The open pretzel bag, the bowl of chocolates, a sleeve of cookies, a bag of chips-all lethal when within arm’s reach of a hungry person. If you find yourself hungry and looking for a snack, be smart and make the right choice!
Snacking, in fact, can be a healthy way to keep up good nutrition. If you allow 4 to 5 hours between meals, a healthy snack may help to hold you over and prevent you from making a choice you’ll regret. Moreover, fruits, veggies, whole grain products and low fat (or fat free) dairy products will help maximize your nutrient intake each day.
But which snack to choose? For some, the word snacking is synonymous with fried chips, sweets and empty calories. Its time to turn that thinking around!
Start by choosing foods that will help you to feel full. Then follow the recommended serving size and measure out the right portion to avoid over eating. Think about why you are snacking- if you are actually hungry, choose something with protein and carbohydrates to satisfy you. If you are craving something sweet, remember fruit has natural sugars and always makes a tasty choice.
The last bit of advice: do not snack out of boredom. It can be very easy to eat when you are not hungry.
Looking for some new ideas? Here are some quick, easy, delicious snacks for the next time you are looking for a bite:
- Cut up carrots/celery and dip into light salad dressing or fat free Greek yogurt dip
- One apple with one tablespoon of peanut butter
- One serving of baked crackers with one serving of hummus (you can add veggies too)
- One fat free Greek yogurt with ½ cup fresh/frozen fruit
- One serving of nuts (plain, not salted)
- Turkey and cheese roll ups (2 slices of turkey and 2 slices of low fat/ fat free cheese rolled up together)- can dip into mustard
- Any all-natural granola bar
- Small fruit salad– cut up one cup of your favorite fruits, toss together and enjoy!
- Home made trail mix– 1 oz unsalted almonds, 1 oz dried fruit and sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips