It is accepted as normal that children benefit from the inclusion of snacks in their daily lives. But when it comes to an adult’s snacking habits, people tend to be a bit more doubtful.
Adequacy is the foundation of any healthy diet. And snacking is a great tool to ensure that you are meeting your energy needs adequately. Regular, planned snacks can be an easy way to fight off fatigue and brain fog and are much more nourishing than a coffee or energy drink.
In my opinion, the key here is planned snacks. I have seen many adults in my practice attempt to not include snacks in their daily rhythm, feeling that this is the healthiest choice. However, this often leads to unintended, mindless grazing on foods that they wouldn’t have preferred to eat.
I like to think of snacks (and meals) as nutrient opportunities. When meals and snacks are planned and balanced with carbs, fat, and protein, they not only provide the body with energy but also a variety of vitamins and minerals that will benefit the health of every body system.
Some examples of balanced snack options include:
- Peanut butter crackers
- Trail mix
- Hummus with carrots and pretzels
- Beef jerky and Goldfish
- Cheese and crackers
- Greek yogurt and granola
- Apple and peanut butter
- Clif Bar
- Strawberries and chocolate hummus (trust me on this one!)
- Some HEB pre-packaged favorites:
- Balanced Breaks- https://www.heb.com/product-detail/sargento-balanced-breaks-snack-packs-sharp-cheddar-sea-salt-roasted-cashews-cherry-juice-infused-dried-cranberries-3-pk/1999310
- Ready Fresh Go- https://www.heb.com/product-detail/h-e-b-ready-fresh-go-snack-pack-beef-bites-with-sharp-cheddar-dried-cranberries-sea-salt-almonds-2-55-oz/8006009
- Meal Simple snack trays- https://www.heb.com/product-detail/meal-simple-by-h-e-b-snack-tray-cheese-wheat-crisps-grapes-11-8-oz/3266512
- Even a Boost supplement shake can be a great option for a balanced snack to sip on while on the go! https://www.heb.com/product-detail/boost-original-complete-nutritional-drink-drink-very-vanilla-6-pk-8-oz/541747
Stop the cycle of getting caught off-guard with the mid-afternoon slump of fatigue. It is likely that planning ahead and adding a snack into your routine at this time of day will be all it takes to keep energized and productive throughout the entire day.
Written by: Courtney Anderson, MS, RD, LD, CLC