Nutrition Month – Week #1 – Potential to Fuel – Snacking for Energy


March is Nutrition Month and the theme for 2018 is “Unlock the Potential of Food”.  This week we will focus on the “Potential to Fuel” our bodies by staying energized with nutritious snacks throughout the day. Healthy snacks can keep energy levels up and give you needed nutrients. A healthy snack can also help manage your appetite and make you feel less hungry between meals.

Here are some tips to help fuel your body:

  1. Plan ahead – keep snacks on hand for when you get hungry.  Prep veggies in advance and keep shelf stable items such as nuts and low sugar cereal easily accessible.  Having snacks ready to go will make it easier to avoid the afternoon temptations.
  2. Watch your portion sizes – snacks can easily turn into an additional meal so keep an eye on how much you are eating. Portion out foods rather than eating them from a large bag.
  3. Listen to your hunger cues – Are you really hungry or are you bored, tired, or stressed?
  4. Skip distracted snacking! Avoid eating in front of the TV, electronic screen, while reading or while driving.  People eat more when they aren’t paying attention to what and how much they are eating.
  5. Aim for two food groups. When choosing snacks, try to include two food groups with one being a fruit or vegetable. Snacks are an easy way to add more produce to your diet and adding a protein based option will help to keep you full longer.

Healthy snack ideas:

Snacks to keep at work

  • 1 medium fresh fruit such as a banana, pear, apple or orange and 60 mL (1/4 cup) of unsalted nuts
  • 500 mL (2 cups) plain popcorn mixed with 60 mL (1/4 cup) roasted soy nuts
  • Trail mix: 30 g (1 oz) unsweetened whole grain cereal with 15 mL (1 tbsp) each raisins and unsalted nuts

Snacks to take in your bag

  • 250 mL (1 cup) of veggies such as carrots, celery sticks or cucumber slices and hummus
  • 1 slice whole grain bread with 15 mL (1 tbsp) peanut or almond butter
  • 1 plain packaged dried fruit and nut bar (look for one with little added sugar)

Snacks to have at home

  • 250 mL (1 cup) yogurt berry parfait (layer plain yogurt with fresh or frozen berries)
  • 3 rye crackers with 50 g (1.5 oz.) cheese
  • Cheddar cheese (1.5 oz) and sliced apple
  • 250 mL (1 cup) smoothie made with low-fat yogurt, fortified soy beverage or skim milk and your favourite fruit
  • 30 g high-fibre cereal and 125 mL (½ cup) skim milk

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