Snacks… How we love the sound of that! We eat snacks in the morning, afternoon and before we go to sleep, but is it really necessary? Or do we just give in to the idea of “snack attack”?
When we hear our stomach rumbling, we rush to the office vending machine and pick a sweet bar. It is also a practice to check the refrigerator for any quick food like potato chips, pretzels, candy, biscuits or cookies. Mostly the snacks we grab are refined carbs. It can provide a sudden energy surge but the downside is that you will crash as quick as the rush, then, you’re hungry again.
If you will eat your snack, it must be wisely chosen. You cannot just grab the first carbs-filled pack you see in front of you and gobble it away. It is a must that all foods you eat are healthy and packed with nutrients. While low calorie foods has its benefits, food that make you feel full longer is also a better choice when snacking. It will also supply you the energy you need to get through the day. This will truly satisfy your hunger pangs up until your main meal. It will even make you feel better.
A startling fact revealed that one-fourth of our daily consumption (a.k.a. “calorie intake”) comes from these “little snacks” that we eat. And the fact that most of us are not exactly skimping on the main meals, it looks like we are adding another big meal for the day. According to studies, in snacks alone, we add at least 580 calories each day. That is one pound of weight added every six weeks, more or less.
From now on, we have to watch what we eat. There are many foods out there that are tasty, nutritious and less in calories too. If you are really into losing weight, then, you have to follow these easy tips:
1. Calorie Check – when you are eating snacks, it must not go beyond 200 calories.
2. Nutrient-Filled Snack – find those snacks that has a high protein and fiber content. These snacks will fill your tummy and make you lose your cravings.
3. Snack Stash – this is an attempt for you to stop buying those fast food burger and fries combo meals. If you have a protein snack handy, you will be eating it instead of buying that big milkshake in McDonald’s.
Snacks on the Go!
Here are some easy to prepare and equally nutritious snack packs that you can bring with you anywhere and everywhere:
1. String Cheese, Fruits and Nuts – an apple is easy to put inside your bag. This is a very fulfilling fruit to eat and low in calories too. Add to that a single serve of string cheese, wow, what a power snack in less than 200 calories!
2. Turkey Jerky – if you want to load up on protein, then, say hello to jerky snacks preferably turkey jerky. Just check the label for the sodium content. It would be best to buy those low sodium brands. These are usually less than 400mg of sodium per serving.
3. Homemade Trail Mix – this is a very sketchy snack if you buy it from the grocery since trail mix packs include sugary items like chocolate and glazed fruits. But if you make your own trail mix, that would be just great. Mix whole grain cereal with almonds and pumpkin seeds; you have the best trail mix snack ever!
4. Granola Bars – these are healthy snacks too except when you buy the sugar coated ones. BE sure to check the nutrition facts first before you buy the granola bar. It must be low in sugar and must be about 150-180 calories only.
5. Veggie Soup – this is the best snack there is if you have the time to prepare.
Kiddie Favorite Snacks
If you are eating healthy, your kids must practice the same too! Even at a young age, you have to train them on how to lead a healthy lifestyle so that they may bring that attitude until they grow up.
1. Nut Butter – you can use almond butter or cashew butter on their rice cakes. Tasty and nutrient-filled!
2. PB & A – what the heck is that? It is peanut butter and APPLE. Yes, you read that right. One tablespoon of peanut butter on layers of apple slices. Yum!
3. Celery with Cream Cheese (reduced fat) – if your kid is one of those who love to bite on celery, then, good for you! Add a bit of reduced fat cream cheese to that and he has a well-balanced snack food.
4. Kiddie Popcorn – kids love popcorn so much and the great thing is that popcorn is a whole grain. It is one of the best snacks there is if there are no other chemicals added to it. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese and they’ll love it. Talk about eating 120 calories of snack and being so full!
5. Edamame – you will read from various health articles that edamame is among of the top protein foods of all time. Well, let your kids munch on it. Give them one serving of edamame and they will get protein and fiber altogether.
6. Fruit Ice Cream – freeze a banana with some peanut butter. This is what I call fruit ice cream. Try it for yourself. Even big kids love it.
7. Plain Greek Yogurt – it must be plain and it must be low on sugar. Plain Greek yogurt is a great snack food and it will even be better if you add some berries.
8. Hummus and Veggies – need I say more? Hummus is rich in protein and a good source of protein, fiber, monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat) and potassium. Kids need these every single day.