Choosing healthier options during a time of increased snacking
We all love to eat a snack throughout the day, whether you're a kid or an adult. But there are some healthy options out there, and Fareway Dietitian Whitney Hemmer has some ideas for us.
• A "snack" typically refers to an ultra-processed, high calorie and/or high sugar item
• "snacking" really means eating between meals OR eating every few hours regardless of the food's health benefits
o Could refer to 6 small meals, 3 meals +1 or 2 smaller snacks, etc.
• People typically snack due to
o Low energy
• Snacks can contribute ¼ of your daily calorie intake – think of that as a 4th meal
• Does everyone need to snack? It depends!
Why snack between meals?
• Control hunger between meals (important for kids)
• Consistent energy levels (3 PM crash)
• Meet nutritional needs – fruit, vegetable, fiber, calcium, etc.
What should I look for nutritionally in a snack?
• Any snack, no matter if it's a meal or smaller snack, should contain a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fat
o Give you energy and keep you full
o This balance helps you eat less at your next meal
o Think of a snack as a mini-meal with at least 2 food groups
• If it's a smaller snack, aim for around 200 calories
• Good time to also assess your water intake for the day
What kinds of foods work well?
• Carbohydrate options
o Granola bars
• Protein options
o Peanut/nut butter
o Nuts and seeds
o Cottage cheese
o Hard-boiled eggs
o Beef jerky
o Deli meat
How to plan for snacks
• Kid-friendly options
• Batch prep options, such as homemade granola bars or protein balls
Email Whitney with questions