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The Power of Balanced Snacking + Snack Ideas

“What does a typical day of eating look like for you,” a question I ask all my patients.

For many, they are beyond eager to share the healthiest breakfast, lunch, and dinners they can think of. I often hear smoothies and salads, and abstinence from sugar… But when asked about snacking, this behavior seems to be demonized. Some patients strictly avoid snacks because they believe they are unhealthy, don’t have the hunger cues, don’t have the time, or feel that they can’t control their intake. As a result, I hear stories of patients -intentional or not- waiting until they are extremely hungry, fatigued, and moody to eat. Next thing they know, they’re grabbing foods that make them feel guilty. Other’s tell me that their restrictive intake causes them to fixate on cravings and often snowballs into a binge. Now today’s session has turned into a session of food confessions! Does this sound like you?

Now I used to do this too-- unintentionally. I was a busy college student with more important things to do. That is, until I worked with a summer youth program as a culinary instructor and counselor. I was surprised to learn the power of intuitive eating from my little campers. Snack time would occur between each activity and the campers could choose if they wanted to partake or to simply socialize. My joy for snack time grew after each day. Seeing all the kids excited about fun food as well as observing my own sustained energy transformed me. I couldn’t believe such a small behavior could elevate my mood, boost my energy, and lead to a more balanced diet.



So now you’re interested in adding snacks,

but you don’t know what’s satisfying?

I like to combine two food groups together, like a protein/carb or carb/fat. Here’s some ideas!


Hard boiled egg + Fruit (banana, cutie, apple, berries)

Hummus + Veggies (peppers, carrots, snap peas)

Nuts (Almonds/walnuts/pistachio) + Fruit (banana, cutie, apple, berries)

Greek Yogurt+ Berries

Peanut Butter + Apple/Banana/Celery

LF Cream Cheese + Cucumber/Celery

Cottage Cheese + Fruit

Tuna (canned) + Lettuce Wrap

Deli Turkey (rolled)+ Cucumbers

LF Cheese + Crackers (Whole grain)

Greek Yogurt + Granola

String Cheese + Fruit

Guac + Chips

Dark Chocolate + Almonds


Some that can stand alone as winners, since they’re fiber/protein rich:

Popcorn

Nuts

Protein Shake

Greek Yogurt

Quesadilla



What is your favorite snack? Let me know in the comments!


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