Smart Snacking



By Katie Maxey, MS, RD, CHES, Wake Forest Baptist Health Brenner Children’s Hospital

When you think of a snack, what foods come to mind? Most Americans think of chips, cookies, candy, soda and baked goods. This may be why most people believe snacks are unhealthy; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Snacks provide the vitamins and minerals our body needs each day. They also help to satisfy our hunger, so we don’t come to the next meal too hungry. Snacks can be foods that we automatically think of, like chips, cookies and baked goods; however, regardless of what we eat at snack time, the goal is to have two food groups. In fact, Brenner FIT refers to a snack as a “mini-meal.”

Mini-meals consist of any two food groups. Pairing two food groups at snack time helps to satisfy and fill us. Have you ever tried eating just a piece of fruit for a snack? Or just a doughnut? You may have noticed that you were still hungry afterwards. A single food group usually does not fill us. By adding some peanut butter to an apple, you are helping to satisfy your hunger by adding a protein to your snack. When drinking a glass of milk with a doughnut, you are creating a mini-meal that includes a protein and carbohydrate. Combining two food groups in this way ensures that we get a balance of protein and carbohydrates.

Check out these mini-meal snack examples:

  • Banana with peanut butter
  • Crackers with sliced cheese
  • Yogurt with granola
  • Grapes with string cheese
  • Cookies with milk
  • Chips with peanuts
  • Trail mix (cereal and dried fruit)

Try creating your own mini-meals from the food groups listed below.

  1. ________________________       with       ____________________________

 

  1. ________________________         with       _____________________________

 

  1. ________________________         with       _____________________________

Protein:

Meat:

Lean deli meat

Canned meat

Meat Substitutes:

Nuts

Nut butters

Hummus

Eggs

Starches/Grains:

Crackers

Sliced bread

Pita bread

Tortillas or wraps

English muffins

Dry cereal

Pretzels

Granola bars

Dairy:

Milk

String cheese

Yogurt

Cottage cheese

Cubed cheese

Vegetables:

Celery

Sugar snap peas

Sliced bell peppers

Baby carrots

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Grape tomatoes

Salsa

Fruit:

Apple slices

Oranges

Grapes

Dried fruit

Mandarin oranges

Pears

Pineapple

Watermelon

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Brenner FIT (Families in Training), a pediatric weight-management program at Brenner Children’s Hospital, is here to help families create healthier lifestyles together. Brenner FIT Kohl’s Family Collaborative offers free cooking, nutrition and parenting classes. Visit BrennerChildrens.org/BrennerFit for our current class listings. Register by calling 336-713-2348 or e-mail BrennerFit@WakeHealth.edu.


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