It’s OK To Snack
Yes it really is OK to snack – so long as you maintain a healthy balance of foods and keep yourself active.
Why? Because snacks can provide an important contribution to your daily intake of energy, vitamins and minerals.
They help keep you going through the day especially if it’s a long time between breakfast and lunch and lunch and your evening meal.
They help you to refuel after exercise, like gym, games or after school activities.
Teenagers have high energy needs especially if they are growing quickly and it might be difficult to meet these needs from meals alone.
What is a Sensible Snacking Routine?
Most people eat between meals. But if you want to ensure you balance your energy intake against what you are burning up it makes sense to follow these practical tips:
- Plan to have healthy snacks at regular times, rather than snacking at anytime of day.
- Try not to snack in the hour before a mealtime.
- Plan what you are going to have.
- Try to have a variety of different snacks rather than relying on one type of food.
- Check out more satisfying snacks that fill you up, like wholegrain cereal bars, fruit and nuts, a pot of rice pudding.
- Keep a few “grab and go” snacks (see below) at home so that you can take these with you to school, college or work.
- Save cash - don’t rely on vending machines and tuck shops all the time.
Remember snacking shouldn’t be about just grabbing anything at anytime. Get into good habits of healthy snacks at regular times. Try some of the ideas below:
Good Ideas for Snacks
- Bowl of cereal with milk
- Toast with peanut butter
- Vegetable sticks with dips
- Houmous and pitta fingers
- Glass of milk
- Fruit smoothie
- Bowl of vegetable soup
- Beans on toast
- Toasted English muffin
- Homemade popcorn
- Toasted bagel or crumpet
- Bowl of instant oats
- Oatcakes, digestives or crackers
- Small (matchbox sized) chunk of cheese
Grab and Go Snacks
- Cereal and breakfast bars
- Fresh or dried fruit – there’s so many to choose from!
- Mixed nuts.
- Sliced fruit or malt loaf.
- Hot cross bun.
What About Crisps, Chocolate and Sweets?
It’s OK to include a small amount of these foods. The important thing is to get the overall balance right. It’s a good idea to eat smaller portions like small bags of crisps and fun sized chocolate bars, chocolate mini rolls, chocolate covered biscuits and mini doughnuts. If you buy larger portions try cutting them in half or sharing with a friend.