Working at home, whether it’s because of Covid-19, or that we’re busy decorating, baking and gift wrapping for the Christmas holiday can lead to snacking more. Not that we’re particularly hungry, but because our work station may actually be the kitchen table, which just happens to be only a few steps from the refrigerator and food pantry. Good News! We bring you tidings of joy for smart snacking during this unique time!
How hungry are you? Before you grab for a snack, ask yourself, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how hungry am I?” If you’re famished, maybe you should skip the snack and eat something more substantial. Did you miss mealtime? If so, you may want to take a break and prepare a nutritious meal instead of filling up on a bunch of snack foods.
Stay on routine. Try not to go too long between meals, or you risk becoming too hungry and overeating or over-snacking. Try to space meals/snacks every 3-4 hours.
Be Mindful. If you usually take your lunch to work, recreate this routine at home. Plan how much you will eat instead of reaching into a bag or box of something. Pay attention to portion sizes, just as you would if you were packing your lunch in containers for work.
Pause and refresh. We’ve all been there. We just can’t stop snacking! As strange as it may sound, sometimes cleansing our palette with a refreshing flavor can help. Grab a peppermint candy, breath mint or brush your teeth. It can really stop the urge to eat. Imagine how awful a taco flavor chip will taste right after you brush your teeth!
Be inclusive. When it comes to food groups, include them all! This allows for multiple flavors, textures and colors on your plate. Start with lots vegetables for more nutrients and fewer calories. Then add a couple of other items, a carbohydrate, protein or fat to round out your snack. For example, you could start with snacking tomatoes and sliced cucumbers and add a few whole grain crackers with a tablespoon of nut butter or a small wedge of cheese.
Create a snack plate. Call it aperitive, mezze, or adult Lunchable, snack plates are all the rage. Perfect for people who like to graze at mealtime by eating a little bit of a lot of different foods. It doesn’t have to be a fancy charcuterie board, a cutting board, sheet pan or platter will do. The amount prepared will depend on the number of people being served. Again, begin with lots of vegetables. Add grated vegetables to Greek yogurt, spiked with salt and lemon juice for a dip. Think variety, fresh, healthy, organic, gourmet. Include foods like hummus, marinated vegetables, chunks of thick, chewy bread, seeded whole grain crackers, a variety of novelty cheeses, quality, cured meats, fresh sliced fruit, dried fruit, jams and spreads and nuts.