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Snack Smartly: Mindful Snacking Tips
Snack Smartly: Mindful Snacking Tips

Snack Smartly: Mindful Snacking Tips

Although any food or beverage eaten between meals can be considered a snack, snacks that help can fill nutrient gaps are those that include nutritious foods from 1 - 2 food groups of MyPlate. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Enjoy a handful of dry roasted peanuts and a glass of 100% fruit juice or water.
  • Serve a “rainbow” of fruit and raw veggies with hummus or plain yogurt for a dip.
  • Prepare JELL-O Instant Pudding with fat free milk and enjoy with an oatmeal cookie.
  • Roll your favorite OSCAR MAYER lean lunch meat with some salsa in a wheat tortilla or make your own pinwheels.
  • No milk at lunch? Enjoy a cup of yogurt mid- afternoon.
  • Need fiber? Spread whole wheat crackers with ATHENOS hummus.

Keep Tabs on Portions & Calories

Tune in to your body’s signals. Eat enough to satisfy hunger, without tipping the energy balance toward excess calories. Here are some tips to help you keep tabs on the calories that snacks contribute to your diet.

  • Put a serving of your snack in a bowl or on a plate and put the package away to practice mindful snacking.
  • Check supermarket shelves for single-serving snacks: pudding, cheese, crackers, cottage cheese, yogurt or trail mix. Or create your own trail mix snack in a sealable plastic bag: mix nuts, cereal and dried fruit.
  • No milk at lunch? Enjoy a cup of yogurt mid- afternoon.
  • Need fiber? Spread whole wheat crackers with ATHENOS hummus.
  • It’s easier to be aware of your snack portions if you avoid snacking while doing other things like watching TV or working at the computer.
  • For treat-type snacks that provide calories and few other nutrients, a rule of thumb is 100 calories, especially if weight management is a goal.
  • Balance your snacking with active living!

Think Food Safety for Snacks

  • For snacks “to go,” choose non-perishable foods or keep perishable snack foods chilled in an insulated bag with a freezer pack. Or freeze a juice or fruit drink carton – these are great to carry with other chilled snacks (raw veggies, fruit, cheese or yogurt).
  • Seat and supervise young children during snack time.
  • Small, rounded foods, especially if they are relatively hard or smooth, can be more difficult for young children to eat because they may swallow them whole. Foods like this should generally be chopped up into smaller pieces (1/2-inch or smaller) before being given to children 6 years old or younger.

A Look at MyPlate for Smart Snacking

Grains Vegetables Fruits Dairy Protein Foods
carbohydrate, some B vitamins – and fiber from whole grain foods. beta carotene (which forms Vitamin A), vitamin C, folate and fiber. vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and (with edible skins) fiber, too. for protein and bone- building calcium – some choices also supply vitamin D. for protein and iron.
Make half your grains“whole.” Vary your veggies. Focus on fruits. Opt for some nonfat or low fat choices. Go lean for protein.
TRY: whole grain breakfast biscuits, cereal bars, bagels, crackers, bread sticks, tortillas, graham crackers. TRY: raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes), 100% vegetable juice. TRY: berries, apple or pear wedges, tangerine segments, banana, dried fruit (plums, apricots, raisins), 100% fruit juice. TRY: cheese slices, sticks or cubes; yogurt, milk, pudding made with milk, frozen yogurt. TRY: nuts, peanut butter, hard cooked egg, cooked chicken, lean cold cuts, tuna.

Plate up these easy-to-make Healthy Living snacks that offer good nutrition and great taste too!

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