Snacking Smart

Chosen wisely, snacks can work for you! As with other food and beverage choices, make between-meal eating a valuable part of your healthful eating style!

• Make snack calories count within your personal healthful eating plan—without overspending your day's calorie budget. Think of snacks as mini-meals that can contribute nutrient-rich food-group foods.

Refer to "A Food Group Plan—For You " and "Two Food-Group Snacks" in this chapter. Go easy on energy-dense snacks (candy, juice drinks, soft drinks, others) with a lot of fat, especially saturated (solid) fat and/or added sugars; choose them appropriately so your day's food choices fit within your calorie budget. A little lean-protein food may add satiety.

  • Snack only when you're hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you're bored, frustrated, or stressed. "Feed" that urge to munch by walking the dog, checking your e-mail, or talking to your family instead.
  • Snack on sensible portions. Choose a single-serve container; put a small helping in a bowl, rather than eating directly from the package; and skip "mega" or "super" size drinks and snacks.
  • Use food labels to make snack decisions. Remember: If a snack package has two servings and you eat the whole amount, you double the calories, the saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium listed in one label serving, too! Check the ingredient list for added sugars. For more on labeling reading, refer to "Today's Food Labels" in chapter 11.
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