WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – March is National Nutrition Month. Many of us are trying to eat healthier meals so we don’t want to derail that by choosing unhealthy snacks.
“Healthy snacking is important because it can bridge the gaps between meals so that you don’t enter any 1 meal overly hungry. When we nourish ourselves, we think more clearly, handle stress better, have more energy and are more emotionally-stable. Many people plan for meals but some might forget to plan for snacks,” said Rachael Swartz, Registered Dietitian, New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
Trail mix is fun because it’s customizable to taste preferences! It’s a good mix of healthy fats, fiber and protein.
Trail mix Recipe:
Whole grain cereal of choice (we used strawberry cheerios)
Nuts of choice: we used unsalted cashews
Dried fruit of choice: we used 50% less sugar cranberries
Just mix it altogether in a big bowl.
Convenient grab and go snacks are: fruit, yogurt, peanut butter + fruit, dried chickpeas, dried edamame, dried lentils, whole food nutrition bars (examples: Rx bars, Lara bars, KIND bars).
“A healthy snack should include a combination of protein, healthy fats and fiber. The combination of these 3 nutrients slows the release of sugar into the blood and increases satiety (the feeling of being full),” said Swartz.
On the nutrition label: try to choose labels that have 10% DV for fiber, low in added sugars or no added sugars and a “good” source of protein (above 5 grams is pretty good for snack foods). Try to also choose items where ingredients are “whole foods” vs. products that get calories from mostly oil.
Click here for more healthy snacks ideas.
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