Don’t snack between meals! I remember as a kid constantly being told not to snack or I wouldn’t eat my supper. I tell my kids not to snack too close to supper and when their craving becomes too intense they should nibble on healthy snacks such as fruit and veg. Perhaps being puritans about snacking is unrealistic and perhaps there is a middle route.
There are two main reasons that we may indulge in a little nibble between meals. The first is obviously because we are hungry and need an energy boost, the second is because we crave something to eat, it is more about the want rather than the need. There is also a careful balancing act that takes place, we want to eat enough so that we are satisfied but not too much so that we spoil our appetite for our next meal or become obese.
If you are going to snack then here are some great healthy options:
- Fruit or vegetables – Packed with vitamins they are a healthy option. For those people who like the mechanics of eating and holding the food, then cutting the fruit and vegetables into pieces makes them easier to handle and is a better activity. The downside is that you can’t store them indefinitely in your bag and the discovery of a long forgotten banana in the bottom of your bag is not pleasant!
- Granola bars – Easy to carry around and really convenient. They are often packed with energy and goodness. Just read the label to check what is in them and steer away from the chocolate variety, they are nothing more than a chocolate bar in disguise!
- Baked snacks – This segment of the market is really growing and includes pretzels, crackers and other baked snacks. They give you the feeling of eating a bag of chips but as they are not fried they are much healthier. Definitely something you can nibble on and they can be shared amongst friends, just be careful, they are often very moreish and you can end up eating way more than you intended.
- Protein snacks – These are the newest trend. Made from a variety of healthy ingredients such as quinoa, beans, peas and other pulses. They are especially aimed at health conscious people and are carefully constructed to provide a multitude of benefits. Companies such as Afifit based in Israel are refining these products in their state of the art laboratories.
So next time that you are thinking about snacking, shun the chocolate bar and fried snacks and think outside the packet. Don’t be tricked into thinking every granola bar is healthy, read the ingredients very carefully. Finally, enjoy healthy snacking……. In moderation!