Healthy snacking helps you through the day

Lisa Fisher, Health Promotion SpecialistHealthy Snack

Nutritious snacks are part of a healthy eating pattern. Although many people consider planning and prepping meals to be important, oftentimes snacks are not planned. This can lead to choosing unhealthy snacks that are potentially highly processed with excess fat, sugar and/or sodium, or not balanced. A nutritious snack can help provide energy throughout the day, support good health, provide essential nutrients and satisfy hunger between mealtimes.

The first step is to choose healthy snacks. Essentially this means choosing a variety of healthy foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables, whole grains and protein foods) over highly processed foods. The second step is to eat these snacks mindfully. This does not mean you need to chew your food fifty times prior to swallowing. Eating mindfully means slowing down and eating without distractions, choosing small portions and eating snacks when you feel hungry. When we eat for reasons other than hunger (e.g. boredom, emotions, exhaustion) it can lead to increased consumption of fat, sugar and sodium, as well as potential issues with obesity.

It’s important to think about your snacks ahead of time and include them in your meal planning for the week. Think of the snacks that you will need at home, at work or school, and on-the-go. On your meal prep day, cut up extra vegetables and fruit to store in the fridge, make homemade muffins or granola bars and freeze, boil eggs, or make your own trail mix.

The Health Promotion team loves having healthy snacks!

Tammy, Health Promotion Manager, snacks on 100 calorie nut and seed to-go packs.

Lisa, Health Promotion Specialist, snacks on fresh sugar snap peas or fresh mango.

Taylor, Health Promotion Administrative Assistant, snacks on hummus and carrot sticks.

Other on-the-go easy-to-grab options include roasted chickpeas, nuts or seeds, fruit such as oranges and apples, vegetables such as carrots and peppers, canned tuna, plain popcorn, and whole grain crackers. When possible, have at least two food groups (whole grains, protein foods, fruits/vegetables) included in your snack. For example, whole grain toast with nut butter and banana or lower fat yogurt topped with berries and walnuts.

If you would like more information on healthy eating, contact the Health Promotion Department through the 4 Wing Connection Facebook Page. Remember, March is Nutrition Month! Learn how to incorporate healthy eating habits by visiting www.food-guide.canada.ca.