The Benefits of Snacking

by Staci O’Connor MS, RD, CDN

Many people avoid incorporating snacks into their day because they are afraid that snacks will contribute to weight gain.  However, when snacking is done correctly, it can offer several health benefits.  Snacking allows you to add to your intake of essential nutrients and to stick to a moderate amount of food when you get to your next meal. Snacking can also help keep blood sugars level, energy steady, and increase performance at school and work.  According to the American Dietetic Association children are able to comprehend and retain information at a higher rate when their bodies are fueled consistently.  You may find that incorporating a small snack in the afternoon may help you get through a task more quickly and efficiently. So make your main meals smaller in size and stock up on healthy satisfying snacks that you can incorporate halfway between your meals.  Choose a snack that has about 100 calories with a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Try 1 ounce of raw almonds between meals (Blue Diamond 100 Calorie Snack Bags of Almonds) and consider adding in some raw vegetables
  • Try nonfat Greek yogurt (Fage 0%, Oikos 0%) with fresh or frozen berries
  • Try raw vegetables with hummus or dipped in low-fat cottage cheese
  • Try a piece of fruit or raw vegetables with natural peanut butter
  • Wasa Light Rye with a spread of guacamole, hummus, natural peanut / almond butter or salsa
  • Dried Chickpeas (nuts.com)
  • Kind bars (kindsnacks.com)
  • Low-fat string cheese or Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge
  • Dry roasted soy nuts
  • 100 calorie container of low-fat cottage cheese
  • Kale Chips
  • ½ whole wheat pita and fresh vegetables with a hummus spread
  • Air popped popcorn or 100 calorie bag of low-fat popcorn
  • Ounce of dark chocolate (at least 70 percent pure cocoa)
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