In this morning’s LA Times Family Circus cartoon Billy asked his Mom “how much of a snack do I get to eat before it becomes a meal?” This question comes up frequently with clients. Is snacking okay? How many calories constitutes a snack before it becomes a meal? Is it okay to snack, or am I supposed to wait till the next meal?
Snacking is an important part of eating. If you go more than 5 to 6 hours between meals it is essential to have a snack to prevent a drop in your blood sugar or overeating at the next meal. The size of snacks depends on your activity level, weight, and age. In general, snacks fall in the 200-350 calorie range while meals are over 500 calories.
Examples of healthy snacks are:
- 1 ounce of raw or unsalted dry roasted nuts (about 15-20) with a medium piece of fruit
- 1-2 slices of cheese with and medium piece of fruit
- 1-2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter with fruit or celery
- 1/4 cup of guacamole with cut up vegetables
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese with nuts or nut mix (below)
My upcoming nutrition book with recipes has a healthy delicious nut mix that is a flavorable topper for plain yogurt or cottage cheese, and works well by itself for a snack.
Healthy Nut Mix
Serves: 10 ¼ cup servings
¼ cup raw steel cut oats
½ cup of raw pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup of unsweetened dried coconut
½ cup of coarsely chopped raw cashews
¼ cup of sliced raw almonds
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon of honey
Mix all ingredients together and spread on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees till golden brown, about 20 minutes, stirring once through the cooking process. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for a month.
So thank you Billy for posing the question for our blog today and no need to feel guilty about snacking. It is important to health, vitality throughout the day, and reasonable eating!