Smart Snacking Strategies
Here are some ways to make healthy snacking part of your everyday routine:
- Prepare healthy snacks in advance. Did you know that you can make your own granola or trail mix? When you make something yourself, you get to control the ingredients and put in what’s good for you! You also can keep plenty of fresh fruit and veggies at home to take on the go. Cut up melons or vegetables like celery and carrots in advance. Keep the servings in bags in the fridge, ready to grab and go.
- Keep healthy snacks with you. Make it a habit to stash some fruit, whole-grain crackers, or baby carrots in your backpack or workout bag so you always have some healthy food nearby.
- Make it interesting. Healthy snacking doesn’t have to be boring as long as you give yourself a variety of choices. Whole-wheat pretzels with spicy mustard, rice cakes with peanut butter and raisins, or low-fat fruit yogurt are healthy, tasty, and easy.
- Satisfy cravings with healthier approaches. If you’re crazy for chocolate, try a hot chocolate drink instead of a chocolate bar. An 8-ounce mug of hot chocolate has only 140 calories and 3 grams of fat. The average chocolate bar, on the other hand, has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat. Substitute nonfat frozen yogurt or sorbet for ice cream. If you’re craving savory munchies, snack on baked tortilla chips instead of regular corn chips and pair them with salsa instead of sour cream. Or satisfy salt cravings with pretzels instead of chips.
- Read serving size information. What looks like a small package of cookies can contain 2 or more servings — which means double or even triple the amounts of fat, calories, and sugar shown on the label.
Don’t slip up after dinner. Evenings can be a tempting time to indulge in sugary, fatty snacks. If you’re really feeling hungry, don’t ignore it. Instead, pick the right snacks to fill the hunger gap. Whole-wheat fig bars, rice cakes, or air-popped popcorn can do the trick, as can fruit paired with cheese or yogurt.