by KAITLYN BRUSCHI, Accredited practising dietitian
SNACKS are becoming a greater part of the modern diet.
We tend to have less time for sit-down, structured meals and are instead eating on the go, grazing on snacks throughout the day.
So how do we ensure we are choosing healthy snacks that are going to enhance our energy, stabilise our mood, and give us the energy we need to get us through the day?
Previously, we looked at the importance of choosing a healthy snack.
Today, we explore the tips and tricks behind choosing a healthy snack.
How to pick a healthy snack
With such a wide variety of options available to us each day, it is important we remember a few key recommendations when next reaching for a snack.
The definition of a snack varies considerably between individuals, and we still lack a finite definition in Australia - a sandwich, for example, could constitute a snack for one person but a meal for another.
Using the energy content of the food item can often work as a good guide. Aim for around 600kJ per snack.
Check out the top 10 healthy snack ideas for examples of snacks around the 600kJ mark. If you are more active, it goes to follow that you may like to add more snacks to your day.
Also, aim to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. Manufacturing processes can often strip foods of the vital nutrients our body needs.
Look for options such as wholegrain carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
These are often the foods around the perimeter of the supermarket, which have minimal packaging, and best of all, are usually cheaper per kilogram compared to their processed counterparts.
Putting this into practice
With a little preparation, having healthy snacks on hand can be easy.
Make sure you consider your weekly snacks in your purchases when grocery shopping, try 'snack prepping' the Sunday before work to have snacks ready for the week to come, and pack your lunch the night before to make it easy to get to those early starts on time.
In the morning, remember to add an ice block to keep your food cool for the day.
Encouragingly, the future of snacking in Australia looks bright. Manufacturing companies are responding to increased consumer demand and creating an ever-expanding variety of healthier snack alternatives.
By making the conscious effort to choose nutrient-rich snack options, we can reduce fatigue, feel happier, and live a healthier life.