Smart snacking: Healthy ways to eat during the day

Monday, November 19, 2012
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Most office dwellers know how it goes: Sometime in the middle of the afternoon, you need a little snack to sustain you to 5 o'clock. So, you end up in front of the vending machine debating between a Snickers or M&M's.

But there are plenty of healthy snack foods you can stash in your desk drawer to ward off hunger and give you a boost of energy. If you've got access to an employee refrigerator, there are even more possibilities.

Raina Childers, a registered dietitian and nutrition services coordinator for HealthPoint Fitness in Cape Girardeau, offered some snack ideas that "provide energy and satisfaction by using complex carbohydrates from grains and fruits/veggies, protein and fiber."

But food is only half of the equation. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated during the day.

"There is always the need for adequate fluid and that can be met best by water and then other low-calorie beverages," Childers says. "Some caffeine works, but adults should keep total caffeine to 300 milligrams per day or less."

SNACK IDEAS

Here are nine snack ideas to get you through the workday:

1: Meal bar with at least 10 grams of protein

2: 3 cups of low fat popcorn

3: 1 cup of homemade trail mix (whole-grain cereal, nuts, dried fruit)

4: 1/4 cup of nuts and dried apricots

5: String cheese and a piece of fruit

6: 1/2 peanut butter/nut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread

7: 1/4 cup nuts and V8 fruit/vegetable drink

8: 2 Fig Newtons and 1/2 cup of skim/soy milk

9: Mini rice cakes and salsa

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