Many people enjoy eating between meals. Snacking can help you meet your nutrition needs and help satisfy hunger throughout the day.
Your need for snacks depends on your age, health, weight and activity level. Not everyone needs snacks.
Tips for Healthy Snacking
- Use Canada's Food Guide to help you plan your snacks. Include foods from 1 or 2 of the food groups when you snack. To view Canada's Food Guide visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php.
- Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy foods that you can grab quickly such as: fresh fruits and vegetables; fruits canned in their own juice; whole grain low fat crackers; whole grain cereals; yogurt; unsalted nuts and seeds and their butters; and single serving canned fish.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables before storing them in the fridge. This makes them easier to grab quickly when you are hungry.
- Leftovers can make great snacks. After meals, take leftovers and package them into smaller "snack" sized containers and store them in the fridge or freezer.
- Packaged foods often contain more than 1 serving in a container. Check the label to find the amount of food in 1 serving. Take the amount you want to eat out of the package and put the rest away.
- Include water, milk or soy beverage with snacks to help you feel more satisfied.
Healthy Snack Ideas
Snacks can be healthy and satisfy your hunger. Ideas for smaller snacks, which have less than 150 calories, include:
- Fresh or frozen berries (125 mL or ½ cup) or a whole piece of fruit such as a banana or apple
- Low fat plain or fruit yogurt (175 g or ¾ cup)
- Unsalted soy nuts (60 mL or ¼ cup)
- Single serving of canned tuna (85 g) on celery
- Vegetable sticks with hummus (60 mL or Â¼ cup)
- Mixed green salad (250 mL or 1 cup) with dressing (15 mL or 1 tablespoon)
- Air popped popcorn (750 mL or 3 cups) with non-hydrogenated margarine (5 mL or 1 teaspoon, melted)
- Low fat latté (675 mL or 12 oz)
- Homemade smoothie (250 mL or 1 cup)
- To make a smoothie, blend together fruit, yogurt and milk or soy beverage.
- Unsweetened applesauce (125 mL or ½ cup) sprinkled with cinnamon and toasted sliced almonds (15 mL or 1 tablespoon)
- Frozen yogurt popsicle (1 popsicle)
- To make a yogurt popsicle, blend together fruit, yogurt and milk, then pour into popsicle mold trays and freeze.
Ideas for larger snacks, which have 150 calories or more, include:
- Unsalted nuts such as almonds or walnuts (60 mL or ¼ cup)
- Homemade trail mix (60 mL or ¼ cup)
- Mix together dried whole grain cereal, dried fruit, unsalted nuts or seeds.
- Whole grain crackers (approximately 4 to 6 crackers or 30 g) with cheese (50 g or 1 ½ ounces) or nut butter (30 mL or 2 tablespoons)
- 4-inch pancake (1) with almond butter (15 mL or 1 tablespoon)
- Hardboiled egg (1) sliced and spread on whole grain toast (1 slice)
- Edamame (175 mL or ¾ cup) sprinkled with lemon juice
- Pudding made with milk (125 mL or ½ cup)
- Whole grain muffin (1 small)
For more information
Visit the Healthy Canadians website for more information on eating safe and healthy at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation/index-eng.php.
For more nutrition information, call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered dietitian.