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Healthy Snacking Habits

By YWCA Minneapolis
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Many people have had their regular routines disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This disruption can often result in a change in our normal eating patterns. Being stuck at home more often can sometimes lead to overeating, like what happens when there is uncontrolled snacking throughout the day. However, there are actions you can take to help prevent overeating and get you back on track with your regular routine. Below are some suggestions from our registered dietitians to get started.

Return to your normal meal pattern:

  • Pretend that you are still going to work or that the kids are still going to school.
  • Keep normal mealtimes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Plan your meals out for the week.

Make your food environment a positive one:

  • Remove trigger foods from your home.
  • It is easier to avoid temptations if they are not right in front of you.
  • Fill your kitchen and your pantry with food that you feel good about eating.

Distance yourself from your kitchen in between mealtimes:

  • Make sure everyone in the house is on board with limiting the kitchen hours.
  • Try to limit your kitchen visits to scheduled mealtimes and for prep.
  • Exceptions to this might include grabbing a drink of water or passing through to get outside.

Find non-food related outlets for your emotions:

  • Without a proper healthy outlet, stress or unresolved emotions can lead to damage in the body.
  • Emotional eating can occur due to stress, boredom, tiredness, etc. When the urge to eat hits, reflect on what it is you and your body truly need in that moment.
  • Examples of healthy outlets include hobbies, exercise, reading, talking with friends, going for a leisure walk, puzzles, etc.

Plan healthy snacks:

  • Snacks can be beneficial when used effectively to manage hunger between meals in appropriate portion sizes.
  • Having healthy snacks ready to go means that you will have a great option if you need one. And being prepared helps avoid resorting to unhealthier options.

Healthy snack ideas:

We’ve gathered examples of great healthy snacks that are easy to put together.

  • Nuts and (unsweetened) dried fruit
  • Veggies and dip (dips can include guacamole, hummus, Greek yogurt)
  • Brown rice cakes and avocado or peanut butter
  • Roasted chickpeas (Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and pat dry. Toss with a little olive oil, sea salt and your choice of seasonings, and bake on a lined baking sheet at 350˚F for 40 minutes.)

  • Apple slices and nut butter
  • Homemade granola (look for recipes lower in added sugars)
  • Edamame
  • Air-popped popcorn (avoid those with a lot of added chemicals and artificial flavors)
  • Baked vegetable chips (Thinly slice any root vegetable; brush them with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake on a lined baking sheet at 225˚F for about 2 hours.)
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Chia pudding (Combine 3 Tbsp of chia seeds with 1 cup of milk in a glass jar. Add sliced fruit, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a small amount of pure maple syrup or honey, if needed. Let sit in the fridge overnight.)
  • Frozen yogurt bark (Mix plain Greek yogurt with berries of your choice and a little honey (if needed). Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes or until it is cold enough to break into pieces.)
  • Tuna and whole-grain crackers (choose tuna packed in water, not oil)

Begin your path toward better health, higher energy and improved quality of life with nutrition coaching! Meet with our registered dietitians virtually to discuss your nutrition goals, build a custom plan and learn how to make choices that lead to long-term success.

Learn more about Nutrition Coaching