Get Smart about Snacking
We sure are busy these days, aren’t we?
If you’re like most active families, your clan starts the day early in the morning and doesn’t stop until you all collapse well into the evening. Snacking on healthy foods throughout the day can help your entire family meet important nutritional goals and will keep everyone’s energy level high and their mind’s alert!
“No snacking between meals!”
You’ve heard this one before - making most of us feel guilty when we do have a “snack attack”. But the truth of the matter is healthy snacking is an important dietary tool for the majority of Americans and here’s why:
- Snacking provides us with the opportunity to reach our dietary goals. How many of us can eat 7 servings of fruits/vegetables in 3 meals per day? But we can get the important nutrition that our bodies need through smart snacking.
- Helps decrease overeating at meals. Snacking keeps our hunger at bay; decreasing the likelihood of over-eating.
- Increase energy. Food is our body’s fuel- a small snack can help fuel our body until the next meal.
When you do snack, make it healthy
Now that we know the act of snacking can be good for us, let’s focus on how to make the snack healthy.
To get the most from your snack choose one that contains complex carbohydrates (whole grain bread and cereals) and combine them with foods high in protein (peanut butter, nuts, low fat yogurt and cheese). Try to stay away from foods that are high in simple sugars (candy, soda, juice).
Here are some suggestions for you and your family:
- NuGo Bars - this is a great choice. Low in saturated fat, all natural and full of important vitamins and nutrients. NuGo does not contain any hydrogenated oils or trans fatty acids and is high in fiber and protein - this will help keep your energy level high and your hunger at bay.
- Low fat cheese stick with a piece of fresh fruit
- 6 oz yogurt with 1 serving whole grain crackers
- Make your own trail mix - combine whole grain cereal with dried fruit and a few almonds or soynuts.
- Hummus with fresh veggies and pita
The Big Takeaway
Remember, snacking is part of a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. And foods like NuGo can keep your engines running happily all day long. So happy snacking to all!
Healthy eating habits are all in the family!
Is your busy schedule making it hard for your family to sit down and eat a family meal together? We here at NUGO want to help educate you on the reasons why it is important to take a “time out” and gather the family around the dinner table.
Eating together – Everyone wins!
Research has shown a positive association between frequency of family dinners and nutrition intake. Children who sit down for family meals have a greater intake of fruits, vegetables, and milk- resulting in higher nutrient intakes of calcium, iron, vitamins, and fiber. Likewise these children are eating less fried food and soft drinks - resulting in less saturated and trans fats.
Research has also shown social and behavioral benefits of eat together as a family. Frequent family diners have shown a reduced risk that a teen will smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs - for example; teens who have dinner with their families two nights a week or less are at twice the risk of substance abuse as teens who have frequent dinner with their families. Family meals can also facilitate family interaction, communication and a sense of unity. Increasing the frequency of family meals potentially could be a promising intervention for improving adolescent nutrition and health outcomes.
But remember not to stress yourself out - a family dinner does not have to look like a classic “Leave it to Beaver” family meal. Below are some quick and healthy meal suggestions that we hope you can use this week:
1. Mexican Night
Treat your family to a healthy (and easy) Mexican Night.
Use soft whole wheat tacos and lean ground turkey meat. Top with veggies and low fat cheese make a healthy and fun fiesta!
2. Grill Night
Pick your family’s favorite lean meat and grill away. Add a salad and some whole wheat Ciabatta bread and you have a great meal. And if it’s raining, just put on a slicker and fire up a dinner that will make everyone yearn for summer.
3. Deli Night
Lean lunchmeats like turkey and even roast beef between 2 slices of whole grain wheat is a quick and easy treat. Add your favorite cheese and even consider baking the sandwiches and your family will quickly be looking forward to deli night every week.
4. Stir Fry Night
Use a store bought stir fry frozen veggie mix and add some chicken and whole wheat rice for an incredibly easy and healthy concoction that will make everyone feel warm and fuzzy…and fit as a fiddle.
And let’s not forget about desert!
Cut up a variety of your favorite flavors of NUGO Bars and watch everyone’s eyes light up. Talk about healthy – and the low-glycemic formulation won’t have the little ones up all night.
Registered Dietician and Nugo Enthusiast