Watching what you eat – whether to lose weight or just improve your health – doesn’t mean missing out on all the foods you love. There are plenty of swaps and changes to cooking techniques that you can make in order to ensure foods are better for you but just as tasty.

This means that you can still eat your favourite snacks without having to feel guilty about how many calories they contain. While it’s still a good idea to use the rule ‘everything in moderation’, here are some great alternatives to those snacks you just can’t say no too:

Vegetable crisps

One of the easiest snacks to grab on the go or indulge in when you want some comfort food is a bag or crisps. These may be a tasty snack to enjoy, but crisps are also full of saturated fat and a lot of salt, neither of which are great for your healthy diet.

Luckily, you can make your own alternatives that are much healthier and just as delicious using a variety of vegetables. Simply slice your chosen vegetable – which can be potato, courgette, beetroot, parsnip, carrot or many more – as thinly as possible using a mandolin or vegetable peeler.

Pop your slices in a bowl and add a small amount of vegetable oil, using your hand to mix the vegetables so every slice is very thinly coated. Lay them out on a baking tray lined with non-stick sheets and bake until crisp. You can add herbs, spices or a small sprinkling of salt for flavour.

Banana ice cream

Sometimes all you want is a nice big bowl of ice cream. However, your favourite ice cream comes with lots of calories, saturated fat and sugar, which means you might end up regretting your snack choice.

Try making your own ice cream that makes the most of the natural sweetness of bananas. Simply freeze your bananas and then put them in a food blender to create a delicious soft serve dessert that is just like ice cream.

For added flavour, you can include extras like peanut butter, cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips or other frozen fruit. You won’t need to add honey or other sweeteners as the bananas have enough natural sugar to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth.

Apples and dip

It is so easy to reach for a cookie when you want something sweet or you need a pick-me-up during your mid-afternoon lull. Biscuits are far from the healthiest snack, especially as they are so easy to eat in bulk, which is why a healthy alternative is the best option.

Swap your afternoon cookie fix for sliced apples and a healthy dip, which will give you plenty of natural sugars to keep you going, satisfy your hunger pangs and keep you going until the end of the day. Just slice up your apple and team it with peanut or almond butter. Alternatively, mix your nut butter with some low-fat greek yoghurt and cinnamon, which is a great option for breakfast too.

Pita pizza

There’s no comfort food quite as good as pizza, but this delicious meal is incredibly unhealthy, whether you order it from a takeaway or pop a frozen one in the oven. While a treat is okay every now and then, it’s better to enjoy a low-fat version of your favourite so you don’t totally ruin your diet.

Make your own pizza using pita bread as a base, which is the perfect size for a personal pizza. Grill the pita so the side you’ll be putting your toppings on is slightly crispy before putting tomato sauce or puree, low-fat cheese and other toppings on. Place your pita on a baking tray and cook until hot.

Serve it up with some salad on the side and you have a slightly less guilt-inducing plate of comfort food.

Banana cake

It isn’t just ice cream that can be made out of bananas, you can also satisfy your cravings for cake without eating a lot of calories. Banana cake or muffins can give you a filling hit of sweetness with less sugar and fat that standard cake recipes, making them great as a treat or on the go.

Make your cake batter using mashed bananas, Greek yoghurt, eggs, oats, self-raising flour, maple syrup and cinnamon. Simply mix everything together and bake until golden brown. This versatile recipe is ideal for individual portions or if you want to make a celebratory cake – such as a birthday cake – that still tastes great but is deceptively healthy.