What makes a perfect snack?

I love snacks, but the problem with a lot of snack foods is they can be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt or calories (or even a combination of all four). Not only can these snacks lead to weight gain if you’re eating them regularly, but they don’t offer a lot in nutritional value. Snacking wisely means choosing healthy options you can eat between meals, which can help to meet your daily nutritional needs AND keep your tummy happy! If you’re wondering what makes a good snack, then keep reading..

Good snacks = healthy snacks

Snacking can help you get more healthy foods into your day and meet your daily nutritional requirements. It is recommended that you eat six serves of grains per day. Having some rice cakes with tuna or some crispbreads with blueberries and ricotta as a snack is a great way to reach those serves.

What makes a snack healthy?

Try to choose snacks that help to fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied. That way you’re less likely to want another snack and you usually avoid overeating at your next meal. To feel satiated (or satisfied), you should aim to eat snacks that have a good mix of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and good fats.

A healthy snack might be something like wholegrain toast with nut butter, a sliced banana and a sprinkling of chia seeds or a wholegrain toast with avocado and an egg. If you prefer to have your snack on the go enjoy for example a smoothie with vegetables and some fruits.

The formula for a good snack

If you’re trying to lose weight or you want to make healthy snack choices, then there are a few tips you can keep in mind. For a really simple way to plan your snacks, try to pair your macronutrients. With the snacks I suggested above, you’ll see that they both include grains (the rice cakes and the crispbreads), which offer a serve of carbohydrates. The tuna and the ricotta both offer protein, even though they have completely different tastes! Then the blueberries give a hint of sweetness to your snack, which can help if you struggle with sweet cravings by the afternoon, and you get some fibre as well.

The big thing to remember here is balance! A lot of snacks won’t contain all macros (protein, carbs and healthy fats) so factor that in over the course of the day. You could have a snack with protein and carbohydrates in the morning, then carbohydrates and healthy fats in the afternoon. That way you can enjoy a variety of delicious foods throughout the day.

What are some of your favourite snacks?

Love, Vanessa

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