Snacking can be an important part of healthy eating if you choose healthy choices for you and your family. Snacking can be useful and can improve endurance prior to exercise rather than eating an entire meal. Healthy snacks can meet our nutrient needs, increase our energy levels, control blood sugars, help with weight loss and manage our hunger.
· Choose foods a variety from the five food groups: protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. Snacks should be at least two food groups.
· Snacks should always include a fruit or vegetable in addition to other food groups. People who are losing weight or have diabetes should limit intake of fruit to 2-3 servings which is about 2-3 cups of cut up fresh fruit or 2-3 small pieces of fruit.
· Lean protein as a snack in small amounts can last longer and help with feeling fuller so is believed to help with weight control.
· Always carry snacks when away from home to avoid the temptation of choosing a high fat, sodium or sugar snack or beverage. Keep snack baggies, plastic storage containers, ice packs and lunch coolers on hand!
· Water or low fat milk are the best beverage choices. Infused water or hot or cold naturally flavored ice teas are a great choice. Other choices are unsweetened soy or almond milk.
· Baby carrots, grape tomatoes, peppers with hummus
· Half whole grain bread with all natural nut butter and bananas
· All natural nut butter and apples
· Berries with nonfat, low sugar yogurt
· Smoothie with nonfat yogurt, 100% juice and frozen unsweetened or fresh fruit
· Low sugar, whole grain cereal (1/2 cup), nonfat milk and ½ banana
· Half whole grain sandwich with tuna or lean meat (leftover chicken or turkey)
· Half small pita loaded with vegs, reduced fat shredded cheese and hummus
· Dark leafy green salad, almonds and mango or unsweetened mandarin oranges
· Avocado and/or low sodium salsa with whole grain sweet potato corn chips
· Celery with all natural peanut butter
· Reduced fat cheese or part skim string cheese with whole grain crackers & 4 oz. 100% fruit juice
· Whole grain popcorn & 4 oz. 100% juice or water with fruit slices
· Mini pizza made with whole grain pita or English muffin topped with vegetables, part skim mozzarella cheese and low sodium tomato sauce
· Yogurt parfait: berries, low sugar, nonfat yogurt and 2 Tablespoons of low sugar granola
· Trail mix: high fiber, low sugar cereal, unsalted nuts, unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds and 1-2 Tablespoons craisins
· Nonfat cottage cheese and pineapple
· Part skim mozzarella and tomatoes