Many people think snacks are unhealthy additions to their eating pattern and that snacking leads to weight gain. However, the key to whether snacking supports our overall wellbeing goals is which snacks we choose, and how much of them we eat.
Some snack foods can be a source of extra fat, sugar and salt. It’s fine to have a small amount of these foods occasionally; the important thing is to get the overall balance right. If we plan smartly, snacks can be a healthy part of our diet and provide energy for activities through the day.
Where possible choose nutritious foods or drinks which help you achieve this balance in your diet. For example, if you find it hard to eat enough fruit then top up at snack time.
Often, it’s not just a matter of knowing which choices are better – if you’re really hungry and there are no healthy snacks around, it’s natural to grab whatever’s to hand instead.
If there’s an unhealthy snack you usually reach for, and you’d like to change that, experiment with not buying it or try keeping it out of sight. No need to go without though - put something more nutritious where you can see it and you’ll be more likely to enjoy that instead.
For example, in the early hours when you feel really tired, you might always get something from the vending machine. Think about a healthy snack that you enjoy; bring it to work, and have that instead.
Make nutritious snacking easier with our ‘Snack Smart’ food tips