What are healthy ways to snack?

Snacks can boost your energy between meals and supply essential vitamins and minerals, so choose your snacks wisely. Here are tips for healthy snacking:
  • Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute to nutrient-rich foods. You can fit snack calories into your personal healthy eating plan without over-spending your day's calorie budget.
  • Snack only when you're hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you're bored, frustrated or stressed. Feed the urge to do something by walking the dog or working in the garden.
  • Keep portion control in mind. Have a single-serve container of yogurt or put a small serving of nuts in a bowl. Eating directly from a larger package can lead to overeating.
  • Plan snacks ahead of time. Keep a variety of nutritious, ready-to-eat options on hand, such as whole-grain crackers and low-fat cheese.
Rose Reisman
Nutrition & Dietetics
We’ve been told that snacking between meals is the key to prevent hunger and maintain a healthy body weight. A snack containing lean protein, fibre and healthy fats is the magic bullet! Avoid those with excess sodium, sugar and saturated fats. Stick to the "Grade A" snacks and avoid the "F's":
  • A: Snacks that get an A include cottage cheese, greek yogurt, pistachios, high fibre cereal and milk, oranges and avocados.
  • B: B type snacks include low fat popcorn, peanut butter, yogurt with sweeteners and nutrition bars.
  • C: C type snacks include chocolate, granola bars, carrot sticks with dressing, crackers and baked tortilla crisps.
  • D: D’s include 100 calorie snacks, goldfish crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies and chocolate bars.
  • F: And F -- meaning "forget about it" snacks include roll ups, jello pudding cups, candy and anything filled with sugar and saturated fats.
What’s your grade point average?
Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

Healthy ways to snack are to calculate your snack into your total required calorie allotment for the day in order to maintain weight; consume snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of rich in calories; use a snack as a way to get more of the vitamins, minerals or nutrients you may miss during meal time; consume snacks to help fill long gaps of time when you aren’t able to consume your next meal. Some healthy snack choices are fruits; vegetables; whole grains like reduced fat popped popcorn or whole grain crackers; Nuts and seeds (but watch your serving size since there is a high fat content in nuts and seeds and calories add up quickly); or low fat/fat free dairy like fat reduced cheese sticks or low fat Greek yogurt.

Continue Learning about Eating Habits and Nutrition

Are You a Captive Black Rhino?
Are You a Captive Black Rhino?
You may already know that the rhinoceros is being illegally hunted to near extinction. (A single horn can go for over $250,000 on the black market.) W...
Read More
How can I make changes in my eating patterns?
Tanya ZuckerbrotTanya Zuckerbrot
Registered Dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot explains how you can make changes in your eating patterns. W...
More Answers
6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making
6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making6 Mealtime Mistakes You're Probably Making
Do you clean your plate, pick the wrong sides and skimp on treats?
Start Slideshow
6 Steps to Avoid BPA
6 Steps to Avoid BPA

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.