Snacking often has a bad reputation, but there can be benefits in having a snack during the day to help keep you satisfied between meals. The trick is only to eat when you’re actually hungry and to choose a wholesome, tasty and natural snack!
We all snack. But have you ever considered why you snack? Hunger, boredom or sugar cravings?
Well, to begin with, let’s get one thing straight. A snack is a small meal that you can eat in-between larger meals like breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s all about giving your body healthy and nutrient dense foods to keep you balanced all day – so make sure that you only have a snack when you actually need it.
During busy days a snack can be important to stay mentally focused, providing energy in the middle of the day or a boost before or after physical activities to keep energy and hunger levels balanced.
PLAN YOUR SNACKS
If you know you are going to snack during the day, you may as well prepare for it! Have your snack prepared and with you. That way, it’s easier to resist the urge for sugar during those busy days.
WHEN TO SNACK?
How long can you without eating before feeling those hunger pangs? 3, 4 or 5 hours? If the wait between your main meals is more than 5 hours, you could consider having a wholesome snack to keep your energy level balanced. Especially if you need to stay focused or power up for a trip to the gym, picking up your kids from school or strenuous grocery shopping.
But remember that a snack is a small meal, so make sure you get a nutrient dense combination of protein, fibre, vegetables or fruit to keep you fuelled right all day.
Did you know that protein contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass and normal bones? Dairy is a natural source of protein and adding milk or yogurt to a smoothie or a porridge is both a tasty and satisfying in-between meal.
SNACKS THAT ONLY CONTAIN THE BEST
An in-between meal may be small, but it is still a meal. So, make sure you still get all the nutritional goodness you need when choosing a snack.
WHAT TO SNACK?
Keep it real and get the best out of your snack! Combining whole grains, fruits or vegetables with protein foods like dairy in your in-between meal is a great way to keep you going throughout the day.
But how do you know if a snack is good for you? For a start, you need to know that the snack has a maximum amount of vitamins and minerals per calorie, is composed of both fibre and protein and that added sugar and salt is low.
Whole grains are a natural source of fibre. Eating oats or buckwheat as part of your breakfast or a healthy snack will give you a deliciously tasty and satisfying small meal.