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Good snacks play an essential role in healthy eating. First, it’s a great opportunity for including another nutrient-dense food into your day such as a whole grain, lean protein, low fat dairy or fruit/vegetable. Second, it can be an excellent tool for getting to or staying at a healthy weight. By fitting some of the healthiest snacks in between your meals, you can avoid reaching the point of being overly hungry and still be healthy.
Here are some nutrition facts for healthy snacking:
- Time your meals and snacks into your day- try to eat every 3 ½ to 4 hours to keep your energy going and avoid overeating.
- Keep to the serving sizes with 100 calorie snacks as a goal. This will give you enough to stay satisfied, without going over your daily calorie needs.
- Try to include a source of fiber through whole grains, fruits and vegetables to help stay full longer from your in-between meal bite.
- Sources of protein can be great to include in your snack as well to satisfy your hunger quickly. Try things such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters or low fat dairy or dairy alternative.
- Plan your snacks ahead of time. Think of your nutrition goals before hitting the grocery store and plan 2-3 options for 100 calorie snacks for the week to keep on your plan for health. This will help you to avoid choosing snacks at the last minute on a hungry stomach which is when cravings (and desperation!) can take over and lead to less-healthy choices.