Snacking can contribute to meeting daily nutrient needs and keeping your energy high throughout the day. However, an unhealthy snack can have the opposite effect. Here are 3 tips to help you build a better snack:
#1 – Motive: Consider your motive for searching for a snack. Are you stressed or bored? Or are you truly hungry and know you have a few hours before your next meal? Understanding your motive requires mindfulness, which can help prevent overeating and unnecessary snacking.
#2 – Mindset: Think of your snack as a way to meet your daily nutrient needs, such as adding an extra serving of fruit, vegetables, or whole grains.
#3 – Satisfaction: Choose a snack that won’t leave you hungry. You can accomplish this by building snacks with more than one macro-nutrient: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Of course, quality is important. Choose unrefined carbohydrates, like whole grains, and healthy (unsaturated) fats, such as avocado or nuts. Fat, protein, and fiber (from unrefined carbohydrates) can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer.
Choose an item from at least two of these groups to build a better snack:
Fruit (apple, banana, berries)
Vegetables (carrots, celery)
Whole Grain Crackers or Toast
Brown Rice Cakes
Nut & Seeds*
*Some foods contain both protein and fat.
Rice Cakes with Canned Tuna
Hummus with Vegetables
Hard Boiled Egg and an Apple or Carrots
Pumpkin Energy Bites (see recipe)
Greek Yogurt with Nuts and Berries
Fruit and Nut Butter
Celery with Peanut Butter