Why are snacks important?
Snacks are a great way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Eating healthy snacks between meals may help keep you from getting too hungry. When you are too hungry, you may end up feeling tired, irritable and eating more than you need at the next mealtime.
What snacks should I choose?
Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy foods can make great snacks. Balanced snacks tend to have a mix of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and some fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans. This balance of nutrients helps individuals to stay full. Snack foods such as chips, cookies, and candies may not leave you as satisfied and could leave your stomach growling soon after.
What are ideas for on-the-go snacks?
Being prepared with quick and convenient snacks can help fuel your body while you’re on the go. If you have plenty of healthy snacks packed in your lunch bag or backpack, you’ll have something nutritious to snack on when you get hungry. This may help prevent the urge to grab fast food or an unhealthy option from the vending machine. When you pack snacks, aim to combine a source of fiber with a source of protein. Check out the suggestions below and pick an item from each list to stash in your bag!
Easy snack ideas – pick one from each category:
- High fiber cereal (with more than 5 grams per serving)
- Whole wheat pita bread
- High fiber crackers (with more than 2 grams per serving)
- Carrot and celery sticks
- Green pepper strips and grape tomatoes
- String cheese
- Peanut butter or other nut butter (such as almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
- Cottage cheese
- Soy nuts
- Seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds
Example Snack Ideas:
- Nuts and raisins
- Whole wheat pita with peanut butter
- Yogurt with high fiber cereal
- Carrots with hummus
Snacks are an important part of a healthy meal pattern. Remember to pack your snacks before you head out of the house so you are sure you will have a healthy and portable option with you!