Snacking is an everday part of life for most of us. A quick pick-me-up hits the spot mid-morning, mid-afternoon and most often, evenings while relaxing after a long day.
When you need to watch your diet it is true snacking should be limited; however, you needn't give it up entirely. Just snack smart. Here are a few tips:
Vegetables. Keep a supply on hand of your favorite snack vegetables such as baby carrots, celery and even broccoli can be bought in ready-to-eat packaging.
Don't like veggies? There are other snacking choices such as light popcorn, whole grain cereal with skim milk, or a piece of your favorite fruit. With fruit the possibilities are endless. Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, etc. Not only are these healthy, low calorie snacks, all of them are a great source of fiber.
Calcium rich snacks are smart snack choices. Cottage cheese, low or non-fat yogurt which comes in many pleasing flavors, reduced-fat cheeses and the like are excellent choices.
Got the munchies where you need something with a satisfying crunch? Okay, try toasted pita or baked chips. These are also good sources of fiber. Tortilla chips are naturally low in fat and are good dipped in salsa, also low in fat and calories. Fat-free refried beans are available as well as low to non-fat cheeses to use in your favorite bean dip recipes.
Consider snacking as a part of healthy eating rather than a no-no. A snack can help you fill in nutrition gaps from meals and help you balance food choices for the day.