If you plan to eat your meal within one to two hours, you should choose a snack with 50-100 calories. If you won't have your next meal for more than two hours, you can have 100-150 calories, but try not to overdo it.
Snacks are to give you nutritional insurance. Very few people get the recommended amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products in just three meals per day. Snacks are a great way to make up for these short falls. Snacks should contain lean protein and or fiber in order to keep you satisfied for a longer period of time.
It is important to plan your snacks. Most of us have eaten the wrong things for a snack because it is the first thing we see or is easy to grab. If you have healthy choices available and ready to eat, you are more likely to eat them. Pre-cut your fruit and vegetables and put them in the refrigerator in reusable containers. Buy healthy snack bars that are made from fruit and nuts.
Your snack choices might vary depending on whether you are trying to eat less sodium, fat or sugar. For most healthy people, these are good choices:
- String cheese and whole grain crackers
- Non-fat yogurt mixed with fresh fruit
- Pre-portioned half cup of cereal and nonfat milk
- Cut-up vegetables with hummus dip
- Baked corn tortilla with black bean salsa
- Turkey and cheese in a lettuce roll up, with mustard
- Half a wheat bagel with almond butter
- 100-calorie bag of popcorn with a tablespoon of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top
- Fat-free pudding cup
- Handful of mixed nuts with a few chocolate chips or M&Ms
- Low-fat or non-fat milk with graham crackers or a few ginger snaps
- 100-calorie bag of pretzels and an ounce of cheese
- Low-fat cottage cheese with tomato slices
- Whole wheat frozen waffle with unsweetened applesauce
- Low-sodium tomato soup with three whole wheat crackers
- Tuna salad and whole wheat crackers
- One slice of cheese/vegetable pizza