Remember when you were a kid and would rush home from school hungry for an afternoon snack? This little meal would give you energy to play sport or do homework, and would tide you over until dinner. Well, nothing should have changed. Even though you might be all grown up, you still need energy to function – to work, to run and be active, and to stay on track with healthy eating habits. So an afternoon snack can be more important than ever!
Skipping an afternoon bite can leave you famished, which leads to poor food choices. That drop in blood sugar will make you crave carbohydrate-rich foods in the evening (think lollies and big burgers). I mean, who craves a salad when they’re starving? You’ll also be more likely to inhale your meal and eat far more than you should.
To avoid putting yourself in this dangerous situation, ensure you top up your sugar levels in the afternoon with a nutritious snack. It will give you the energy you need to perform at your best, and help you to make nutritious and appropriate choices for dinner.
Ideal afternoon snacks include:
- low-fat yoghurt (try Vaalia, Jalna or natural yoghurt), a handful of unsalted nuts,
- a piece of fruit, a wholegrain muesli bar (Carman’s is a fantastically nutritious brand),
- a glass of low-fat milk with milo,
- a slice of wholegrain toast with a thin spread of nut butter or slice of low-fat cheese.
Pick and choose a snack depending on your energy requirements and how active you are (i.e .whether you’re going to work-out before dinner and hence require something more substantial or whether a small piece of fruit will do the trick).
It’s easy to get caught up at work and forget to snack, but eating regularly can really help you stay on track with healthy habits. So do make the time for yourself and enjoy your snack. And remember, just because you’re all grown up, it doesn’t mean you should skip your afternoon snack!