How can I make my snacks healthier?

Dawn Marcus
Dieticians, nutritionists, and researchers will tell you snacking’s not all bad. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition titled “The role of snacking in energy balance” noted that frequent small meals prevent becoming overweight and in some cases, we need to rethink if we’re actually having a snack or a healthy mini-meal.

Here are some healthy snacking tips:
  • Have a glass of water before any snack. In many cases, “feeling hungry” is actually a response to being dehydrated. That’s why you often feel like you can’t eat enough after exercise -- you can’t because your body isn’t asking for calories, it’s asking for water.
  • Choose healthy snacks -- a small portion of something that’s a healthy meal food is a good choice.
  • Protein snacks help curb your appetite when you really are hungry between meals.
  • If you’re craving a particular treat, don’t deny yourself, just eat a small portion, like a fun-size candy bar, four marshmallows, etc.
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics
Here is a recipe that makes chocolate healthier, while increasing your fruit intake:
  • 4oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 c of slivered almonds
Melt chocolate in double boiler; Gently mix in berries; put wax paper on a baking pan and place small piles of almonds on the sheet. Drop some chocolate mixture on each pile; Shape into a cluster. Chill for 45 minutes. 

Serving size= 1 cluster

35 calories; 2 grams fat; 4 grams of carbohydrate; 1 gram protein.

Recipe from Fall 2010/Winter 11 "The Wellness Advisor."
Heidi Skolnik, MS
Sports Medicine

There's nothing wrong with snacking -- in fact, if you do it right, it can help your diet instead of derailing it. In this video, sports nutritionist and Dr. Oz Show guest Heidi Skolnik tells you the  snack foods that will banish hunger pangs and help you lose that extra weight.

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

To make a healthier snack, reduce the fat and sodium content. A snack can also be made healthier by using whole foods instead of refined foods. Some great snack choices are: fruit kebobs with a Greek yogurt dip; reduced fat cheese, whole grain crackers and raw vegetables; graham crackers and peanut butter; or a homemade trail mix using unsalted nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain cereal. Combining a source of protein and carbohydrate in your snack will help you feel satisfied and fuller for a longer period of time along with better brain power to get you to your next meal.

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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.