Snacks are a great way to satisfy the hunger signals in our body in between meals. Smart snacking is an additional step to improve our choices to eat healthy and wholesome while avoiding consuming foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. About 200-250 calories for a snack can be a good way to ensure you make it to the next meal craving free.  You can feel fuller throughout the day, keep your energy levels high, and have a clear mind without taking up much time from your day.

A good way to learn about your individual hunger cues is through the ‘Hunger Scale’

How to use:

  • Rate your hunger before reaching for a snack
  • Use the hunger scale from 1 (extremely hungry)-10 (sick)
  • Try to start eating around range 3(hungry) and stop by 6 (satisfied)

Some ideas to have snacks planned ahead of time:

Kids:

  • Make a mini-sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Dip slices of fruit (apples) on low-fat vanilla yogurt or peanut butter
  • Frozen treats with 100% fruits juice and fat-free yogurt
  • Smoothies (using Greek Yogurt or fat-free milk)
  • Whole grain waffles with peanut butter and jelly
  • Quesadilla with corn or whole wheat tortilla with shredded cheese

Teenagers and Adults:

  • Air-popped non butter popcorn
  • Make your own trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, nuts or sees, and dried fruit
  • Celery sticks with hummus
  • Dress up a salad with tomato, carrot, and a hard cooked egg (instead of dressing- use lemon or drizzle olive oil)
  • Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets
  • Whole wheat pita chips with hummus or bean dip

Resources:

http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/storage/documents/MT_Handout_Four_Pages_3-11-14.pdf

Image: http://advanceddiabetescentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Hunger-scale-copingwith-hunger.jpg