5 Tips to Snacking Smart

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Deevya Gupta is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian in Melbourne

Now more than ever, food is just a mere few steps away while most of us have been working from home and for kids- remote learning at home, all while exercise may be limited since we are not going out as much.

During the first lockdown it was all about baking and making delicious goods that we normally wouldn’t have time for, and now here we are five months later…

As many of us are now at home for most of the day, it is quite natural for our routine and eating patterns to change.

Here are a few tips to help you from thinking you NEED to make drastic changes after we come out the other end of this:

Eat mindfully
Before you eat, ask yourself – Am I hungry? Or am I eating purely out of habit?
If you answer is habit, this is something which may take a little practice of trying to reduce overtime.

What snacks should I limit?
We never suggest completely avoiding any food, however, there are foods which would be considered a ‘sometimes food’ for consumption in small amounts only occasionally. Normally these snack options are a ‘quick fix’ and offer the body very limited nutrients other than sugar, fat or salt. The more we have these foods, the more our body will start craving for them.

Examples include:
• Biscuits (sweet or savoury)
• Cakes and pastries
• Chocolates
• Lollies
• Chips
• Fried foods (samosa, pakora etc)
• Salty namkeen foods
• Soft drinks
• Juices
• Ice cream
• High-sugar desserts

I am hungry, what can I eat? And how much?
The first most important suggestion would be to look for foods that are high in fibre. Fibre helps keep our appetite content and keeps the bowels moving.
At times we feel hungry because we may be missing out on certain nutrients for example protein, especially vegetarians.

Some daily examples of these foods include:
• Fruits (2 fresh, frozen or dry fruits 3 tablespoons approx.)
• Popcorn 1 cup (unsalted and made with canola oil)
• 1 small bowl cucumber and tomato chaat (can also add ½ cup of bhel, poha or moong to your salads)
• Hummus and vegetable sticks*
• Handful of roasted gram or chickpeas*
• Nuts (1 handful of unsalted nuts or seeds) *
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1-2 rice thins*
• 2 slices of cheese*
• 1 cup of milk*
• ¾ cup of yoghurt*
• 1 egg*
*indicated foods containing protein also.

Keep up your regular routines
It is important to make sure you are eating your meals spread out throughout the day and don’t miss meals. Don’t forget to drink water!

Plan your shopping
Planning what snacks, you bring home in advance will help make snack time a lot easier.
Please note this advice is of a general nature. If you have any concerns or queries you should get tailored advice from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and always consult with your General Practitioner before making and changes.

By Deevya Gupta is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian in Melbourne | W: www.abcofnutrition.com.au

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