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Make Snacks Healthy

28 March 2018

There are many conflicting opinions about snacking and whether we should or shouldn’t. The argument that is pro snacking states that it’s better to eat smaller meals and less frequently as this helps boost our metabolism and also stops us from overeating. The argument that is against snacking states that eating causes a rise in insulin production and the frequent secretion of insulin throughout the day is not a preferable state to be in. Ultimately no two human beings are the same and we all respond differently to different eating patterns. It’s important to find out what works for you personally. Busy lifestyles often make it difficult for us to eat larger regular meals and having something healthy on hand can often be a saving grace. It’s important to build contingency planning into your life and have healthy food available and to avoid grabbing something that will cause your body more harm than good. Children are also often hungry in-between meals and need to consume the best quality energy possible as they are growing and habits are setting into place.

To add to the confusion, we are given so much misinformation about what exactly we should be snacking on, and with some brands marketing their snacking products in such an unethical manner, it can become even more confusing. Often, foods that are devoid of any nutrients are marketed as having added vitamins and minerals when there is more nutrition in the box than in the product. However, labeling law is cracking down on what the consumer is able to say about products sold, so, this makes it more difficult for brands to sell junk, which is very welcome.

The two things we know for sure that we need to avoid are:

  • Any added sugar and keep natural sugar to a minimum
  • Processed foods (shop bought biscuits, crisps, cakes, cheeses, yogurts)

This can make things rather tough as those goodies are the things we mostly feel like snacking on and are readily available in most grocery and convenience stores

So What Can We Do to Make Life Easier?

  • Spend time preparing some healthier snacks on the weekend for the week so you are organised.
  • Shop wholefoods in bulk to avoid excess plastic waste and keep good quality containers to pack everything into them and to keep things simple and eco- friendly.
  • When making muffins or home-made biscuits, double the portions and freeze for convenience.
  • Choose the best quality wholemeal non-GMO flour you can find for baking and cooking. (if you are not sensitive to gluten)
  • Buy the best quality peanut butter you can find with no additives – except maybe a little salt. Spread onto wholemeal non-GMO bread or apple slices and you have another super easy and healthy “go-to” snack that kids and adults love. Find a decent alternative if someone in the family has a peanut allergy, like Nature’s Choice Macadamia nut butter.
  • Choose dried fruits and nuts you like the most and pack them into your own combinations for your more fussy customers :-). Nature’s Choice Mixed berry mix or dried blueberries and cranberries have no preservatives added and are tangy and juicy.
  • Make or buy granola with no added sugars as it makes the perfect snack with a plant-based milk for hungry kids and adults.
  • Make a list of snacks that your family loves and print it out on the fridge so that when hungry kids come calling they can glance at the list and see what’s available in the house.
  • Add some good fats to your smoothie snacks to sustain you for longer, like a spoon of nut butter, hulled hemp seeds, Chia seeds or almonds.

The most important tool you have is your body’s signals and learning to listen to them effectively. Often when we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Always drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes to evaluate your hunger. Is it genuine? Is your stomach growling or are you just bored? And remember it takes a while for your brain to register that you have eaten, so eat slowly, chew thoroughly and wait for 20 mins before eating anything more.

At Nature’s Choice, we source the best whole foods from local suppliers and overseas if we can’t find what we need here in SA, so you can rest assured that whatever we bring to your table is of the highest quality.

For a list of products we sell that can help with healthy snacking please see below:

  • Any of our Muesli & Granola
  • Mini Rice Cakes
  • Rice Cakes
  • Corn Wafers
  • Jerusalem Toffees
  • Snack Packs
  • Tortillas
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Dried Dates
  • Dried Figs
  • Medjoul Dates
  • Dried Pineapple
  • Dried Mango
  • Dried Prunes
  • Raisins Thompson Seedless
  • Almonds Raw
  • Pine-nuts Raw
  • Walnuts Raw
  • Raw Peanuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Coconut Water
  • All of our Nut Butters
  • Gluten Free Buttermilk & Health Rusks
  • Gluten Free pre-mix’s
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Goji Berries
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Mixed Dried berries

 

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