Snacking can be healthy… but how?
As we get older, we get busier and often skip meals. Even if you eat 3 meals a day, you may still feel hungry between or after meals. Snacks are something that keeps you going until your next meal. Snacks should be around 200 calories or less as snacks should only be enough to keep your energy up and help you focus on tasks when you are running low on fuel.
Snacking can be used as an effective way to fit extra nutrients into your diet. You can cater your snacks to your personal nutritional needs. For example, body builders may have a protein bar as a snack to increase their protein intake rather than eating an apple. But an everyday person could have a fruit salad rather than a protein shake.
Make snacking a smart habit by:
- Snacking only when you’re hungry: avoid eating out of boredom as this could lead to unintended weight gain. Avoid mindless snacking and only eat when it is needed.
- Having snacked planned and portioned out ahead of time for snacking: packing snacks in advance like cut-up fruit or vegetables, air popped popcorn, low fat cheese with crackers.
- Practicing food safety: keep foods refrigerated or in cooler bag to reduce risk of food poisoning
Here are some healthy snacking ideas:
- Greek yoghurt; 133 calories, 10g carbs, 6g protein
- Smoothies; 300 calories, 30g carbs, 16g protein
- Fruit (apple); 95 calories, 25g carbs, 1g protein
- Vegetable and dip; 110 calories, 16g carbs, 3g protein
- Air popped popcorn; 150 calories, 30g carbs, 3g protein
- Homemade trail mix; 175 calories, 16.8g carbs, 5g protein
- Granola bar; 210 calories, 29g carbs, 6g protein