A snack is a small amount of food consumed between meals.
A snack should contain similar nutrients compared to meals.
When planning meals you aim for the nutrients carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Well, the same applies for snacks.
Sometimes snacks can contain too much sugar, salt and fat which contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and excessive weight gain.
However there are choices out there that can be beneficial to the body and produce satiety between meals.
Here are some healthy tips on how to control the urge to snack uncontrollably:
1) Portion out your snacks.
Label them if you have to. Make time to portion out your snacks in small containers or reusable bags or ‘on the go’ cups with lids. Label them by using the days of week to keep track with your intake.
2) Plan ahead.
Use your monthly or weekly food budgets to make a list of snacks. Write down your choices and buy only the items on your list. If you have a meal plan, even better! This can help with making the right choices.
3) If it’s in season, use it wisely.
In the Caribbean, there is a wide variety of fruits and vegetables which can be in abundance based on their seasonality. Don’t use the opportunity to have too many, but use in different recipes for snacks. For example, mangoes can be added to homemade muffins, popsicles or smoothies or five fingers can be mixed with cucumbers for a chow.
4) Make it nutrient dense.
All foods will contain various nutrients. Nutrient-dense foods will contain more than one nutrient such as vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. It’s important to get as much from one or two foods to make a balanced and satisfying snack. Think of combining a carbohydrate with a protein.
fruit + nuts or
vegetable + cheese or
fruit + milk = smoothie
5) Check the nutrition facts label.
When choosing a snack ask yourself:
Does it contain fibre?
Does it contain protein?
Is it low in saturated fats?
Does it contain at least 20% or more of a vitamin or mineral?
If it’s yes for all of these, then the snack is worth it!
If you need more advice on choosing the right snacks or meal planning, don’t hesitate to ask the expert, a dietitian or public health nutritionist.
Cherice Bronte-Tinkew, RD, is a registered dietitian for the past 8 years. She has a passion for helping persons live a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet. Cherice is an executive member of the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians (TTANDi).
She can be contacted on Whatsapp: 768-6412 or click here: Just Cher Nutrition
Learn more: https://www.virtualwellnesstt.com/ttandi
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.