Friday, January 27, 2017

Snacking Made Simple

When you hear the word “snack” what are the first foods that come to your mind? If you thought of foods such as chips, crackers and cookies, trust me, you are not the only one. In recent years, food marketing has convinced consumers that junk foods are just the same as snacks. However, with the month of February being National Snack Food Month, it is important to recognize and promote the benefits of healthy snacking!

Myth Busting Snacking

1. Snacking spoils your appetite for meals= False

Snacking, with the correct portions, can increase your control at your next meal because you are not excessively hungry.

2. Snacks are fattening = False

Snacks are not equivalent to junk foods. In fact, choosing better alternative such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can increase our consumption of beneficial nutrients that may be low in our daily meals.

3. Eating late at night causes weight gain= False

Research has shown that it is not the time of eating that causes weight gain, but the amount of food eaten. However, do not forget that we may be more likely to overeat or choose unhealthier options when we eat late at night.

Benefits of Snacking Right

  • Increases energy to help you finish your busy day
  • Boosts brain power & increases concentration in class
  • Controls appetite
  • Regulates mood (makes you happy!)
  • Can help maintain your weight
  • Great opportunity to eat more fruits and vegetables that you may not eat at mealtime
Simple Guidelines for Snacks

1.      <200 Calories
2.      < 200mg Sodium
3.      < 10% Saturated Fat
4.      > 10% Daily Value (DV) of nutrient such as Potassium, Vitamin D, Dietary Fiber or Calcium.

To make your snack healthier, combine foods from more than one food group. Try these!
·         Low-fat/Fat-free or Greek yogurt topped with granola
·         Apple and peanut butter
·         Unsalted nuts and dried fruit (raisins)
·         Carrots and hummus
·         Whole grain crackers and peanut butter
·         Low-fat cottage cheese and peaches

If you would like to learn about your specific nutrient needs or want assistance with planning your meals and snacks, contact the Nutrition Promotion Coordinator for a FREE nutrition analysis. Please visit for more information, or contact with further questions at


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