Forget what you think you know: Snacks aren’t all bad! They can actually boost your energy between meals and supply essential vitamins and minerals. The trick, of course, is that snackers need to choose wisely. Make smart choices and be sure to manage the rest of your meals during the day.
Here are some things to remember:
- Don’t skip breakfast! Adults need energy to get through the day, and kids and grandkids need fuel for their brains to learn. Remember lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends a breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, low-fat cheese, salsa, and a whole wheat tortilla. Try a parfait with low-fat plain yogurt, fruit, and whole grain cereal.
- Avoid sweet cereals, cookies, and brownies. Instead, go with grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein. Try raw veggies with low-fat cottage cheese for a satisfying crunch or a tablespoon of peanut butter with an apple instead of potato chips.
- Snack only when you’re hungry, and resist the urge to munch when you’re board, frustrated, or stressed. The AND recommends walking the dog, working in the garden, or enjoying another hobby instead of reaching into the candy bowl.
- Plan ahead: Adults may need a snack after work, and kids and grandkids will definitely want a snack after school. Keep a variety of nutritious supplies on hand such as whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese. Have fruit
Some more snack ideas courtesy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- One tablespoon of peanut butter spread on apple slices
- One cup of tomato soup with five whole-grain crackers
- Veggie pizzas
- Three cups of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with three tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
- Trail mix: 20 almonds, a miniature box of raisins, and ¼ cup of sunflower seeds
Want to talk to a registered dietitian about a health plan for you? Call Lee Health Solutions at 239-424-3120.