Snacking is perhaps one of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to improving their eating habits. We live in a world where there are endless snack options at every turn. We’re flooded with ads on radio, television, and magazines, there are stands and the end of every aisle and checkout counter in the grocery store, and even at the gas station. Basically anywhere that we wait to pay for something.
The problem with most of these snack foods is that they are overly processed and stuffed with additives like sugar, flavourings, artificial colours, and preservatives. They are nutritionally void in most cases and have been explicitly designed to have the perfect texture, and flavour to make them addictive and keep you coming back for more. Unfortunately, this isn’t a pathway to healthy eating.
The good news is that snacking can be simple.
The Basic Rules
- Eat real food
- Eat when you’re actually hungry, not emotionally hungry
Better Snacking Tips
- Pre-make/package snacks for easy grab and go options during the week
- Small jars or containers, reusable bags are great for this
- Put a list on your fridge or cupboard of healthy options so when you go to reach for a snack you’re presented with the healthy options
- Keep the bad stuff out of our house if you don’t have it, you can’t eat it
- Include protein with carbohydrates
- Don’t fear fat, this is what helps keep you full along
- Fibre is also important for feeling full, and also has the added benefits of improving your gut health, and blood sugar levels
- Avoid pre-packaged refined carbohydrate snacks like cookies, muffins, cakes, most granola bars or ‘fruit snacks’ etc.
Better Snacking Ideas
- Fruit with nuts and seeds or their butters (i.e. orange with cashews, apple dipped in nut or seed butter)
- Veggies with dip (i.e. carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower with hummus, lentil or bean dip)
- Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
- Trail mixes with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit