Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day! Nutritious snacks, in the right portion sizes, can be part of a healthy eating plan. Almost half of all Canadians say that eating a balanced diet is challenging for them because they are so busy. They often skip meals, and close to 30 per cent of Canadians say they snack to stay fuelled in a busy day. This Nutrition Month, dietitians want to remind you of the power of snacking to stay fuelled all day!
Snacking can be part of a healthy diet and is a great way to get all the nutrients the body needs during a busy day. Snacks can help to curb appetite and prevent overeating at meal times. They can also help to keep blood glucose levels stable throughout the day. Consider a snack as a mini-meal that will provide important nutrients and energy. Try to incorporate 2-3 food groups in a snack such as a fruit or vegetable with a protein rich item.
1. Plan ahead. Keep a variety of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on hand for when you get hungry, like cut up veggies, nuts and cubed cheese. Being prepared helps you avoid less-healthy treats.
2. Be aware of portion sizes. Instead of snacking from a large bag or box, take a portion and put it on a bowl or plate.
3. Listen to your hunger cues. Ask yourself: am I truly hungry, or am I eating because I am bored, tired or stressed?
4. Skip distracted snacking! Avoid munching while looking at a screen, driving or working. You may eat more than you need if you’re distracted from your feeling of fullness.
5. Snack on vegetables! About half of all Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit. Snacking on them between meals is a terrific way to add an extra serving or two to your day.
Snack Ideas Packed with Protein and Fibre:
• Raw vegetables with hummus or yogurt dip
• Almond butter on banana slices
• Greek yogurt topped with berries and hemp hearts
• Whole grain toast with avocado and sesame seeds
• Cheddar cheese and apple slices
• Small handful of trail mix made with nuts, seeds and raisins
• Whole grain cereal with milk
• Tuna on multigrain crackers
Easy to prepare and keep on hand for a quick, nutritious snack anytime of the day: No-Bake Coconut & Banana Lentil Energy Bites
For more recipe ideas, check out the Dietitians of Canada, Cookspiration website or download the app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
This post was adapted and inspired by Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign resources. Learn more at www.nutritionmonth2018.ca