Nutrition Tip: Healthy Snacks

Ok, I know I said it on my all about me page but I am a registered dietitian and I want to start putting up some quick nutrition tips. I haven’t decided if I want this to be a weekly thing or monthly but nutrition is part of my life and I want to share it with my readers. Today’s nutrition tip comes from a presentation that the intern’s at the hospital where I work did today. They were talking about “going the distance with healthy snacks.” This is a great topic. Almost everyone snacks between meals but how do we optimize those snacks into getting good nutrition.

Snacks are a great thing to add to any healthy eating plan for several reasons. A couple are they help you keep from getting too hungry, can help you slim down and help add vitamins and minerals in between meals. When someone gets too hungry, they tend to overeat which can kill any healthy eating plan.

A snack should be between 100-200 calories. If you are trying to maintain or gain weight go for the higher end and if you are trying to lose weight aim for 100-140.

When I was teaching culinary camp at SLU, we would talk to the kids about what a snack should contain. The best and easiest answer: at least 2 food groups. Now, not all food groups are created equally, though overall they are equally important to incorporate each day. An ideal snack should contain some carbohydrates and some protein. Some snacks that cover this would include: peanut butter and apple slices or celery, cottage cheese and fruit, or crackers and cheese.

When should you eat a snack? This really depends on your schedule and eating plan. For me, I usually need a snack to get me through the morning. I eat breakfast at 530 in the morning and eat lunch at noon. This is a long stretch for me so I will eat a snack around 10 am at work. Some people eat a late dinner and need something to get them through until dinner.

What’s your favorite snack combination?

Laura

picture courtesy of http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/iStock_000003888693XSmall.jpg

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