Smart Snacking

As we leave the lazy days of summer behind, fall often brings more hectic days. Students head back to school, vacations have ended and everyone seems a lot busier.  Oftentimes, we are skipping meals and snacking, often on the go.  Here is some advice on how to snack wisely.

Snack Only When You’re Hungry. Avoid the urge to snack when you are stressed, bored or frustrated. ‘Feed’ that urge by doing something else. Go for a walk or do some stretching. Be constructive and clean out that junk drawer! Still want something, drink water to satisfy your urge yet not take in extra calories.

Snack to Fill Nutritional Gaps. Most of us don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits. Use your snacks to increase your intake of the good stuff. Try snacking on baby carrot sticks with hummus or consider celery with peanut butter. Is there a more convenient snack than an apple?  These snacks provide important vitamins and minerals and are high in fiber and low in calories.

Practice Portion Control.  When you have a bit of free time, be proactive about your snacking. Distribute single size portions of healthy snacks into plastic baggies or containers. This will save time as you are on your way out the door each morning, as well as make it easier for you to make healthy choices.

Avoid Sugary Snacks.  Don’t set yourself up for a crash.  Junk food will not help you power through your afternoon. Sugary snacks cause your blood sugar to spike briefly and then drop quickly, leaving you feeling tired again. Instead, opt for protein rich snacks such as nuts.

By practicing smart snacking, you and your family will be less impulsive and healthier for it. Avoiding processed foods and doing a little planning will provide the proper fuel a body needs without the excess carbs and sugar that can lead to excess pounds!

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