Ever since the pandemic, people have started to feel more stressed and as a result, eat mindlessly. Being stuck at home due to the virus spread makes food more accessible to us as a way of entertainment in our spare time. However, snacking doesn’t necessarily mean eating junk or food that will spike your sugar blood levels!
Snacks can fit into a healthy eating plan and provide an energy boost between meals if they are planned right. Choosing nutritious foods can help increase the variety and reduce sources of empty calories and added sugars.
To know the right way of practicing it, you should learn about:
How to make snacking a smart habit?
- Have your snacks planned and portioned out ahead of time.
- Keep snacks within the limit of 200 calories or less as this can be a reasonable goal for most people.
- Compare labels while grocery shopping to limit items high in sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.
- Keep your snacking lively by including snacks that contain grains, especially whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
- Eating different combinations of foods can be very satisfying and help to curb hunger. Snacks that include fruit can also satisfy a craving for something sweet.
How to easily implement Smart Snacking?
- Choose different fruits and vegetables, depending on what is in season or on sale.
- Make your trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, unsalted nuts or seeds, and dried fruit. (Tip: portion into ¼ cup servings)
- Blend your smoothie by adding your favorite frozen fruits into the blender with a cup of fat-free milk or any milk substitute (Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Hazelnut Milk, etc).
- Mix 3 cups air-popped popcorn with grated cheese or dried spices.
- Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets.
- Make a dip using low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt or raw vegetables.
- Mash avocado with salsa and eat with whole-grain tortilla chips or spread on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with low-fat cheese, then roll it up and enjoy.
- Cut up fruit to make kebabs and serve with low-fat yogurt dip.
- Slice a medium apple and eat with 1 tablespoon of peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter.
- Mix equal amounts of fat-free plain or flavored yogurt with 100% fruit juice, then pour into paper cups and freeze for a tasty treat.
- Top Graham crackers with nut or seed butter or dunk them in low-fat vanilla yogurt.
- Cut a whole-wheat pita into wedges and serve with 2 tablespoons of hummus or bean dip.
- Make a veggie pizza by topping a whole-wheat English muffin or pita with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, ½ cup diced fresh veggies, and 1-ounce low-fat mozzarella cheese.
- Prepare instant oatmeal using fat-free milk or any milk substitute with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can add an optional ¼ cup of dried fruits.
- Dress up a salad with a hard-cooked egg or edamame, tomato, and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing.
- Whip up a quesadilla in the microwave using a whole wheat tortilla, ¼ cup black beans, 1-2 tablespoons low-fat cheese, and 1 ounce of salsa.
- Build veggie skewers with cherry or grape tomatoes and cubes of low-fat cheese.
As the ideas for healthy snacking are various, you can always be creative with your food by keeping it healthy and nutritious. By choosing to consume healthy snacks, you are improving your overall health, curbing cravings, fighting weight gain, regulating mood, and boosting your brainpower and energy to keep going all day.