Healthy Snacking for Home, Work & Play
- Date: 27 March 2019
- Category: HW Blog
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Snacking is part of balanced eating, and helps us meet our nutrition needs. It’s especially important for children (who have smaller tummies and high energy needs), and people who struggle with energy ‘dips’ and poor concentration. Snacking can become problematic if you’re always reaching for energy-dense but nutrient poor options, or eating when you’re not actually hungry. With a little bit of planning, snacking can mean eating foods you enjoy, that (nutritionally speaking), love you back!
Top 5 snacking hacks:
- Listen and respond to your body’s hunger cues, by eating when you feel hungry. Try not to wait until you’re absolutely famished (when you’re more likely to make rash snacking decisions, eat too quickly, and end up with snacker’s remorse). Need more information on mindful eating?
- Invest a little extra time prepping nutritious snacks for the day ahead.
- Adjust your snack options according to hunger and activity levels. Sometimes you might need something really fortifying. Other days, a simple piece of fresh fruit is enough.
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water through the day (sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger).
- Sometimes foods (like a piece of cake or a sweet biscuit) do have a place in balanced eating. They don’t need to be banned completely, but should be eaten occasionally, rather than every day.
Read nutrition panels, so you can find tasty pantry staples that don’t come with a huge load of salt, sugar or saturated fat. As a guide, aim for:
- less than 15g added sugars per 100g
- less than 3g saturated fat per 100g
- less than 400mg sodium per 100g
Snacks high in fibre (more than 3g per serve) and containing protein (e.g. nuts, legumes or dairy products) will satisfy your hunger and keep you going longer. Try to avoid using snacks to alleviate boredom or stress. If you need some down time, maybe a herbal tea or hot drink.
Healthy snack ideas
- A handful (¼ cup) of dried fruit, nut and seed mix, or unsalted nuts.
- Dips with veggies sticks.
- Goji Oat Slice
- Homemade energy balls
- Roasted chickpeas, fava beans or edamame.
- Make your own veggie crisps
- Hard boiled egg with wholegrain crackers.
- Wholegrain crackers with dips, cheese, avocado or nut butter.
- Pre-prepped containers of oats with Greek yoghurt and chopped fruit.
- Small tin of low salt baked beans (approximately 130g).
- Muesli bar – check the nutrition info panel. Aim for at least 3g fibre, and less than 6g added sugars per serve.