Snacks can add to a nutritious, well balanced diet and can help to keep us going throughout the day. When we eat a snack, it should be contributing to our recommended intake of the five food groups. However, we tend to think of snacks as extras like chips, muffins, chocolates or muesli bars. These foods do not contribute to a balanced diet and do not have a necessary place within our diet. In addition to this, they do not provide a good, sustained source of energy.
So what are some wise snack options that will be nutritious and also provide you with lasting energy and satiety? Below are some convenience options as well as some that will take a small amount of preparation – even the packaged options can be made at home!
Nutritious snacks to keep you satisfied
There is now a great range of tuna and bean snacks that are easy to grab and keep in your bag or desk drawer. They have a low glycaemic index, and the protein from the tuna/ beans and fibre makes them a satisfying snack that is also quite filling! They even come with a small, handy fork and don’t require any draining.
If you don’t like tuna, Edgell’s have a range of bean/ lentil convenience options that are also easy to carry with you on the go. There are a number of different varieties and these ones can be eaten as more of a meal. If having for lunch, you could add your own garden salad or tuna, or eat by itself. Again, this will be a filling and nutritious option due to the beans.
Roasted chick peas/fava beans
These ones can come in a larger pack or handy little pre-portioned packs. If you struggle with portion control then it may be wise to opt for the portioned out varieties because whilst very nutritious and filling, lentils are energy dense! These are a good substitute for chips.
A small handful of nuts is always a good snack options. They are filling and full of fibre, healthy fats and protein to keep you going. Once again, they are easily transportable too.
Yoghurt will need to be refrigerated, but it is an easy option to keep in your work fridge or at home. It is low GI and a good source of calcium and protein. The natural sugars can also help to hit that sweet tooth.
We should be eating two pieces of fruit each day, so it can work as an ideal snack to bridge the gap between meals and again, have something a little sweet! The fibre will help contribute to our daily requirements and assist with digestion.
Wholegrain biscuits like Vita Weats or Ryvita biscuits are a good option to have with a thin slice of fat reduced cheese/ avocado/ tomato/ Vegemite. They are filling and satisfying, but will require a small amount of preparation.
Find that you have a tendency to continually graze between meals? If you have already had your meals, plus a couple of snacks then try picking at some vegetables sticks like cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, capsicum. They are extremely nutritious and high in fibre, and most of us don’t get even close to our daily requirements anyway!
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Nutritionist. If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns.