How To Snack Smarter
If your go-to snack comes in a crinkly bag, then it’s time for a glow-up. Today we’ve got dozens of ideas for snacks that are healthy, taste good and can even help you beat the Florida heat.
If your go-to snack comes in a crinkly bag, then it’s time for a glow-up. This week, we’re chatting with two family and consumer sciences agents from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Kimberly Bragg-Armatrout is with UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County, and Shari Bresin is with UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County.
They’ve got dozens of ideas for snacks that are healthy, taste good and can even help you beat the Florida heat.
Smart snacking tips:
- Plan your snacks like you plan your meals.
- Pre-portion snacks so you don’t overeat.
- Seek out snacks that are nutrient-dense, not calorie-dense. That means choosing an apple rather than a slice of apple pie. (Sorry.)
- Make sure your snack contains both protein and fiber, which will keep you full.
- Steer clear of snacks with long ingredient lists. This is an indicator that they’re highly processed and offer little nutrition.
- Don’t go for seconds or thirds right away. It can take 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to feel full.
- Encourage kids to help with snack prep. To get them excited about healthy foods, serve snacks with dip and use food coloring to create colorful snacks.
- Keep healthy snacks handy, so you won’t be tempted to reach for less healthy options.
- Calorie needs vary by activity level, age, gender and other factors, so there’s no one-size-fits-all snack.
- On days when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, food should not sit out for more than one hour. Use a cooler.
- Don’t shop hungry.
- Stick to your shopping list.
- Shop the supermarket’s perimeter—but steer clear of triggers like freshly baked pastries in the bakery or fried chicken in the deli.
- Read food labels, not just the marketing on the front of the package.
Smart snacking ideas:
- Apple slices with peanut butter on pita bread
- Plain yogurt mixed with fresh fruit
- Half peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
- Mixed nuts with dried fruit
- Baby carrots with hummus
- Sliced cucumbers with turkey and cheese
- Hard-boiled egg with nuts, seeds and a slice of bread or pita chips
- Hard-boiled egg slices topped with salsa or sliced cucumbers
- Fruit and cheese kabobs
- Ants on a log: celery with peanut butter and raisins
- Chilled bean dip
- Black bean salad with whole-wheat chips
- ¼ sub sandwich
- Half a wrap
- Pasta salad
- Tuna salad
- Vegetables with dip
- Trail mix
- Pumpkin seeds
- Peanut butter on crackers
- Fruit smoothie
- Protein shake