A common myth about snacking is that it’s not good for you. This might be true if you’re helping yourself to candy, chips, or other junk foods throughout the day. But healthy snacking is possible — it’s what you eat and how much you eat that matters.
The key to healthy snacking is to make smart choices about what you’re eating. Snacks should come from one or more of the following food groups: grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein. They should also be high in nutrients, and low in fat, sugar, and salt. When snacking, it’s also important to watch how much you’re eating. A snack should be treated as a very small meal. The point is to eat just enough to take the edge off your hunger, not to eat until you’re full.
The body’s fuel runs out within several hours after eating a meal. If you don’t eat, you’ll feel your energy level drop. You may also notice that you’re less focused and alert. Try packing snacks to bring with you to work, school, or wherever your busy schedule takes you. Otherwise, you’ll end up relying on vending machines or convenience stores. Many of the snack options there are high in fat and low in nutrients.
Low-fat choices to choose:
Whole-wheat bagel with a smear of low-fat cream cheese
Fat-free or low-fat muffin
Low-fat granola bars
Whole-grain crackers and graham crackers
Low-fat and unsalted microwave popcorn
High-fat choices to avoid:
Danish and donuts
Snack cakes, cupcakes
Chips and crackers
In addition to some of the snacks mentioned above, other good packable snacks include:
Single-serving boxes of dry and unsweetened cereal
Fresh fruit (oranges, pears, grapes, and apples all travel well)
Vegetable sticks or baby carrots
Mini-boxes of raisins
Unsweetened juice boxes
Unsalted nuts and seeds
Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Unsweetened applesauce or canned fruit
Low-fat cheese slices or string cheese
Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
Slices of lean turkey or chicken
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.