It’s 3 o’clock, what do you find yourself reaching for?
If you reach for chips, you are lacking motivation and/or filled with worries. Not exactly the best snack for a productive afternoon. If you find yourself reaching for chocolate it means that you are concerned about your future health. Although, maybe not enough to put down the chocolate bar, but it is on your mind. If you reach for dairy products or fruit, things are looking up for you. You are optimistic about your health!
Snacks provide 15-20% of our daily calories, which is why snacking seems to be one of the first things to go when you start a diet. Yes, snacking can help us reduce our calories but it is also where we get on average 13-17% of our daily vitamins.
People that snack frequently are less depressed.
They also eat less green vegetables.
So, what this says to me is that we need a little help in the snack department.
The Kansas City Dietitian’s Simple Snack Rules:
- Keep it to less than 200 calories – This allows enough room to get the benefits of a good snack but not so much that you are making it into a “meal”
- Snack with a purpose – Always include a fruit and vegetable and pick foods that have nutritional value not just those that are low in calorie
- Make sure to include a protein or a healthy fat with your carb – This helps stabilize your blood sugar, which is one of the most important things about snacking
The worst snack you can possibly have is the UNPLANNED SNACK!
Plan your snacks into your day. Have them available at your desk, in your car, in your fridge, whatever you have to do just have them ready before you get hungry.
Simple Snack Ideas (No Recipes):
- ½ serving of tortilla chips (yes I’m not crazy enough to think that everyone is ready to give up chips all together, but only half a serving, and add a veggie), a serving of carrot sticks, ½ cup salsa and a cheese stick (don’t forget the cheese stick it provides the protein)
- Avocado spread on your favorite crackers and veggies
- Nuts and fruit (or dried fruit)
- Apple and Nut-butter
More Snack Ideas:
For the Chip Lover:
– Black Bean Hummus and Veggies
For the Sweet Tooth:
– Cake Batter Dip with Fruit