Smarter Snacking

Tip of the Week from Brian Jones of the City of Everett: 

Smarter Workday SnacksWhat's Your Diet Grade

Do you find it hard sometimes to eat the right things at work—particularly in the mid-morning or the mid-afternoon?  Do you often hear the siren song of those evil vending machines? 

Our stomach rumblings at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. aren’t necessarily a bad thing, because they might mean we ate reasonably at breakfast and lunch.  And since these rumblings are predictable, all we need is a little intelligent preparation to stay on the right track nutritionally. 

Here are some suggestions for healthy and conveniently portable midday snacks:

  • Baby carrots and hummus. Many convenience stores carry pre-made hummus, and you can dip with any crunchy vegetable favorites, such as cucumber slices and sweet bell pepper strips.
  • Apple and cheese. Try any reduced-fat cheese, such as mozzarella or Swiss.
  • Whole-grain crackers and peanut butter. This is a sure pick-me-up. Packed with complex carbs, fiber, and protein, this snack will give you sustained energy and the makings are easy to keep in a desk drawer.
  • Banana and peanut butter. This is a great idea if you are craving something a little sweeter. Peanut butter spread on a just ripe banana is truly satisfying.
  • Trail mix, but make your own by combining nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and your favorite whole-wheat cereal.
  • Whole-wheat English muffin and low-fat cream cheese. 
  • Low-fat vanilla yogurt topped with raisins or fresh fruit, such as blueberries or sliced bananas.

Remember: don’t snack on carbohydrates alone. Simple carbs quickly raise your blood sugar, but they won’t sustain the elevated energy levels required to get you through the day.  Instead, an ideal power snack consists of complex carbohydrates—whole-grain bread or crackers, fruits, and vegetables—combined with a protein such as cheese, hummus, peanut butter, or low-fat milk.

It’s important to have a healthy snack grade as it is to have a good grade for any meal. What’s your diet grade?

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