Snacks can be a healthy addition to your three daily meals and a way of getting some of the nutrients you may have missed at mealtime. If you feel like grabbing a snack between meals, ask yourself first if you are truly hungry or if you are eating because you are feeling bored, lonely, anxious, angry, happy, sad or stressed. If you are hungry, choose a snack that will energize you, nourish your body, and help you feel satisfied until your next meal. If you think you are craving a snack for reasons other than hunger, do something to distract yourself like doing a crossword puzzle/craft or going for a walk.
Tips for Choosing a Healthy snack
For a nutrient-packed snack, include a serving from 1 or 2 of the food groups from Canada's Food Guide.
Choose whole, non-processed foods more often.
Include a source of protein and/or healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, hummus, hard-cooked egg, tuna, avocado or lower fat dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt or milk. Including protein and/or healthy fats with your snack will help you feel full for longer.
Add a source of carbohydrate such as whole grain bread, tortilla, pita, cereal or melba toast. In addition to giving you the energy boost you need, the fibre in whole grains will help fill you up until your next meal. Choosing lower glycemic index carbohydrates such as popcorn, rye crisp crackers, apples,oranges and berries, will cause a slower elevation in blood sugars that may help you feel satisfied for longer and control cravings.
Fruits and vegetables are always a great choice as they are high in fibre and water as well. These types of foods provide the volume and weight that help you feel full, without the extra calories.
Limit your intake of snacks containing added sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. If you do choose to eat these types of snacks, put a small portion in a bowl or on a plate. Do not eat them directly from the box or bag.
25 Dietitian- Approved Healthy Snacks
Yogurt parfait (layer lower fat yogurt, berries and muesli cereal)
Apple slices dipped in almond butter
Hummus and whole grain pita
Tuna on rye crisp crackers
Hard cooked egg and whole grain melba toast
Lower fat cheese and whole grain crackers
Whole grain cereal and lower fat milk
Trail mix (nuts, seeds and dried fruit)
Air-popped popcorn lightly sprinkled with parmesan cheese
Melon and lower fat cottage cheese
Smoothie (lower fat Greek yogurt, milk, frozen fruit, spinach and ground flax seed)
Peanut butter and banana wrapped in a whole grain tortilla
Hummus with baby carrots
Baked apple, core removed and filled with cinnamon/walnuts
Orange sections and almonds or other nuts
Homemade frozen fruit and yogurt pop (lower fat yogurt blended with fruit)
Edamame beans and a glass of lower fat milk
Mini pizza on an English muffin with vegetable toppings
Frozen grapes and lower fat cheese cubes
Party mix (nuts, “O” -shaped and wheat square cereal and dried fruit)
Avocado and tomato slices on whole grain toast
Unsalted tortilla chips with melted, lower fat cheese or bean dip
Roasted chickpeas and cucumber slices
Fruit kebabs dipped in lower fat Greek yogurt
Protein balls (mixture of dried fruit, seeds and nut or seed butter, rolled into balls)
Snack well. Live Well.