Nutrition

4 rules for healthy snacking at work or school

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Nutrition

4 rules for healthy snacking at work or school

Snacking is important for both kids and adults to maintain energy levels throughout the day and prevent overeating when they get too hungry. But snacking is sometimes viewed as a free-for-all between meals, where neither the sugar or fat content matters and vegetables are altogether forgotten. Those between-meal snacks shouldn't act as treats, but as part of your overall nutrition for the day. Here are four guidelines to keep in mind that will help make your snacking healthier.

1. Get fresh.
You need about eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day (and your kids need four to six), so it's a great idea to start each snack with a fruit or vegetable. Try crudités and hummus or make a smoothie with kale, berries and yogurt.

2. Turn simple snacks into combos.
Eating a carb-concentrated snack won't keep you full long, and a protein-only snack won't satiate very easily. Try to combine complex carbs and protein, or even carbs and healthy fats for a filling mid-afternoon bite. Think Greek yogurt and berries or a trail mix of nuts or seeds mixed with dried fruit.

3. Don't forget to hydrate.
Enjoy your snack with a glass of water or cup of green tea. Drinking before you eat often helps you feel less hungry so you don't need to snack as much, but watch out for sugar-laden beverages, like juice or even your double-double, which can add all kinds of calories to your snack—without helping you feel any more satiated.

4. Prep in advance.
We all know that we make more rational decisions about eating when we aren't hungry, and having snacks made in advance helps us avoid all those irrational food choices that we might otherwise make at the vending machine or store. At the start of the week, make up a batch of whole-grain blueberry muffins, hard-boil eggs or cut up raw veggies so you (and your kids) can grab snacks on the go. Or put all the ingredients for a healthy smoothie into a blender for your teenage kids to blend up as an after-school snack.

Check out  these nine delicious snack recipes. Also, learn which fruit is healthiest for you, and why.
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Nutrition

4 rules for healthy snacking at work or school

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