Easy ways to eat right anywhere, every dayPublished 10:14am Saturday, March 9, 2013
When your mind is working hard, your stomach starts the growl.
While snacking can help you receive all the nutrients you need and curb your hunger so that you don’t overeat at your next meal, it’s important to be careful to not engage in mindless munching. Instead, think of “healthful crunching.”
Every March, we registered dietitians celebrate National Nutrition Month — a month to promote easy ways to incorporate healthy eating into busy lifestyles. And the theme this year is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.”
I wanted to start with some simple and easy snack ideas for foods you can keep at your desk or office to help you eat right every day. The key here is easy. I came up with an acronym to help you remember what to stock your drawer with:
•Add Whole Grains
•Your Favorite Portable Fruit
Essential protein helps satisfy your appetite. Shelf-stable protein is the easiest, so be sure to include a variety of nuts and nut butters. Trail mix, mixed nuts, flavored nuts and individual-size peanut butters are great to pair with another food group like fruit.
Just keep a quarter-cup measure inside the bag of nuts to pour them out and then toss the nuts with a small box of raisins.
Adding proteins gives you energy, but the key is having whole grains. You can identify sources of whole grains by looking at the ingredient listing; the first ingredient should be whole grain.
A box of whole grain crackers or cereal goes great with a serving of milk. You can find shelf–stable, individual milk servings that you can store in your drawer. Just pop the milk in the office refrigerator that morning to have as part of an afternoon snack.
Simple snacks have simple ingredients. A few of my favorites include Larabars or Kind Bars — made primarily of fruit and nuts without added sugars. Or try popcorn — a whole grain snack that gives you fiber to help you stay full.
Your favorite portable fruit cannot be forgotten. Think ABCs— apples, bananas, citrus.
Some of my favorites include clementines that are easy to peel and sweet to eat, as well as kiwis that just require cutting in half and scooping out the middle.
And don’t forget the portion cups of fruit in 100 percent juice for a sweet snack option.
Have an apple wedger on hand to cut up that apple to dip in peanut butter.
Tips to keep in mind:
• Think of snacks as mini-meals that contribute nutrient-rich foods.
•Snack only when you’re hungry.
•Keep portion control in mind.
•Plan snacks ahead of time.
One final thought — have hand sanitizer on hand to prevent sickness. One of the most bacteria-filled spots at our desks is the computer keyboard and phone.
Sanitize to stay well.