Your mother was wrong! Snacking is good for you!

Do you want more energy, clearer thinking and fewer cravings for fast or sugary foods? Yes, please! A healthy snack can do this for you!

I don’t like to say this but, YOUR MOTHER WAS WRONG! A SNACK WON’T SPOIL YOUR DINNER!

In fact it’s the exact opposite. A healthy snack can curb your appetite and help you eat less at dinner. It’s not about living a life of deprivation; there are lots of good foods for us to eat.

photo-1445633743309-b60418bedbf2mom whispering

Think about fueling your body just like you do your car. When the gas tank of your car is empty the engine won’t run.

When we eat, we fuel our bodies. Our bodies convert the food to energy, and our blood sugar tank is full.

Our bodies use the fuel for everything, to think and blink and walk and work. After a couple of hours our blood sugar tank is low and our brain sends out a message for more fuel.

This is the perfect time for a healthy snack! If we ignore that message, we begin to feel tired and cranky and we don’t think as clearly.

We need to fill our fuel tank regularly throughout the day. Licensed dietitian/nutritionist, Julie Whittington suggests “to never go longer than 3 or 4 hours without eating. Our bodies prefer to have smaller, more frequent meals during the day rather than fewer large meals.” This will ensure our blood sugar levels don’t get too low.

There’s more good news about healthy snacking! Melissa Davidson, registered dietitian states that “eating healthful snacks throughout the day can help ensure more healthful mealtimes”.

When we have healthy snacks throughout the day we aren’t too hungry at mealtimes and this keeps our appetite in check.  Today’s dietitian

The perfect snack has some carbohydrates; fruits, vegetables, whole wheat breads or crackers for quick energy.   Adding some protein; dairy, meat, nuts/seeds or legumes will help you feel satisfied until your next meal.

The snack has to be a reasonable portion and under 200 calories. Prepare and package them ahead of time so you always have a quick and easy snack to grab.

Here are some suggestions for home, work and on the go.

  • 1 handful of almonds and a medium piece of fruit

  • 1 tbsp. of peanut butter and apple slices

  • 2 tbsp. hummus and 12 baby carrots or celery sticks

  • 1 container of low fat Greek yogurt and ½ cup frozen blueberries

  • 1 cheese stick and whole wheat crackers, serving according to package

  • 2 tbsp. fresh salsa and 10 baked tortilla chips

  • 1 single serving of unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon sprinkle and 1 tbsp. of chopped almonds

  • 2 cups of plain popcorn mixed with 1/4 cup roasted soy nuts

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread and 1 tbsp. of peanut or almond butter

  • 1 cup smoothie made with low fat yogurt, skim milk and frozen fruit

  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers and ¼ cup of guacamole dip

  • 1 tbsp each almonds, pistachio nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts, raisins, and chocolate chips

  • 5 ounce container of 1% cottage cheese with 1.5 cups of sliced strawberries

  • Half an english muffin and 2 tbsp. of cream cheese

  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese and 1 cup canned mandarin oranges

  • 1 hard-boiled egg and whole-wheat crackers

  • ½ cup of non-sugar cereal and low fat milk

  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks and 1 tbsp. of unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast topped with 1 ounce of goat cheese and small handful of raspberries

  • 1 cup of broth and whole wheat crackers

  • 1 Special K Granola Bar with Dark Chocolate or 1 Kind Bar dark chocolate nuts & sea salt

For some really unusual snack ideas check out this link, Fun snack ideas

 

TODAY’S little STEP: Start snacking! Include 2 healthy snacks in your day. Pay attention to your hunger and fuel your body with healthy food every 3 to 4 hours.

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

 

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