Snacking is a daily ritual for many Americans. Therefore, it can be a habit that provides energy and motivation or it can be a trouble spot in your day. Smart snacking is very important especially if you follow a meal plan of 4-6 smaller meals each day. Making snacks nutrient rich with vegetables, fruit, protein and whole grains can boost your metabolism and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Here are some suggestions to keep in mind next time hunger strikes.
- Always incorporate a fruit or a vegetable at snack time. This will provide your body with more nutrients. Instead of crackers and cheese try apple slices with cheese or cucumbers & cheese.
- Try to limit eating snacks that only incorporate one food group. Providing your body with the right ratio of nutrients, and calories, will keep you energized and help with weight management. Snacks that include protein tend to be more filling and satisfying. Try 1/4 cup of cottage cheese with half an avocado, or pear slices with 1/4 cup ricotta cheese. Both of these options have a hearty supply of protein and fiber while being 200 calories or less.
- Think outside the box. If you find yourself eating the same foods week after week, even if they are healthy foods, try to mix up your options. Snacking on veggies doesn’t always have to be baby carrots and celery. These are wonderful vegetables but try to mix up your snack veggies with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, edamame, red cabbage, zucchini and fresh green beans. By diversifying your foods and food groups you are more likely to eat the appropriate portion, and it keeps you from binging on fats and sugars.
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