The human digestive system is designed for us to eat about every four hours to maintain our energy level. So, it’s not unreasonable to get a little hungry between meals or before we go to bed. Healthy snacking can fit into any eating plan and is important to everyone’s health.
Snacks can supply essential vitamins, minerals, and calories.
The key to healthful snacking is to choose healthful, high-fiber, nutrient-dense foods instead of snacks that add unhealthful fats and calories to the diet and little else in the way of nutrients. A snack with a balance of carbohydrate, some fat, and some protein will satisfy hunger for a longer period of time than food with only carbohydrate or sugars.
How do you achieve this balance? Choosing snacks that contain at least two food groups can provide yummy and healthful snack possibilities.
- Low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup cereal
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies
- 1-ounce serving trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit)
- 1 cup cereal with low-fat milk or soy milk
- A small handful of tortilla chips with salsa or low-fat bean dip
- Fruit and cheese: apples or grapes with 1 ounce low-fat mozzarella string cheese
- 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter on an apple, celery, or carrots
In addition, consider the following tips next time you’re in the mood to grab a snack:
- Stock your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards with healthful foods like fruit juices, low-fat yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables, plain popcorn, whole-grain crackers, and low-fat cheeses so that they are close at hand.
- Carry fresh fruit and crackers and cheese in your backpack or book bag so you won’t have to resort to buying candy from a vending machines when you get the urge to munch.
- Create your own snacks. Mix together one cup each whole-grain cereal, almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds to take with you on your next bicycle trip or hike.
- Snack with a friend. If you’re craving a candy bar or chips and nothing else will do, try splitting a bar or a bag with a friend. That way, you’ll satisfy your craving without going too far overboard on calories, fat or salt.
- Try to brush your teeth — or at least rinse your mouth after snacking to prevent tooth decay.
Checkout these snacking recipes:
Source: The Pursuit of a Healthy Diet