Do you find yourself snacking all day long? Do you open the pantry to see if something will pop out at you? Are you bored and just eat to past the time? All these things may be happening with our new quarantine norm now. It is okay if you answered ‘yes’ to these questions. However, I would like to provide some tips to help you snack smarter.
Tip #1. Try to create a schedule. Staying in a routine will help you to remain on track. I tried to mimic my children’s school day to keep them in a routine, but also to keep myself in one too. We have our morning snack and afternoon snacks.
Tip #2. Prep your snacks. This may take a little effort, but it might be worth it in the end. To keep yourself from eating the whole bag of pretzels or a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies, portion it out. If a serving size is 21 pretzels or 3 cookies, grab a container or zip top bag and portion your snacks. It might seem tedious, but it may help prevent you from over-indulging.
Tip #3. Drink water. Sometimes we may think we are hungry, but it might just be that we are thirsty. Keep your water visible. Most times if we see it, we are more likely to drink it. Make it fun and infuse your water with fruit or fresh herbs.
Tip #4. Rid the distractions. It is so easy to put the television on while you eat or scroll through apps on your phone; however, we tend to eat more when we are preoccupied. Try to put all the distractions away so you can really listen to your body and know when you are satisfied.
Tip #5. Out of sight, out of mind. Are you channeling your “inner baker” and trying some old recipes from grandma’s kitchen? That is great! But if you find yourself constantly going back to the cookie jar or grabbing another slice of cake, maybe you should not make it so visible. You can always freeze for a later date or share some with your neighbors. Make sure you are following the social distancing guidelines, but it is always nice to share.
Tip #6. Get more bang for your buck. Snack on nutrient dense foods. Fruits and vegetables are always a good snack to have. Other great nutrient dense snacks are whole grains, nuts, beans, and lean proteins. These foods are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and they also provide vitamins and minerals. In our house, if the fruits and vegetables are already portioned out, they tend to go quick. Some other favorites include whole grain crackers with peanut butter or string cheese, Greek yogurt with fruit, carrots and celery with salsa (don't knock until you try it), a handful of almonds, cucumbers and bellpepperswith hummus, and popcorn. It is okay to have chips or cookies or that piece of homemade cakebut remember portion sizes and everything in moderation.
For any nutrition or food safety questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to “Like” our Facebook Page, Pointe Coupee Parish Extension Office-LSU AgCenter to get more information on all extension activities in our parish.