01 Aug Snack Smart
5 Tips to Pack a Snack with a Nutritious Punch
Snacking can be a healthy habit to fuel your mind and body each day. Choosing to snack can provide you with steady energy throughout your day, help control your appetite, and provide your body with essential nutrients. This of course is entirely dependent upon the snack foods you choose. Here are some tips for planning a healthy snack AND tasty ideas to try!
- Plan snacks in advance. We all know, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is certainly a truth bomb when it comes to snacking. We often find ourselves snacking in between tasks, errands, meetings, etc. so having a snack handy can be a convenient way to fuel up. Knowing that snacks have a tendency to be consumed on the go or at the office makes prep/thought ahead of time extremely important. And before you reach for a sweet or salty treat mid-day, don’t forget to ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” This simple question can make all the difference when emotions are getting the best of us.
- Portions, portions, portions. Snacks are wonderful to tide you over in between meals, maintain stable and steady energy levels, or add calories that your physically active bodies need, but snacks are not to be confused with second breakfast, second lunch, and second dinner. Your overall calorie goal will determine the best calorie range for your snacks based on your eating frequency, but a general rule is to keep snacks in the window of 100-300 calories. More on portions in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!
- Enjoy each bite. Have you ever finished a bag of something while watching TV and snacking…me either. 🙂 Snacking while working/watching/doing/etc. is a tricky habit. If you munch while returning emails, working on a project, or watching a webinar you run the risk of eating much more than you realize. This is called mindless eating. Yup, it’s a thing. Oddly enough, the same rule applies at home while in front of the screen. Stay ahead of this by portioning the snack food of your choice onto a plate or in a bowl. After you portion the snack out, put it away. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Bored of the same ol’ thing? Add some variety by choosing a snack that includes foods from more than one food group (protein, carbs, fat, veggies). Carbs tend to be convenient go-to snacks, but while they taste pretty good and are prepared for you, many carb options are high in sugar, lack in the vitamins and minerals department, and frankly just leave you wanting to eat more. There’s real science between carbs and hunger hormones. Expanding your snack food catalog by combining foods from more than one food group can broaden the health profile of what you’re eating. Try a piece of fruit with a spoonful of nut butter as an example. The combinations are endless and there are some great ideas in the links below.
- Don’t forget to drink up. Our bodies are intricate, complicated, and fascinating. According to researchers, mistaking thirst for hunger is a very common habit. According to this article on this interesting topic of hunger vs. thirst, staying hydrated and being mindful of how hunger feels for you are two tactics to overcome this hang up.
Snack food ideas:
- Fruits and veggies
- Fruits and veggies with Greek yogurt, nut butter, hummus, or avocado
- Roasted chickpeas
- Nut bars
- Veggies rolled up in turkey slices
- Half a nut butter sandwich
- Hard boiled eggs with salsa or guacamole
Plenty more where those came from. Browse more snack ideas on these websites:
RECIPES FOR THIS WEEK