Fuel up on Nutritious Snacks

Pack a Snack

Chipotle Garbanzo Bean Dip | www.canolaeatwell.comLast week we shared some great tips on how to Pack a Healthful Budget-Friendly Lunch from our Professional Home Economics friends and this week we are talking snacks.

What is your favourite snack to pack?

The following post is brought to us by the Ontario Home Economics Association and was written by Amy Snider, P.H.Ec.

Eat Well…Jenn

Fuel up on Nutritious Snacks

Lifestyle demands have changed the way we eat. Snacking is on the rise as 84 per cent of Canadians admit to eating between meals. Families who rush from work and school to evening activities often find there just isn’t time to sit down to a traditional meal. Instead, hurried snacks fill the hunger gap until there is time to think about the next meal.

However, thoughtless eating can have an impact on our health. Snacks contribute to calories consumed and should receive as much attention as regular meals. Appropriate snacks can provide valuable fuel for activities and contribute to meeting our nutritional needs. Here are some smart snacking guidelines:

• Ensure that each snack contains at least two of the food groups listed in the Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.

• Combine foods that contain complex carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains with foods that contain protein sources such as meats and alternatives or light dairy products to provide lasting energy.

• Think portability when planning snacks! A supply of grab-and-go snacks will keep you from making unwholesome fast-food pit-stops.

• Pre-pack snacks into portion-controlled containers to prevent over-indulging.

Be a savvy snacker. Include healthful snack options on your weekly shopping list. While pre-packaged convenience foods such as single servings of yogurt, applesauce, cottage cheese and hummus can simplify preparation, they are often more expensive and less environmentally friendly.

To save and think green, buy these foods in bulk and divide portions into re-usable containers as you put away the groceries. That way, your snack options are ready when you are. Try these balanced combos that take just minutes to pack and can be eaten almost anywhere:

• a handful (10) unsalted almonds and a small bunch grapes;

• hummus with toasted pita chips and carrot sticks;

• unsweetened applesauce with a wedge of Cheddar cheese and melba toast;

• yogurt topped with multigrain breakfast cereal and fresh berries;

• cottage cheese with cubed melon or cantaloupe;

• dried fruit tossed with whole-grain pretzels and unsalted pecans or walnuts.

Eat Well…Amy Snider

OHEA-logoAmy Snider, P.H.Ec. is a Toronto-based Professional Home Economist and author of Fiber Boost – Everyday Cooking for a Long, Healthy Life. As a food consultant, Amy develops recipes, analyses nutritional content and creates new product ideas. Running and fitness are important to Amy, who knows the importance of snacking smart for endurance.

The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulated body of Professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.