Sanofi
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August 20, 2019

Healthy snacking ideas

Many of us get hungry between meals and snacks not only provide energy, but also help us get all the nutrients we need on a daily basis.

More than a quarter of kids’ daily calories may come from snacks and it has been proven that kids who have healthy eating patterns are more likely to perform better academically. That been said, it is very important that we provide ourselves and kids healthy snacks options every day. The challenge for many parents is that children often want the unhealthy snack option and even though snacking has developed a "bad image," snacks can be an important part of your diet. A healthy snack between meals can also decrease your hunger and keep you from overeating at mealtime.

What is considered a healthy snack?

Foods that make up a healthy diet are mostly found on the perimeter of your grocery store. Many of them have no packaging because they come from the ground or are otherwise not processed. As a result, they don’t contain added fats and sugar, those are the healthiest of snacks. The size of the snack should be the right size, a good balance between enough calories to satisfy you, but still not too many to promote unwanted weight gain. Fruits and vegetables are good choices for healthy snacks. They are full of vitamins and low in calories and fat. Some whole-wheat crackers and cheeses also work.

  • Pick foods that are low in added fat, saturated fat and sugar and high in fiber and water,
    for example: drink skim or 1% milk instead of 2% or whole milk
  • Fresh fruit is a healthier choice than a fruit-flavored drink
  • Foods and drinks that list sugar or corn syrup as one of the first ingredients are not healthy snack choices
  • Pairing protein and carbohydrate will help the snack to keep you fullest for the longest for example: apple and string cheese, Whole Wheat crackers with peanut butter, carrots and hummus, or plain yogurt and fresh fruit
  • Unprocessed foods instead of pre-packaged goods

Snacks to avoid

There are many food choices that contain little or no essential vitamins or minerals for you basically providing nothing of value to your body beyond calories that create excess pounds. These are called food with “empty calories”, literally meaning they contain nothing of value and is best if you avoid them. Foods with added sugars and high sodium should stay out of your list. The best way to keep from eating unhealthy snacks is to not have these foods in your house, like they say, out of sight, out of mind. It is OK to have an unhealthy snack once in a while. Never allowing any unhealthy snacks or sweets may result in them sneaking these foods. The key is balance and moderation.

How to start today?

Next time you go shopping remember to use the food labels to help you choose healthier foods. Food labels give you information about the calories, number of servings, and nutrient content of packaged foods. Reading the labels can help you make healthy choices when you shop. Always check the serving size first. All the information on the label is based on the serving size. Many packages contain more than 1 serving. You should also pay attention to trans fats on any food label. These fats raise "bad" cholesterol and lower your "good" cholesterol.

  • Create a list of healthy snacks and add them to your shopping list
  • Ask your kid for his 5 favorite fruits and vegetables, that way you can offer snacks that they will like and are more willing to eat
  • Vary the snacks, we all get bored eating the same thing everyday
  • Try including 2-3 food groups on each snack, for example mixing hummus with vegetables or apples with peanut butter
  • Keep less healthy snacks for an occasional treat

Healthy Snack Ideas

  • Fruits
  • Fruit cups in a 100% fruit juice
  • Vegetables
  • Yogurt
  • Air Popped Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Trail Mix
  • Cottage Cheese with fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Cheese
  • Smoothies
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Raisins snack packs
  • Pickles
  • Carrots + Hummus
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Peanut Butter and banana quesadilla
  • Apple slices with peanut butter
  • 100% juice fruit popsicles
  • Half of a sandwich
  • Plain or sparkling water you can add some fruit and herbs to it! for flavor
  • Fat-free milk or plain soymilk
  • Unsweetened tea or coffee
  • Small glass of 100% fruit juice
  • Low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice

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