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
- Develop a healthy snack plan in advance. If you wait until you’re hungry to decide what to eat, you may only be able to find less healthy choices. You might also end up eating more than you need.
- Include foods from 1 or 2 of the food groups in Canada’s Food Guide 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, freezer and pantry stocked with healthy foods that you can grab quickly. Some examples include:
- fresh fruits and vegetables;
- frozen fruit to blend in smoothies;
- fruits canned in their own juice;
- whole grain bread, crackers and cereals;
- unsalted nuts and seeds and their butters;
- hard boiled eggs; 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, package leftovers into smaller “snack” sized containers, date and label the containers, and store them in the fridge or freezer.
- Packaged foods often contain more than 1 serving. Check the label to find the amount of food equal to 1 serving. Take the amount you want to eat out of the package and put the rest away.
- Include water, milk or unsweetened fortified 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 include:
- Fresh or frozen berries (125 mL or ½ cup) or a whole piece of fruit such as a banana or apple
- Reduced fat (2%, 1% or skim) plain or fruit yogurt (175g or ¾ cup)
- Unsalted soy nuts (60 mL or ¼ cup)
- Single serving of canned tuna (85 g) on celery
- Vegetable sticks with hummus or a yogurt-based dip (60 mL or ¼ 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 unsweetened fortified soy beverage.
- Unsweetened applesauce (125 mL or ½ cup) sprinkled with cinnamon and toasted almond slices (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 tray and freeze.
Ideas for larger snacks include:
- Unsalted nuts such as almonds or walnuts (60 mL or ¼ cup is a serving)
- Homemade trail mix (60 mL or ¼ cup)
- Mix together dried whole grain cereal, unsweetened dried fruit, unsalted nuts or seeds.
- Whole grain crackers (approximately 4 to 6 crackers or 30 g) with cheese (50 g or 1½ 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)
- Homemade yogurt parfait with yogurt (175g or ¾ cup), chopped fresh fruit (125 mL or ½ cup) and sprinkled with nuts or granola (30 mL or 2 tablespoons)
- Edamame (175 mL or ¾ cup) sprinkled with lemon juice
- Pudding made with milk (125 mL or ½ cup)
- Whole grain muffin (1 small)
- Homemade chips from pita (1/2) or tortilla (1/2) with salsa or guacamole (60 mL or ¼ cup).
For More Information
For more information on eating safe and healthy, visit Healthy Canadians 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, or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating.