Is snacking all that bad?

Snacking often gets demonised for being ‘unnecessary calories’ or ‘a waste’ of calories and the temptation to stick to ridged meals is glorified. But snacking is a very important part of regular eating and serves an important purpose of the diet. 

Snacking can help to:

  • Maintain concentration levels 
  • Maintain blood glucose levels 
  • Maintain energy levels 
  • Keep you satisfied 
  • Provide essential nutrients
  • Fuel a workout 
  • Recover from a workout 

While snacks may not be for everyone, there is no need to avoid them/restrict if you are hungry between meals. The key is to make your snacks balanced to ensure they are satisfying you, fuelling you and nourishing you. 

Try thinking of snacks as mini meals and combine foods. For example, a source of carbohydrate and protein or fats. The aim is to feel full and satisfied, your snacks don’t always need to be the same or as simple as a packet of crisps or plain biscuit. Buy hey – I’m not here to tell you what to eat, you do you.

When you snack is not too important either, if you’re hungry, have a snack. Do try to consider how close to a meal you are, and perhaps base the size of your snack on this. 2 hours before a meal is optimal time for snacking.

Snack ideas 

Fruit smoothie Nut bar  Rice cakes with nut butter   
Crackers  Cottage cheese/cream cheese spread  Egg mayo  Salsa  Chopped veggies e.g., tomato, cucumber
Nut butter Fruit – Banana, appleDried fruit/DatesToast   
Mashed avocado  Boiled egg Oat cakes Chopped veggies e.g., pepper, cucumber Seeds e.g. pumpkin, sunflower 
Mixed nuts Fruit (dried or fresh) Edamame beans Seeds Yoghurt 
Cup ‘a’ soup   Bread roll  Crackers  Pitta bread  
Toast  Avocado  Eggs  Beans  
BiscuitMilky coffee Hot chocolate   
Bagel Cream cheese Nut butter  Nuts and seeds 
Rice pudding or custard Fruit Nuts and seeds Dried fruit  
*These are simply ideas – go wild and mix and match yourself. 

Vegan Snacks 

 ororor or
Hummus Pitta bread Oat cakes  Crackers  
Dried fruit NutsEdamame beans   
Rice cakes/crackersMarmiteNut butterVegan cheese spread Salsa 
Vegan yogurt FruitNuts and seedsDried fruit  
BananaNut butter    
Salted popcorn Dried fruit Nuts and seeds   
Tortilla chips Salsa Hummus Guacamole  
*These are simply ideas – go wild and mix and match yourself. 

High in fibre 

An easy way to increase fibre in the diet is through your snacks. Snacks high in fibre will also help you to feel fuller for longer. 

 and  or or or
Fresh fruit  Nut butter   Yoghurt   
Chopped vegetable sticks e.g., carrot, cucumber, celery  HummusSalsa  Guacamole Cottage cheese 
Rye crackers Hummus Cream cheese spread Mashed avocado  Salsa 
Roasted chickpeas   Tahini  Edamame beans   
Dates or prunesNut butter Nuts and seeds Melted chocolate  
Roasted vegetable chips e.g., kale, sweet potato, carrot  Hummus  Tahini    
Wholemeal toast  Nut butter  Cream cheese spread Guacamole  
Oat based cereal bar Milky coffeeHot chocolate   
*These are simply ideas – go wild and mix and match yourself. 

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