Snacks are important for energy and nutrients that you need throughout the day. Adults, as well as children, need snacks. If you include snacks in your diet, you can be sure to get many of the vitamins and minerals you need. For children who are active and growing, snacks also give them the energy they need to grow and play. Snacks keep you from getting hungry and overeating at mealtime.
For many adults and children, the long hours between meals may be difficult. If this is true for you, try having a small, nutritious snack like vegetable sticks or fresh fruit before dinner. This should satisfy your hunger but still leave room for a healthy meal.
Some of the best snack choices are found in the lower three levels of the Food Guide Pyramid. Grain products like wheat crackers, toast, bagels, popcorn, some cereals and muffins make good snacks. Fresh fruits and vegetables with a low fat dip made from cottage cheese or yogurt can help satisfy your need for crunchy, juicy and chewy foods. Canned fruits make a good snack, too. Be sure to choose fruits that are packed in juice or drain off the syrup. Low fat milk products like cottage cheese or yogurt also give you plenty of nutrients without a lot of calories.
If you have any questions about the snacks you or your children eat, go to "Ask the Nutritionist."
To find out why you snack, go to "Assess Your Snack Style."
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