Tips for snacking your way to a healthier lifestyle
MANY people think of snacks as unhealthy treats, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Opting for nutritious snacks is a simple strategy for you and your family to become healthier eaters.
By choosing a combination of items from the five food groups, snacking can help you meet your nutrient needs for the day and boost your energy levels between meals.
By having healthy snacks on hand during the day, it will help prevent you opting for the nearest savoury or sweet option, this in turn can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent you from overeating at meal times.
If you are not sure if a snack is healthy, read the Nutrition Information Panel and 5 Star Food Label to avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt, like chocolate bars and packets of chips.
Pay attention to the portion size on the label too. For example, two to three sweet biscuits provides about 600KJ and should not be a regular snack.
Instead, opt for healthy wholegrains, fruits or vegetables with protein foods like unsalted nuts or dairy products for a nutritious snack.
You could have tuna or low fat cheese on wholemeal crackers, or add grated zucchini, pumpkin or carrot to wholegrain pikelets or muffins.
Fruit, with its high fibre and water content, is also a simple place to start.
As well as the traditional apples and oranges, you could try fresh chunks of pineapple and ripe melon for lunchboxes.
Cut up celery and carrots, with hummus or tahini, is super-tasty and will provide a veggie fix.
Having fruit and vegetables on hand as snacks throughout the day will help you reach the recommended number of serves per day!
Other healthy snack options include a handful of dried fruit and seed mix, leftover roasted vegetables or a blended smoothie.
We know at least one-third of all cancers can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes.
These include maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, being SunSmart, limiting alcohol and being active.
So start munching your way to a cancer free future today.
Keep your favourite healthy snacks on hand at home or the office.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland and healthy living is available at cancerqld.org.au. — Chris McMillan Chief executive officer Cancer Council Queensland