A study by the Hartman Group, a food culture consultancy, previously reported that snacking made up about half of consumers’ eating time.
Based on these results it is clear that the culture of snacking is on the rise. Three meals a day used to be standard, but snacking has changed this – earning its status as the fourth meal of the day. Often grabbed on the go, people snack for a variety of reasons, good and bad.
Regardless of the motive, it is important to avoid mindless snacking as this can lead to overeating, resulting in unnecessary weight gain and health issues.
Kershnee Kallee, Jungle marketing manager, says it is important to have healthier options at the heart of your meal choices – even snacks. Snack time is often when we eat foods such as chips or chocolate which offer little nutrition.
She says: “Although there is the freedom to play around with what your next snack will be, it’s important to try to include nutrients. Here are a few easy ways to ensure your snacks are healthy ones.”
1.Fuel up with Fibre:
Fibre not only helps regulate your digestive system, some types of fibre help with blood sugar and blood cholesterol control. Enjoying a handful of trail mix – raisins, nuts, seeds and some muesli – is a great way to incorporate fibre.
2.Pack in the Protein:
Protein-rich snack options, including cheese, Greek yogurt and hummus, are known to manage hunger levels as these snacks keep you fuller for longer. They also play an important role in bone and muscle health.
3.Not all carbs are bad:
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy and can be found in grains such as oats, air-popped popcorn and roasted chickpeas. These snack options are high in dietary fibre too.
4.Enjoy the good fats:
Enjoy unsweetened nut butter, vegetable oils and avocados which are all a great source of unsaturated fats. Including these in your next snack ensures the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K which together perform hundreds of roles in the body.
5.Seeded date-and-granola energy bars
Lastly, Kallee says that the next time you’re looking for something convenient to snack on, try these seeded date-and-granola energy bars. They are delicious and won’t break the calorie bank:
Makes 12 bars | Time: 10 minutes | Must be chilled for 3 hours or left overnight
12 large medjool dates, pitted
60g sunflower seeds
70g pumpkin seeds
60ml cocoa powder
75ml coconut oil, melted
2.5ml mixed spice
50g dark (70%) chocolate, melted
1. Place the dates, seeds, walnuts and Muesli Cinnamon Granola in a large processor.
2. Blitz until coarse breadcrumb-like texture.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, except the chocolate, and pulse once more until well combined.
4. Transfer to a lined 20cm square baking tin.
5. Press down firmly and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
6. Drizzle with chocolate and slice into bars.
7. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.