5 Tips for Healthy Snacking
By Ericka Stachura, RD, LDN
Snacks come in all shapes and sizes. So how do you choose one that will work for you? Here are 5 tips to help you make healthy choices whether you are packing your own snack from home or choosing one from a vending machine.
- Aim for 150-200 calories per snack to keep you full until your next meal. Too few calories may leave you feeling hungry for more. An eating pattern of 2 snacks and 3 meals a day works well for many people to control hunger.
- Incorporate protein with each snack. Protein helps to keep us full for a longer amount of time and is an important nutrient for healthy muscle development. Here are a few snack protein ideas:
- 20 almonds
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1 low-fat string cheese
- ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 2 slices turkey breast
- Add a fruit or vegetable. Fruit and veggies typically have a high water content which makes them low-calorie choices. Pair them with a protein to help keep hunger in check.
- Go whole with grains. Look for the word “whole” on product labels when searching for snack crackers and breads. Whole grains contain more filling fiber than their processed counterparts.
- Seek out protein at the vending machine. A fruit and nut bar with protein from the nuts will satisfy hunger for a longer amount of time than a 100-calorie pack of air-filled popped chips.
Here are a few healthy snack ideas to get you started:
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 Tbsp peanut butter and banana slices
- Kashi Trail Mix Bar (offered in the new Healthy Snacks vending machine on the 3rd floor)
- Greek yogurt
- Veggies with hummus or string-cheese
- 1 cup of whole grain cereal with ½ cup of low-fat milk