Food for Thought — April
This new monthly feature was written by Nutrition Sciences Services Practice Manager Kaitlin Poillon and Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Center for Nutrition & Performance Nyree Dardarian from Drexel’s nutrition counseling and the Department of Nutrition Services in the College of Nursing & Health Professions.
Contrary to popular belief and diet culture, eating in between meals is sometimes crucial in maintaining energy balance throughout the day.
Morning and late afternoon snacks have been proven to increase cognitive function and replenish energy stores to keep you going until the next meal. Snacking also helps to prevent overeating at mealtimes as well as aids in blood sugar control long-term.
The human body likes balance; it doesn’t like to be overly full or ravenously hungry. To maintain balance, consume a nutrient-dense snack every 2–4 hours. For example, if you eat breakfast at 7 a.m., grab a snack around 10 a.m. to keep you energized until lunch at 1 p.m. Avoid an afternoon slump by consuming a snack around 3 or 4 p.m. to prevent feeling famished by the time dinner rolls around.
When going for a snack, always be sure to choose a carbohydrate food paired with a good source of protein for prolonged energy. Also, don’t forget to hydrate with 1–2 cups of water in between meals and while snacking.
Try these registered dietitian-approved snack ideas:
- 1 slice whole grain toast with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter + slices of ½ banana
- 2 clementines + ¼ cup of nuts
- 1 cup mixed vegetables (peppers and carrots) + 3 tablespoons of hummus
- 1 cheese stick + ½ cup of grapes
- 1 medium apple + 2 tablespoons of almond butter
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt + ¼ cup of mixed berries (blueberries/strawberries) + ¼ cup of granola
Want more snacking and meal planning tips? Schedule a nutrition counseling session today via NutritonAppts@drexel.edu. Learn more about free nutrition counseling for Drexel employees in this DrexelNEWS article and read more about the Nutrition Sciences Services program.