Nutrition

To Snack or Not to Snack?

Some people swear by it, while others find snacking an absolute nightmare.

If used in the right way, snacking can be a great way to sustain your energy levels throughout the day.

Healthy nutrient dense foods will help fill the gap between meals, but unfortunately many snack foods sold nowadays are full of energy but offer little nutritional value. Some of these foods are even marketed as healthy snack foods such as muesli bars, chips and some protein bars.

Convenient snack foods can contain more calories than a traditional meal and are often high in sugar and fat. If you are always eating these snacks, which are very low in nutrients, you are starving your body of essential nutrition. This can cause your brain to think you are starving and start psychological hunger signals - this can often lead to overeating at your next meal.

Snacking between meals can be an effective diet strategy and can be a good way to get extra nutrients into your day. But be aware of low fat snack products that may have high levels of sugar and make sure the foods you choose to snack on are high in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Some snack ideas:

  • 1 cup air popped popcorn

  • 1 medium piece of fruit

  • Carrot/capsicum/celery sticks with peanut butter

  • 1 glass of orange juice

  • 7-8 walnuts/almonds/cashew nuts

  • 1 small pot non-fat yoghurt

  • 1 hardboiled egg

  • Small bowl roast vegetables

  • Small bowl fruit salad

  • Frozen grapes/banana

  • Small bowl vegetable soup

  • 1 row of rice crackers

  • Dried apricots and almonds

  • DIY trail mix, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, dried fruit

  • Fruit smoothie; fruit, milk, yoghurt

  • Small bowl of cereal and milk

  • Hummus and capsicum/carrot

5 Instant Healthy Dips By Niki Bezzant

Whether you're entertaining or feeling peckish, a sure-fire filler is a healthy dip with those grainy crackers or vegetable sticks. Any one of these five simple suggestions for a healthy dip will satisfy those taste buds and hunger pangs.

  1. Seafood dip: Mash a can of tuna, salmon or sardines with reduced-fat sour cream, a dash of lemon juice and a splash of Tabasco.

  2. Quick hummus: Mash or blend a can of drained chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and a clove of garlic for instant hummus.

  3. Green pea dip: Blend frozen peas, mint, a spoon of plain yoghurt and season with salt and pepper for a green pea dip.

  4. Feta and capsicum dip: Blend half a block of feta with 2 or 3 marinated red peppers from a jar. Add a dash of chilli and some salt and pepper.

  5. Classic guacamole: Mash an avocado with plain yoghurt, ground cumin, lime juice and chilli sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. By Kali Brydon BSC Human Nutritionist