What is a healthy midday snack?

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Carolyn  Thomas
Healthcare
When my kidlets were little, their favorite after-school snack was what we called "Ants on a Log" -- celery sticks, spread with crunchy peanut butter (natural, not the sugar-added kind) and dotted with dried cranberries or raisins. Fun, delicious and a healthy way to fill that gap between lunch and dinnertime -- for kids both big and small!
Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing
Mid-afternoon is my most dangerous time. As my sugar dips down I need protein to carry me through till dinner time. I try to have my carbs in the morning snack and make sure if I have a carb in the afternoon I put some protein with it, Greek yogurt is a good protein snack.

When I have fruit like an apple I try to put some natural peanut butter or low fat or veggie cheese with it.
Sometimes I just have a handful of my own trail mix. Commercial trail mix often is full of sodium and the fruit is often full of added sugars. I love almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, roasted edamame, sunflower seeds, pecans, cranberries, dried blueberries, and unsalted Spanish peanuts in mine, but you can make it to your own individual taste

If I am having whole wheat pretzels or crackers I put some hummus with it.

I limit my snacks to under 200 calories and watch the five food felons. Eating an afternoon snack keeps my hunger at bay and prevents my overeating at the dinner hour.
Amaris Noguera
Nutrition & Dietetics

Snacking midday is a great way to keep our hunger in check and cravings at bay. Think about your snack like you would a balanced meal: try to include a little bit of protein and/or fiber to ensure that your snack satisfies your hunger. Often times fruits and vegetables are the best snack since we don’t always include them in our meals, so snacking on them will help you meet your daily quota. Some of my go-to recommendations include:

  • Whole fruit like berries, cubed melon, tangerines are quick and easy fixes!
  • Sliced peppers, carrots and celery with hummus or guacamole
  • Part-skim mozzarella cheese sticks with red grapes or sliced pears
  • Light or low-fat cheese rounds or wedges with whole wheat crackers or rye crispbreads
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with all-fruit spread or jam or fresh berries or peaches
  • Apple slices and all-natural peanut butter (i.e. without hydrogenated oil)
  • Raw nuts
  • Homemade trail mix with dried fruit and nuts and seeds
  • High fiber granola bars

Focusing on these whole foods snacks will help fill your hunger gaps in between meals without leaving you bloated or in an energy slump like many processed and packaged foods do. Enjoy!

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Commercially prepared trail mix can be loaded with salted peanuts, milk chocolate morsels and sugarcoated dried fruit that can make a 1/2 cup cost you 320 calories. Whereas one raisin cookie weighs in at 250 calories. The solution? Make your own trail mix: include true tree nuts like raw almonds and walnuts for protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids; and dried cranberries and dark chocolate for antioxidants.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.