May 30 2022 | Ashleigh Kidd, RD, LDN
Do we need snacks? Should we snack? If you find yourself hungry between meals, consistently eating past fullness at meal times, or won’t be eating a meal within 45 min of activity or exercise, incorporating snacks in your day sounds like a good fit.
Some of us might be familiar with “grabbing everything but the kitchen sink” when we walk in the door after a long day of work, feeling famished. This is pretty common and indicates you may not be eating enough during the day as a whole, or you might just need to add in a snack between lunch and dinner. Pro tip: keep some snack options at the office to have between meals, and something you can grab before you leave, especially if you have a long commute. This can help make dinnertime a more intentional, enjoyable, and mindful experience.
When choosing your snack, you want to pair a fiber source with a protein and/or fat source. This is the key to sustained energy and keeping you full and satisfied between meal times. Here are some examples of fiber, protein, and fat sources.
- Fruits (i.e. berries, watermelon, banana, apple, pear, grapes, clementines)
- Veggies (i.e. baby carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers)
- Whole Grain crackers, pita, or bread
Protein and/or Fat Sources:
- Nuts & Seeds
- Nut Butters
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Avocados or guacamole
Let’s look at some of the ways we can pair these together to make the perfect balanced snack:
- Almonds + Banana
- Whole Grain Toast + Avocado/Guac
- Baby Carrots + Hummus
- Grapes + Cheddar Cheese slices
- Hard Boiled Egg(s) + Tangerine
- Greek Yogurt + Raspberries
- Walnuts + Apple
- PB + Whole Grain Crackers
- Blueberries + Pumpkin Seeds + Dark chocolate (yummy homemade trail mix!)
- Pear + Cheese Stick
- Whole Grain pita + tuna