- Snacking spoils my kids’ appetite!
- Oh no! Look at the colors on his lips, tongue and fingers after these snacks.
- Snacks? There goes my weight loss plan.
Why the idea of snacking is always associated with a negative image?
Since snacking industry began to flourish in 1920s, it has always been associated with high sugar, high fat and high sodium food. In other words, snacks are calorie-rich and nutrient-poor junk food.
However, with education and growing awareness of health concerns, we see raising needs for healthy snacks as the alternative in 21st century. Apart from natural food such as fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds, latest research shows that snacks that are sugar-free, gluten-free and non-oil fried are trending and revolutionizing snacking options to do away from low quality food such as chips, candies and sugar-sweetened beverages. Moreover, technology has enabled preservative free snacks with convenient packing minus the additive, artificial flavoring and coloring without over processing.
Do we really need to snack actually?
Generally, snacking is recommended to curb hunger, crankiness or increase energy in between main meals, especially if the break between meal times is too long. Sometimes, special occasion and social gathering call for the need of a good snacks too. You may also find it interesting that it is a culture in countries like France, Philippines and Mexico to have snacks, either mid-morning or afternoon.
What is the key to good snacking then you may think?
We thus champion the idea of good timing, satisfaction and portion control as key to good snacking on top of prioritizing fresh and healthier options.
Satisfaction counts! While choosing good snacks can help manage hunger, weight and energy, picking the most desired snack at that moment is just as crucial. If you choose a slice of celery while really wanting a creamy piece of chocolate cake, you may feel unsatisfied, craving not fulfilled and you may just keep looking for food til overeating.
Control your snacking portion! This expert advice is very handy: When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is about 200 calories per snack. You can also use your hand as a guide to measuring: A thumb tip or two is about a tablespoon, a thumb is about an ounce and a fist is about a cup.
Last but not least, get organized, be prepared!
Unprepared or convenient snacking by grabbing whatever in sight or accessible could lead to weight gain or poor nutrition intake with unnecessary fat, sugar, sodium-rich foods. Here’s some extra planning tips for the professional parents to wrap things up:
- Choose and buy better options that are healthier and fresher for standby
- Always try packing from home
- Get ready in small bags or containers if on-the-go
Our thoughts in conclusion
Is eating between main meals bad for you and your kids? Scientifically proven, snacking is not all bad, on the contrary, can actually be beneficial if snacks well selected while snacking well managed.
So be prepared, pack up and make healthier snack options available always!
This article was written by Green Wellness Malaysia's Founder and Managing Director, Datin Dorph Peng.
Your thoughts, feedback and comments are most welcome. Please feel free to email [email protected]
Some healthy snacks that may interest you:
DISCLAIMER: Content from this article is not a substitute for professional medical and healthcare advice, diagnosis, treatment, dietary, or safety advice, and may not be used for such purposes. Always seek the advice of your doctor, physician or other qualified expert with any questions you may have regarding a medical question, condition, or safety concern. Reliance on information presented on this article is at your own risk.