Healthy Snacks:  How to Snack Smart

Healthy Snacks: How to Snack Smart

Snacks are an important part of your daily nutrition. They help provide you with enough fuel to perform at your best. It's a great idea to choose snacks wisely. But many foods that seem to be of great nutritional value just aren't. Snacks can fit into a healthy eating plan and provide an energy boost between meals, if they’re planned right. There are ways to snack healthy and smartly. Whole-grain snacks can give you some energy with staying power. Try whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips, or a serving of high-fibre cereals. Bring back breakfast. Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as nutritious healthy snack later in the day. Like a slice of whole-grain toast topped with low-sugar jam. Try a "high-low" combination. Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks. Go nuts. Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small. Try to have more than just one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. Have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Or whole-grain crackers (carbohydrate) with some low-fat cheese (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied. Snack mindfully. Don't eat your snack while doing something else. Like surfing the Internet, watching TV, or working at your desk. Instead, stop what you're doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal. Take it with you. Think ahead and carry a small bag of healthy snacks in your pocket or purse so you won't turn in desperation to the cookies at the coffee counter or the candy bars in the office vending machine. Some ways to make your own convenient and ready-to-eat snacks at home: • Make your own trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, nuts or seeds and dried fruit. (Hint: portion into ¼ cup servings) • Blend your own smoothie by adding 1 cup fat-free milk and frozen fruit to a blender. • Mix 3 cups of air-popped popcorn with grated cheese or dried spices. • Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets. • Roast chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and season with spices. • Make a dip using low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt for raw vegetables. The last tip; Don’t forget to only snack when you're hungry, instead of grazing between meals! Snack Healthy and Snack Smart. Eat healthy snacks.