Snacking doesn’t have to be bad for you – healthy options are available. If you eat a well-balanced nutritious diet and regular meals, the odd snack is not a problem.
Here are some tips for healthy snacking.
- Eat regular meals. Going hungry makes you more likely to be tempted by extra snacks.
- Plan your snacks. Write a shopping list and avoid grocery visits when you’re hungry. Those snack food displays at the checkout counter can be hard to resist.
- Carry healthy snacks with you. Prepare snacks in advance and go for maximum variety to avoid boredom.
- Stock healthy snacks in your fridge and pantry. Suggestions include yoghurt, vegetable dips, wholemeal or rice crispbreads and air-popped popcorn.
- Resist buying junk food. Potato chips, sweet biscuits and chocolate are high in salt, fat and kilojoules. Make them occasional treats, not everyday foods.
- Make your own. Enjoy preparing and eating your own snacks using fresh ingredients. Experiment with new recipes to replace your favourite snack foods with healthy homemade alternatives.
- Keep a stocked fruit bowl and put it in plain sight. You’re more likely to snack on healthy options if they’re on hand.
- Limit your consumption of ‘health bars’ and fruit juices. Don’t be fooled by the advertising – processed muesli, breakfast or energy bars and juices are typically high in salt, fat or sugar.
- Think portion control. If you really want some of your favourite junk food, read the label and stick to one serve. Don’t eat the whole packet!
- Don’t skip breakfast. People who avoid breakfast tend to nibble on snacks during the mid-morning, which can be a problem if those snacks are junk foods.