Snack Attack



– Healthy Snacking –

Over the years family meal time has been decreasing while the number of people eating alone has been increasing due to a variety of culture shifts.  Collective snacking patterns include meal skipping and lack of planning.   A 2013 Hartman study found that 48% of Americans skip meals at least three times a week, and 63% decide what to consume less than an hour before eating.  Snacking provides a quick, convenient mini-meal option for the meal skippers and non-planners.  Eating the right snacks at the right times are key components to your success.  Here are some tips for the most popular everyday snacks:

– Morning Snacks –

  1. Yogurt – Choose a low sugar or unsweetened Greek yogurt to get the most protein and add fruit for natural sweetness and fiber.  If yogurt is completely replacing breakfast, add some nuts to extend the satiating power of this snack so you’re not ravenous when lunchtime rolls around.  Plus nobody wants to see you hangry:)
  2. Baked Snacks – Portion size is key to controlling calories.  Instead of a big muffin, choose a whole-grain bagel with a nut butter.  A 200-calorie doughnut once in awhile is ok, but make the most of your morning snack choices work harder for your nutrition needs and overall health.
  3. “Power” Bars – READ the nutrition facts panel!!  Are you buying a power bar, or a candy bar?  Choose bars that are higher in protein and fiber.  Pair with water to get the maximum satiation from the bars protein and fiber.

– Afternoon Snacks –

  1. Chips – Instead of chips, try vegetable chips or pita chips paired with hummus to get protein and fiber.  Change it up once in awhile and try the new fruit and vegetable chips.  Roasted chickpeas are another crunchy, salty snack that meets the need for an energy booster.
  2. Fruit – AWESOME Choice!!  Add a nut butter or a few nuts so you get some protein.  Berries contain the most fiber.  Apples contain a soluble fiber called “pectin”.  Pectin creates a gel in the stomach that produces longer lasting energy from the carbohydrates in apples.

– Evening Snacks –

  1. Candy – Portion size is key here.  One piece of chocolate may satisfy your sweet tooth but if you need more to satisfy your hunger or your need for indulgence, consider pairing a candy like sauce with fresh fruit.
  2. Ice Cream – Who doesn’t love ice cream??  Again, portion size is key!  Instead of two big scoops, have one with some fresh fruit.

Hopefully these tips help you with your snacking.  Next time we will dig deeper into when and why we snack along with what triggers it.