You can enjoy snacks as part of your day. If you make wise choices, snacks can keep you energized and provide important nutrients. Young children especially benefit from snacks as they have small stomachs and may have trouble eating all of the foods they need at meal time.
- Include nutritious snacks when planning your meals and add them to your grocery list. What you keep in your cupboards is what you’ll snack on!
- Take nutritious snacks from home to eat at school, at work, or to eat on the go. This helps reduce your temptation to buy less nutritious snacks.
- Avoid snacks that may be high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium). This includes buttered popcorn, cakes, chips, cookies, doughnuts, French fries, ice cream, pastries and sugary beverages. These foods can add extra calories to your day.
- Chop celery and carrots into sticks, and create little hummus and veggie snack jars
- Wash, chop, and prepare a bunch of different veggies for the week, and store them in tupperware containers. Roast some veggies to use in all of your meals throughout the week.
- Eat from small plates, bowls, cups, and jars to help manage your portion sizes. Or eat from plates and bowls that are a different color than the food you have in front of you, also to help with portion sizes.
- Prep your lunches for the week on Sundays so you can just grab them without thinking when you’re out the door in the morning.
Snacks to Grab and Go:
- Fresh fruit or individually packed containers of cut-up fruit
- Raw vegetables including carrots, peppers, zucchini, cherry or grape tomatoes
- Baby carrots and whole wheat pita triangles with hummus
- Pumpernickel bagel with peanut butter and banana
- Fresh, frozen or canned fruit with low fat yogurt or in a smoothie
- Whole wheat tortilla wrap made with salmon or tuna and salad dressing, onions, celery and green peppers
- Dry mixed cereal and a container of milk
- Nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Plain popcorn
Eat Well When Eating Out
- Ask to see the nutrition information available for the menu items in your cafeteria, restaurant or fast food restaurant or visit their website ahead of time. Use it to help you choose the healthier menu options.
- Treat your taste buds to something different. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern and other ethnic cuisines offer healthy choices.
- Choose dark mixed green salads with vegetables or fruit instead of higher fat Caesar, taco, potato or pasta salads. Order dressing on the side and use sparingly.
- Choose tomato or vegetable based soups and pasta sauces instead of alfredo or cheese sauces.
- Order sandwiches, subs or wraps with whole grain bread, buns or tortillas. Choose one spread instead of two; for example, mayonnaise or margarine, not both.
- Choose baked, broiled, or steamed foods instead of breaded or deep-fried foods.
- Enjoy the taste of foods without adding butter, margarine, gravy or rich sauces. Ask how your meal is prepared and request for the sauce to be omitted or served on the side.
- Limit cakes, cookies and rich desserts. Get a smaller size or share with your family or friends.
- Choose water, milk, fortified soy beverage or 100% juice instead of soft drinks or highly sweetened beverages.
Keep Serving Size in Mind
- Some restaurants serve a lot more food than you need. Avoid super-sizing! Order a small appetizer or half a meal. If you are served too much food ask for a “take-home package” and keep the leftovers in the fridge for the next day!
- Have the small sized drink and ask for a glass of water instead of ordering a large. You can add a lot of extra calories in your day from the beverages you drink.