Smart Snacking Tips

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Make snacks work for you by choosing nutrient-rich foods from the grains, fruit, vegetable, dairy and protein food groups. Snacks can boost your energy between meals and supply essential vitamins and minerals. There is a place for snacks in a healthy eating plan, just choose wisely.
Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods. You can fit snack calories into your personal healthy eating plan without over-spending your day’s calorie budget.

Snack only when you’re hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you’re bored, frustrated or stressed. Feed the urge to do something by walking the dog or working in the garden.

Keep portion control in mind. Have a single-serve container of yogurt or put a small serving of nuts in a bowl. Eating directly from a multiple-serving package can lead to overeating.

Plan snacks ahead of time. Keep a variety of nutritious ready-to-eat supplies on hand, such as whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.

Snacks with 200 calories or less:
• Six whole-wheat crackers and one slice low-fat Colby cheese
• Fruit smoothie: Blend 1 cup fat-free milk, ½ cup frozen strawberries and ½ banana
• One 6-inch flour tortilla with ¼ cup black beans and 2 tablespoons fresh salsa
• Quick-to-fix salad: 2 cups mixed greens with ½ cup mandarin oranges, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing
• Mini-sandwich: Whole-grain dinner roll with 1 slice deli turkey, 1 slice low-fat cheese and mustard
• 1 cup tomato soup with 5 whole-grain crackers
• Tri-color veggie snack: 6 baby carrots, 10 sugar snap peas (or green pepper strips), 6 cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ranch dressing for dipping
• Small baked potato topped with salsa and 1 ounce low-fat cheese


Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics