it’s no wonder I am still hungry. Working from home, taking care of three kids — sometimes I forget about me. It’s so bad for me and I am doing some changes now to make sure I get this back on track.

The first thing I am changing — making better late-night snack choices. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a handful of cookies I am reaching for the healthier (& still satisfying) alternatives.

Click through for 8 common (unhealthy) late-night snacks and their 8 healthier alternatives:

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  • Chocolate 1 of 8
    Chocolate
    There are days where a lady just has to have chocolate. My favorite is anything that pairs chocolate and peanuts.
    The problem: To much sugar and empty calories.
    What's Better?: If you MUST have chocolate, choose dark chocolate & the darker the better. Choosing chocolate with at least70% cacao contains less sugar and more antioxidants.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Potato Chips 2 of 8
    Potato Chips
    I have a love affair with chips. The combo of the salt, crunch and endless flavors, I am hooked.
    The problem: Loading yourself with sodium before bed will leave you feeling bloated in the morning.
    What's Better?: Popcorn! No or low butter popcorn will give you the crunch your after without all the sodium.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Ice Cream 3 of 8
    Ice Cream
    There is something about ice cream that always seems to make me feel happy. The flavors that bring me back to childhood and the cold is the perfect thing for me to eat at night.
    The problem: It's easy to overeat ice cream and it's usually high in fat.
    What's Better?: Greek Yogurt! You will get the same creamy coldness that you get from ice cream with way less fat and more protein.
    Try: 7 Ways to Enjoy Greek Yogurt
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Sugar Cereal 4 of 8
    Sugar Cereal
    Usually reserved for the morning, there is something satisfying about eating a bowl of cereal in the evening, with or without milk.
    The problem: It's so high in sugar and eating that before bed, your body is bound to just store it all.
    What's Better?: Almonds! Grab a handful of almonds for the same crunch as dry cereal and the protein will keep you happy until breakfast.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Candy 5 of 8
    Candy
    I am a huge fan of jelly beans and chewy candy. Eating handfuls while I watch tv is a bad habit of mine.
    The Problem?: Sugar overload! Don't let the 'no fat' content fool you, they are still very high in empty calories.
    What's Better?: Frozen blueberries! You can have the same chew and sugar-taste as the candy but you'll get a big dose of antioxidants and not nearly the same calories
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Soda 6 of 8
    Soda
    I have almost an addiction to soda - the bubbles, the sugar, it's hard to break.
    The Problem?: High sugar content, some with caffeine, both can make it harder to sleep.
    What's Better?: Try some hot lemon water! You won't get the same bubbly-texture but this drink can help calm you before bed.
    Try: Hot water & lemon
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Cookies 7 of 8
    Cookies
    I am a HUGE fan of chocolate chip cookies and there are times where I would love to just sit and eat them one after another.
    The Problem?: High in sugar and calories, eating cookies doesn't offer anything healthy in return.
    What's Better?: Whole grain crackers or pretzels. If you're looking for the crunch these will give you that satisfying texture. You can even spread some hummus or use as a dip.
    Try: Garlic Hummus
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Pizza 8 of 8
    Pizza
    Sometimes I crave more then just a snack late at night. If I hadn't eaten enough during the day, my stomach starts growling.
    The Problem?: Eating all that sodium and cheese just before bed is likely to give you heartburn and it's way too much for before bed.
    What's Better?: If you're hungry for a meal-type snack, try a cheese quesadilla. Make with whole grain wrap and use light cheese and you've got a satisfying and healthier snack.
    Try: Easy Cheesy Quesadillas
    Photo credit: photostock

:: What is your favorite late night snack? ::

More on Babble Kids:
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