Healthy food choices can be difficult, especially when hunger strikes in the middle of the night! Healthy snacking, like other meals, requires some planning. Whether you’re looking for snacks for yourself, or your kids, or some older family member, it demands time and effort to enlist some healthy options.
Snacks must be synchronized with your daily meals. Consult a dietitian and get a healthy diet plan. Double-check the nutritional requirements and choose accordingly. If your meals are missing out on some important nutrients, your snacks must make up for that. Thus, we suggest that you check for the nutritional content when buying snacks.
Here are some important nutrients to be checked while choosing a snack item.
- Protein and fiber
- Whole grains
- Added sugars
Protein and fibers make your snacks filling enough to satisfy your untimely hunger. Most importantly, they don’t let you gain weight. Healthy snacks contain a considerable amount of them both. Secondly, whole grains provide essential vitamins and antioxidants to strengthen your immune system. It is a common observation that processed snacks include added sugars and high-calorie content which isn’t good for health. Therefore, one must watch for added sugars and choose the snacks with a reasonable calorie count.
Considerations for choosing snacks
The first and the foremost consideration for healthy snacking is the time! For instance, if your snack time is after a hard workout, you need something substantial and sizeable. And if you’re having a busy day and you eat your snacks on-the-go, something quick and portable would work the best.
The second most important consideration is the purpose of snacks. If you’re eating snacks to satisfy your stomach, choose something that doesn’t harm your health. For instance, junk food is the unhealthiest option as snacks. They may provide you with unnecessary fats and can hamper your well-being. Rather whole grains and cereals can be a good option. Furthermore, if you are looking for some weight-loss snack, high-fiber and protein are the best. They help you satiate your hunger and make you feel full for long. Hard-boiled eggs, protein cookies, and green smoothies can serve the purpose well.
Another important consideration while choosing snacks is the age group of the snacker! Snacks for kids are way different than for older adults. When choosing snacks for kids taste and ease is the key! Choose something that is healthy and interests your child. A survey reports that applesauce, apple chips, muffins, and fruit smoothies are the four most popular snacks among kids. On the other hand, considering older adults snacks must be chosen as per their health conditions. Avoid giving them something they are allergic to. Frozen fruits, fresh fruits, and vegetables, whole grain cereals, unsalted nuts can be some good snack options for older people.
Snacking is fun if done wisely. Hunger can hit hard anytime, make sure to counter and satisfy it healthily. Always remember, you are what you eat thus, choose wisely!