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JESMOD Posts: 51
2/19/14 12:29 P

These are all great. Sometimes I just make regular sized meals, but eat sides separately from the entree to keep overall portions smaller!

2/17/14 7:25 A

The 100 mini meals suggestion is a great one. I use them almost daily to get new ideas to keep my calories low and take in food every few hours.

GENRE009 SparkPoints: (33,762)
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2/16/14 4:28 P

There are definitely some people who are right on the money when it comes to little mini meals. I can tell they must have done Weight Watchers, their's is very wholes some. if you eat mini meals your blood sugar doesn't drop down, and you don't bind. if you don't plan a head, then you plan to fail. Spark has a 100 mini meals you can also check out. And their diabetic diet is the healthiest.

ONESPOTLEFT SparkPoints: (123,311)
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Posts: 3,340
2/16/14 12:39 P

almonds, celery, oranges, berries all added to greens of some sort

TIFALVA SparkPoints: (35,809)
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Posts: 1,513
2/16/14 10:39 A

I really like this post :-) I don't typically do small meals, but when I pack for that throughout my day I find I eat less and am full through the day. My go to's are peanut butter and celery with a cheese stick, piece of whole fruit and nuts or just a selection of raw veg (carrots and cucumbers are filling to me).

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
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Posts: 844
2/11/14 8:38 P

great advice! emoticon

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
2/11/14 7:06 P

I bought a box of single-servings of Sabra hummus from Costco. These are 150 calories and super-convenient - just cut up whatever crunchy veg (carrots, celery, cucumber... i've even used mushrooms) and peel the top and you have a good tasty quick snack that does seem to have some "staying power."

HARLEY882 SparkPoints: (1,050)
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2/11/14 6:26 P

This has been so helpful. I didn't know you could premake oatmeal and freeze and it would actually taste good. I am definitely going to try that one.

2/11/14 1:34 P

Awesome! I have freezer at my disposal, so this idea works nicely. I'm trying to cut down on the pile of daily dishes. A problem I've encountered is double dishes since my boyfriend is eating his normal diet and I need something different. One less pot a day sounds pretty snazzy!!

GLORIAMAJDI Posts: 6,349
2/11/14 1:28 P

I make up a big batch of plain oats and freeze those alone, though I don't see why you couldn't add raisins or other stuff prior to freezing. I also think that if you wanted to cook fruit in with it (say like chopped apples) those would freeze just as well. I guess it depends on the add ins! I eat such small meals that I don't often add much - a serving of oats is very filling to me. I usually know in advance if I am going to eat that for breakfast, so for example, I took one out of the freezer last night that I ate this morning - I put it in the microwave for about two minutes - it was already thawed and maybe less time would have been adequate. Depending in the size of the batch I usually eat them up within a month - maybe even faster, but I would say that you could keep them frozen for about three months.

2/11/14 12:15 P

Hi Gloria,

You mentioned freezing steel cut oats, that sounds like a great time saver I'm interested in! Do you make a large pot then just freeze the oats themselves? Or do you put in the add ons before freezing? How long do you microwave it for? Also how long does it keep in the freezer? Thanks for the idea! I love steel cut oats, but making a serving a day is so time consuming I don't eat them as often as I'd like to.

LADYKOPPER3309 SparkPoints: (19,669)
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Posts: 35
2/10/14 12:53 P

Great question and awesome responses! I now have alot of new ideas......Thanks everyone!

EJMARIA SparkPoints: (1,356)
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Posts: 3
2/10/14 12:25 P

Some great ideas here - thanks for this thread and to everyone posting their thoughts, tips & suggestions. Much appreciated.

AZURE-SKY Posts: 1,954
2/10/14 11:49 A

If you're hungry every couple of hours, you're probably not eating enough protein at your meals. Many people make the mistake of filling up on carbs, but they digest much more quickly than protein, and also cause spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels. This can make you hungry a short time after you eat.

I personally find trying to eat every couple of hours too time consuming. I'm usually too busy to stop and eat that frequently - and I'm retired!

I make sure my breakfast has protein. I'll either have eggs, or fat-free Greek yogurt with fruit, or plain oatmeal made with 1 % milk & add 1 TBSP peanut butter. That will keep me satisfied until lunch without a mid-morning snack.

For lunch, if I'm having a salad, I make sure I have some protein - cooked chicken, hard boiled eggs, beans, etc. I used to eat a salad that was mostly greens & veggies, and I was starving an hour later. Once I started adding in enough protein, the hunger stopped.

For an afternoon or after dinner, I always have some form of protein. Yogurt with fruit, low-fat cheese, an ounce of almonds, hummus with veggies. If I eat a piece of fruit alone, or some popcorn, I'm hungry in a half-hour.

I've found that if I eat adequate protein in my meals, I usually don't even want a snack between meals.

JAIZWAYS Posts: 2,341
2/9/14 12:14 P

My favourite is 6 raw almonds plus a banana
I always carry a small bag of almonds in my purse - if I am caught hungry I buy a banana emoticon (instead of a chocolate bar - my choice in the past).

This has saved me many times. emoticon

ACACIA21 SparkPoints: (83,852)
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Posts: 2,207
2/9/14 8:44 A

I, too use my crock pot more and especially at night. It does wake me up sometimes from the aromas. Its a trade off for good choices to eat during the day.

MAGGIGIRL Posts: 103
2/9/14 7:57 A

Best wishes to you all finding what works best for you!

I used to eat Lean cuisine and it was for sure a step up from running over to the mall food court from work. Not much good at the mall only water is a good choice there LOL). Then I went to a lecture on eating and they said look at all the salt in frozen meals even Weight watchers. SO I quite and started with the crock pot meals. I throw soup stuff in and sleep, or leave and come back to well flavored filling healthy food.

Sweet potato
carrots, onion celery
Beans are really filling too.

At the bulk barn I found a soup mix. beans ,lentils, split peas. It has been handy!

GLORIAMAJDI Posts: 6,349
2/8/14 4:06 P

I eat 6 to 8 mini meals each day, each with about 200 to 300 calories. Whenever I cook, I pack up the leftovers into small containers that can be frozen/microwaved. I plan my food a day ahead so the day before I am going to eat something I just pop it out of the freezer and it is ready to heat when I am ready to eat. I can add salad and veggies to any meal to help me fill up (though getting full is never an issue with me, I am usually too full). Ideas of things to freeze - chili, soups, baked/roasted chicken, steel cut oats, waffles - I pretty much save any kind of leftovers. I also make my own trail mix, eat a lot of yogurt and granola, chai tea lattes, cottage cheese with cinnamon and almonds, kefir, half a waffle with some almond butter, fruit and cheese. The list is pretty much endless. The key is that you can eat pretty much anything that you would for a regular meal, just in a smaller portion. Make sure to get your protein and then supplement it with veggies or maybe some fruit or a whole grain. I don't eat bread (can't swallow well and bread just won't go down) so sandwiches aren't an option, but I think that if you pick wholesome whole grain bread you might even include sandwiches. I've been doing this for about 14 months now and I am never hungry.

MLANCE1 SparkPoints: (3,628)
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2/8/14 11:45 A

This is a great thread. I find that eating things that have a ton of flavor really does help me feel satisfied with smaller meals. For me spicy snacks are good....the small Jalapeno Slim Jims(40 calories) or a few tortilla chips with lots of salsa is a good snack. Plain old bland snacks usually just leave me hunting for something else to eat.

MYOWNHERO Posts: 1,157
2/8/14 11:15 A

I rely on mini-meals because of my schedule so here are some favorites:

a hardboiled egg
frozen blueberries in a jar with 1/3 cup yogurt (they'll thaw by the time I eat it at work)
vegetable soup (I make big batches, put some in a small mason jar and freeze)
veggies and hummus
a piece of fresh fruit
edamame with a bit of salt sprinkled on
pickled vegetables in a jar (I take a fork, too)
seaweed salad (don't laugh....I get it at the grocery store and it delicious by itself!)

2/8/14 8:28 A

Your message has given me the motivation to change the way I eat. I don't have access to a microwave at work so all my lunches have to involve hot water from the water machine or a small blender I can take to work or something cold/room temp. I used to drink peanut butter and banana shakes every morning before work but now I can move that to lunch. And adding veggies to a Lean Cuisine sounds yummy. I'm trying that tonite. Thanks for the meal plan ideas
Vickie Mourer

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,106)
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Posts: 1,169
2/8/14 2:34 A

If you take a cup or so of steamed veggies and mix them into your Lean Cuisine, you'll get a lot more nutrients and feel fuller, for a very small calorie expenditure. Most of those frozen dinners have enough sauce in them that the veggies feel like part of the mix, not an add on. Broccoli or carrots mixed in the alfredo is my favorite.

LOVEISMUSIC24 SparkPoints: (2,394)
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Posts: 61
2/7/14 9:50 P

I don't do it everyday but when I do, it's broken into really tiny meals

Breakfast (about 300 calories)
-Multigrain Waffle with 2 tbsp peanut butter and sliced bananas or Oatmeal topped with fruit
-Black Coffee

Mid Morning Snack
-Orange or Sliced Pineapple or Low Fat Greek Yoghurt

-Banana & Peanut Butter Protein Shake, Salmon Fillet, or Chicken Breast

Second Lunch
-Veggies and a tbsp of hummus

-Cheese stick, pudding cup, 100 calorie pack, pretzel sticks, handful of mixed nuts, or plain popcorn

-A salad, soup chicken, salmon, or shrimp with brown rice

-Pudding Cup
-Frozen Bananas covered in chocolate
-Watermelon Chunks

I would try to eat these mini meals every 2-3 hours. I'm also fairly active so my calorie intake is a little higher but it definitely helps curb my appetite when I eat this way.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
2/6/14 6:15 P

YOU are the only one who can determine if it was "good"!

You've got some good fruits and veggies and proteins and fats in there, so the question is whether you felt satisfied all day, or whether you felt like you still wanted something more. If you still didn't feel satiated with each meal, then maybe think about adding some more veggies throughout the day.

I personally don't find the Lean Cuisine meals to be very filling, so would want to add a big salad (romaine/spinach/onions/tomatoes/mushrooms
/whatever!) to go along with it, or a big bowl of steamed or roasted cauliflower or broccoli or brussels sprouts. It doesn't add a lot of calories, but it adds a ton of nutrients and volume.

Kudos on playing with your menu to find what works best for you! Hope that you enjoyed what you had today (and left a little room for a snack this evening)!

HARLEY882 SparkPoints: (1,050)
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Posts: 38
2/6/14 6:04 P

Well I think I did it right today. I had greek yogurt with blueberries and walnuts for breakfast. an orange and some sunflower seeds for snack. Lunch was cottage cheese and beets and some shaved turkey meat. Snack was two slices of havarti and an apple. Supper a lean cuisine.
Does that sound like it was good?

OWLVR54 Posts: 4,152
2/6/14 12:57 P

These are really great ideas, thanks for sharing.

FITTEREVERYDAY SparkPoints: (29,416)
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Posts: 2,087
2/5/14 5:54 P

Thanks for posting this. I was looking for some lunch ideas and I think this will help.

TMCK-40 Posts: 581
2/5/14 2:45 P

Excellent. and great ideas. Thanks -

MICHELLE73101 Posts: 317
2/4/14 5:51 P

I've gotten really good at the mini-meal! I just put together a daily menu plan that is based on 7 mini-meals - homemade granola, half-sandwiches, small salads. You can find the whole thing here:

The key is to find ingredients that you can combine in different ways to create some variety, instead of having to buy a whole bunch of different stuff. That way you can buy in economic sizes without having to eat large portions just so that you can eat it all before it spoils.

2/3/14 12:37 P

I like to snack on whole fruit or cut veggies. To make it a bit more of a "mini meal" instead of a snack, try pairing with a protein source, like Greek yogurt, cheese, or a nut butter. I also do a homemade ranch dip with sour cream for my veggies. Broth-and-veggie soups are a good one, I like to puree mine so its smooth, warm, and very filling for a tiny amount of calories.

When I get yogurt, I've found that I prefer to buy a big thing of it plain, then I can portion it out and each day decide what I want to add for flavor. Today was homemade cranberry sauce. Tomorrow could be honey, or spices to go with my apple, or a spoonful of homemade jam from the fridge. But it gives me complete control over what is in my food and how much/strong the flavor is going to be.

HARLEY882 SparkPoints: (1,050)
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Posts: 38
2/1/14 10:04 A

That's a great idea! This has been so helpful.

DEZIROSE Posts: 179
1/31/14 8:48 P

One of the main things I do is make sandwich halves. Instead of putting two pieces of bread together for one sandwich, I make two half sandwiches. I can eat them in two separate settings, generally a couple hours apart.

For variety throughout the day, I sometimes make different half sandwiches. I pack a half peanut butter and a half tuna sandwich (and save the other half of the can for the next) one day, and the next day, have the other half of the tuna for one half, and a half deli sandwich.

I also make sure to bring an apple with me to work, and often times a banana as well. So instead of having all of that within my 30 minute lunch break, I just eat a small amount several times a day.

LIBERTYWALK SparkPoints: (8,671)
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Posts: 59
1/31/14 8:47 P

I'm a big fan of mini-meals. I try to always combine a protein, a whole grain, and a fruit or veg. Some examples (most of which meet the above criteria):

1. Greek yogurt, chopped nuts/seeds/granola, and fruit (usually raspberries or blueberries)
2. Whole grain bread (usually raisin), almond butter, and apple slices
3. Oatmeal, peanut butter, and sliced bananas (Spark recipe)
4. Whole grain rye bread, hummus, sliced turkey, and apple slices
5. Brown rice, butternut squash, chopped pecans (with just a touch of butter and brown sugar)
6. Brown rice, baked beans, and sauteed mixed veg
7. Buckwheat pancake, fried egg, and whole fruit spread
8. Whole grain sandwich thins, salmon salad, and apple slices
9. Whole grain sandwich thins, peanut butter, and chopped mix of apples, carrots, celery, raisins
10. Grits, cheese, and a piece of fruit

I recommend making three columns:
Then make a list of items that fit into each category. If you choose one item from each category, you can make an endless variety of mini-meals.

Have fun with it and good luck!

Edited by: LIBERTYWALK at: 1/31/2014 (20:49)
JAWATKINS SparkPoints: (87,418)
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Posts: 3,022
1/31/14 8:13 P

Tonight, I made (for the first time ever) a fritatta!! I used 2 eggs, a splash of milk, about 1/2 cup of fresh spinach (wilted in some water in the microwave), 1/3 cup of shredded cheese, salt & pepper. I just stirred it all up & poured it into a glass dish. I put it in the toaster over (a new Christmas present) for about 12 minutes. It was amazing!! Only 277 calories & 21 g of protein!!

1/31/14 7:22 P

I definitely find that I need to eat far more frequently than in large amounts so here are some of my meal/snack ideas:

Cheese and crackers
1/2 can of Sardines and crackers (I love the Brunswick brand (Canadian) with hot peppers!)
A bag of vegetables (cup of spinach, 12 baby carrots, 1/2 a pepper, a handful of radishes, 100g of broccoli). I eat this throughout the day when I'm feeling peckish without dip/etc
Broccoli dipped in cottage cheese
Sliced meat (Watch your sodium for this one!)
Popcorn microwaved in a brown paper lunch sac for around 1m20s (1tb = 1 cup)
Two tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and 12 almonds
A banana/apple/etc
A boiled egg
Crumbled walnuts and grated mozzarella cheese over spinach
A small whole grain pita loaded with veggies, some sauce and cheese. So many variations for this! Adding leftover chicken is one of my favorites!
A cup of milk
Almond, flax seed, and fruit balls. See recipe here:
Chickpea and broccoli salad with feta dressing. See recipe here:

I'm allergic to peanuts and sesame seeds, but I know a lot of people like nut butter or hummus

CLODME SparkPoints: (5,641)
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Posts: 10
1/31/14 5:54 P

I like to keep the following handy:
* Non-fat Yogurt with fruit and granola
* Homemade soups (you can make them low cal)
* cold oats with almond milk, chia seeds and PB2 (satisfies my sweet tooth)
* jicama, yellow beet, apple, carrot, mint slaw

All of these items help me make better choices most days.

Good luck!

1/31/14 5:44 P

I don't know if this will help you - but it is helping me.

I eat a portion of Instant Oatmeal when I get munchie and it has really been helping to keep me on track. And I hated oatmeal, lol.
Good luck to you! emoticon

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
1/31/14 3:47 P

whole fruit smoothie + a few mixed nuts

apple + almond butter

KOMTRIA Posts: 1,063
1/31/14 6:30 A

hard boiled egg and cut up veggies
1/4 of almonds
Apple slices and peanut butter
Chicken broth with canned white beans
plain yogurt with fruit ( I like Costco's 3 cherry blend)
spinach with feta cheese
Turkey sausage or chicken sausage, furit and or veggies
Turkey lunch meat rolled around a slice of low fat cheese
Fruit and low fat cheese
Roasted root veggies
Turkey chili
Anything in a full size meal can be used if you just cut the amounts down.

TIMETOLOSE2013 Posts: 212
1/30/14 7:36 P

I like to take veggie broth and simmer it with frozen meatballs, spinach and whatever else I can find in the pantry. Last night it was white beans, dried onions and herbs. Thanks for the other answers. This is a great question.

Edited by: TIMETOLOSE2013 at: 1/30/2014 (19:43)
JERALDTX SparkPoints: (28,432)
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Posts: 26
1/30/14 3:03 P

I like a bit of low fat cheese and an apple or pear. Jack Links also makes a low fat, reduced sodium jerky. Add that and some whole wheat crackers to your fruit and cheese and it makes a filling little meal.

Also salad... You can get a huge full plate of salad for about 20 calories... Pick a nice light dressing or make your own and it'll give you lots of fill-up bang for your calorie buck. Add some grilled chicken and you've go a tasty little meal.

SONDRIA Posts: 14
1/30/14 2:21 P

With this crazy cold weather I've been feeling hungry a lot lately (even though I know its just me wanting to feel warm!)

Here are some of the little snacks I've been making to help me feel full between meals

Sugar Snap peas w/hummus ~80-100 calories
1 cup frozen green beans, microwaved with 1/4 cup meatless sausage crumbles and a drizzle of soy sauce ~100 calories
Stick of string cheese- 60 calories
Chai Tea with 1/2 cup skim milk (the milk makes me feel a little fuller after drinking it) ~25 calories
4 hershey kisses (I suck on these to make them last)- 80 calories
2 slices of light bread/high fiber with a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese ~105 calories
1 can of Traders Joes Organic split pea soup (can keep in my desk at work) Most of the time I eat the whole can, even though it says the serving size is half a can- the whole can is 200 calories.
* If you don't have trader joes, you could find a similar brand of canned soup to keep on hand

Since your looking for a full mini-meal just combine any of these together that will work for you. If your not doing vegetarian you could easily add some deli meats, or lean chicken to make them even more filling (I've put some lean honey ham in the split pea soup before its amazing!)

GOHAWKIS1 SparkPoints: (63,078)
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Posts: 2,795
1/30/14 1:53 P

I keep a jar of cruchy peanut butter and a spoon in my desk drawer for such times when I need a boost. Sometimes it's between break and lunch; other times it's mid-afternoon. When I feel the need to have a little something to keep me going, I eat a small spoonful, letting it slowly melt in my mouth to make it last longer. Just that small shot of protein keeps me going.

HARLEY882 SparkPoints: (1,050)
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Posts: 38
1/30/14 11:38 A

Wow thank you so much for that post that will be a great help! I am the type of person that just needs some help breaking things down like that and I like the idea of a little cheese and wine. LOL

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
1/30/14 10:47 A

Hmmm, I would think something like this might work:

Breakfast: An egg and veggie "muffin" 200 or so calories (or overnight oats)
Snack: 1/2 oz almonds and an apple 200 or so calories (or yogurt with fruit)
Lunch: Stir-fried veggies w/ 3 oz meat 250 or so calories (or mixed veggie salad)
Snack: veggies w/ hummus or soup 200 or so calories (or 1 oz cheese & veggies)
Dinner: Steamed veggies w/ 3 oz meat 350 or so calories (or home-made stew)
Snack: air-popped popcorn w/ butter 200 or so calories (or a bit of cheese & a glass of wine)

The idea is to keep each "meal" around the 200 - 300 calorie mark, and to make sure that each one includes protein, fat, and carbs. They aren't as filling if the proportion of carbs is too high. My exception to that is the popcorn, since it has enough fibre that I find it filling (especially with the use of a little bit of real butter for the fat).

Personally, I like to have a lot of veggies because I find that they give a lot of volume for very few calories. I need volume to feel satisfied, so that's pretty much a requirement for me.

I also need a strong burst of flavour to feel satisfied, so tend to include a lot of spices or small amounts of strong sauces.

I tend towards wanting things warm at this time of year, so lean towards steamed or stir-fried veggies and soups --- during the summer, these become salads and raw veggies.

Hope this gives you some ideas!

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
1/30/14 10:33 A

A lot of people rely on snacks (especially mid afternoon) to create a continuous small meal eating cycle.

250 calorie breakfast, 300 calorie lunch, 200 calorie snack, 500 calorie dinner = 1250 calories - this way you are eating small, yet steadily throughout the day.

Here is a list of under 200 calorie snacks you could look at:

Making sure your foods are higher in protein and fiber will help you feel more full, as will drinking a lot of water throughout the day.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
1/30/14 10:15 A

Homemade soup! You can freeze it or put it in a Mason jar with a lid, refrigerate, and consume one cup at a time.

I really like the SW chicken soup that is on SparkRecipes. I also make my own stock and add a variety of vegetables chopped very finely and sometimes a tiny bit of rice.

HARLEY882 SparkPoints: (1,050)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 38
1/30/14 10:11 A

I was wondering if I could get some suggestions for mini meal ideas to eat throughout the day without overeating. I find I am quite hunger every couple of hours and would like to try eating the small meals all throughout the day but not sure where to start. Sure could use some help with ideas to not overdo it. emoticon

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