Healthy snackingContributed by: Kristen O’Connor, RD, LD - Kristen is a registered dietitian with a degree in medical dietetics from The Ohio State University.
Snacks have been used in many ways with many foods from skittles to pretzels to donuts. Some people snack when bored, some when stressed, and some snack in habit. Just about everyone has heard of diets promoting eating 5-6 small meals a day. This is actually a great strategy for keeping your blood sugar, energy, and even metabolism consistent throughout the day.
Snacks can be a great tool for managing weight too. Additionally, snacking is the perfect time to choose a food that is nutrient dense in order to provide those nutrients that you may not get at meals.
What is the best thing to eat for a snack? Well, think of snacks as mini meals. Combining at least 2 food groups will help provide satiety as well as the right amount of energy. Snacks should be planned and well thought out so that we can make the best choices when we feel that twinge of hunger.
Snacks should be used when meals are going to be more than 4-5 hours apart. The snack doesn’t have to be huge, yet we don’t want it to be too small either.
A good guideline is to keep your snack under 200 calories.
Some examples of great snacks:
- Low fat Greek yogurt w/ berries
- Almonds or other nuts
- Low fat cottage cheese topped w/ almonds or fruit
- Hummus w/ whole grain crackers
- Apple w/ a cheese stick
For additional information or diet related questions, email Kristen O’Connor, RD, LD at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on twitter @ramblingsofanrd. Kristen is a registered dietitian with a degree in medical dietetics from The Ohio State University.