Mid-meal snacking is the most challenging part for people when it comes to making appropriate choices within their daily dietary pattern.
This is where most of us tend to stray from our otherwise healthy diet and undo all our awesome work. Saying this, snacking between meals can be essential for some to:
- To maintain balanced blood sugar levels;
- To keep you satisfied for longer and manage appetite control;
- To maximise energy levels;
- To maximise concentration levels; and,
- When done right, maximise beneficial nutrient intake.
If you choose mindfully, a wholesome snack can be packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, fibre and good fats. Where people go wrong is they tend to be drawn to snacks that are highly processed, simple carbohydrates and missing the essential mix of protein, fibre and healthy fats. When you snack on a highly processed, simple carbohydrate (an Arnott’s biscuit for example) your blood sugar soars, then dips, you become fatigued, possibly irritable and before you know it you are searching for something else to eat to rebalance your blood sugar levels and regain the energy that has deserted you! It’s a vicious, weight gaining cycle that you can become trapped in. Thus, if not done right snacking becomes a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario.
To help you build a healthy snacking habit and ensure you don’t get caught in a poor snack choice cycle, please see below a list of options that can work in or out of the home:
- Bliss balls
- Homemade muesli bars
- Homemade small wholemeal flour or almond meal muffins
- Rice crackers with nut butters
- Hummus and vegetable crudités
- Cucumbers, carrots and tzatziki
- Grain crackers and cheese
- Plain yogurt a banana or berries and seeds
- Homemade soup in a wide mouth thermos
- Nuts – raw and roasted
- Train mix (with more nuts and seeds and less dried fruits)
- A piece of fruit with a serve of cheese (30g) or a handful of nuts
- Boiled egg with pesto or dukkah
- Small smoothie (easy to over-eat so be careful when having a smoothie as a snack)
- Small milky coffee with a handful of nuts
- Muffin-sized frittata
- Two pieces of dark chocolate and a handful of nuts
- Rice and Bean Chips (30g) with Guacamole or Hummus
It might take a little more planning to maintain nourishing snacking but in the long run it is SO worth it if you want to reach your health goals more easily!
Additionally, remember your health goals will also be more quickly reached if you only snack when you are actually hungry.