Stay energized by planning nutritious snacks into your day.

buddha bowl 2018-04-03_19-39-29I’m so excited to be a Registered Dietitian and help Canadians unlock the potential of food! We love our food – it gives us fuel, it prevents ailments, it helps us heal, and it always brings us together.

Here are my top tips to help you unlock the potential of food for staying energized and planning nutritious snacks into your day.

FIVE TIPS FOR HEALTHY SNACKS[1]

Snacks are foods or drinks that are consumed between meals. When you’re on-the run during a busy day, think of snacks as mini-meals that offer some nutritional value and an energy boost. Examples are an apple with peanut butter or cheese with crackers. Don’t fill your hunger gap with treat-like foods such as cookies, chocolate and chips, which are not as nourishing as snacks. Choosing healthy snacks can be a great way to get all the nutrients your body needs each day. Here are five helpful snacking tips from Registered Dietitians:

  1. Snack on vegetables! About half of all Canadians don’t eat enough vegetables or fruit. Snacking on them between meals is a great way to add an extra serving or two to your day
  2. Plan ahead. Keep a variety of healthy, ready-to-eat snacks on hand for when you get hungry, like cut up veggies, nuts and cubed cheese. Being prepared helps you avoid less-healthy treats.
  3. Mind your portion sizes. Instead of snacking from a large bag or box, take a smaller amount and put it on a plate or bowl.
  4. Listen to your hunger cues. Ask yourself: am I truly hungry, or am I eating because I am bored, tired or stressed?
  5. Skip distracted snacking! Avoid munching while looking at a screen, driving or working. You may eat more than you need if you’re distracted from your feeling of fullness.

HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS

Dietitians love to snack and here are our favourites. We look for snacks that boost intake of protein and fibre. Here are 11 great ideas and the ones with * are great to keep in your bag, car or desk drawer.

  1. Carrots and peppers with hummus
  2. Nut butter on banana slices
  3. Greek yogurt topped with berries
  4. Whole grain toast with peanut butter
  5. Cheddar cheese and apple slices
  6. Small handful of trail mix made with nuts, seeds and raisins*
  7. Roasted chickpeas and popcorn mix*
  8. Whole grain cereal with milk
  9. Sliced vegetables with yogurt dip
  10. Tuna on crackers
  11. Whole grain toast with avocado and sesame seeds

What’s your favourite healthy snack?

[1] Adapted from the Dietitians of Canada’s Nutrition Month campaign materials. Find more information about Nutrition Month at www.nutritionmonth2018.ca.

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