Hunger between meals is almost unavoidable. Regardless of how large your breakfast was, the food is probably going to be fully digested well before lunch time. And maybe you had an extra fulfilling lunch today, but the chance of your stomach growling a couple hours before it is actually time for dinner is likely.
Most people compensate for their between-meal empty stomach by snacking. This is a reasonable solution; after all, hunger pains are just natural reaction of our body signaling to us that it needs food. Eating small snacks throughout the day, in fact, is also recommended by many nutritional experts to maintain energy and promote weight loss.
The problem many people find with snacking between meals is the under abundance of healthful snack foods. We want snacks that are convenient to grab and go with, that can be eaten at our work desk or while driving in the car. We want snacks that have already been prepared for us. Unfortunately, most of the items that fit these criteria are “junk” foods that are high in calories and lacking in nutritional content. Merchandisers put these foods right in our line of sight, at the checkout aisles and in the gas station convenience stores. Even though we know it is not in our best interest, they are often hard for us to resist.
There are, however many food items designed for snacking that are both nutritional and naturally sweet, so as to help fulfill the common craving for sugar. It might take a little more time and effort in the grocery store than you might ordinarily spend, but if you look around a little, there are actually a decent amount of healthful snacking options. Having these on hand at your home or in your office can make a huge difference in your diet and overall health.
Here are some suggestions for healthful snacking in between meals:
Mott’s Apple Sauce Cups
Apple sauce is naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium and it contains high levels of Vitamin C, which promotes a healthy immune system. Mott’s brand offers apple sauce in single serving, 4oz. cups that are convenient to eat on the go or as a quick pick me up snack in between meals. The sauce cups come in three flavors: Original, Cinnamon, and Natural (unsweetened). Not only does this snack help calm your sweet tooth with the natural sugar from apples, but it also contributes to your recommended daily diet, as each Mott’s Apple Sauce Cup is equivalent to 1 serving of fruit.
Del Monte Mandarin Oranges
The unique taste of mandarin oranges can really hit the spot when you are feeling hungry or sluggish between meals. The fruit is good for you too, with high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, and Dietary Fiber. The only downside to mandarin oranges is that they are high in sugar, so it is best to limit your snack to a small portion size. Del Monte makes single serving size ready-to-eat cups of mandarin oranges that work perfectly to control portions. Each cup contains only 70 calories and they are sold in packs of four.
Yoplait Light Yogurt
Yoplait Yogurt is distinguishable by its thick and creamy, almost custard-like texture, as compared to other yogurt brands. While it is hard to imagine such a product being healthy, or particularly low in fat, this brand of yogurt is both. The Yoplait Light line of products offers yogurt that is almost identical in taste and consistency to the traditional Yoplait yogurts, only they contain no fat and only 100 calories per container. The Yoplait Light Yogurt is also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorous, and Potassium.
Fiber One Granola Bars
Fiber One Granola Bars are so delicious that it can be difficult to eat just one. If you are able to suppress the urge, though, and can limit your snack to just a single bar, Fiber One bars can make for very satisfying snacks, that are also very high in fiber. Fiber One makes two types of granola bars. The 90 calorie bars come in two flavors: Chocolate and Chocolate Peanut Butter. If you can afford a few extra calories, however, you have many additional flavor options with the Fiber One Original Bars. The Original Bars contain 140 calories each and come in the following flavors: Oats & Chocolate, Oats & Peanut Butter, Oats & Caramel, Oats & Strawberry, and Chocolate Mocha.
Have you ever tried putting your grapes in the freezer? Red and green grapes especially seem to become even sweeter in taste, once frozen. For some reason, the frozen version of the fruit is more filling as well; it therefore takes fewer grapes to satisfy your hunger. Grapes are highly nutritious too, and low in calories. They are a great source of minerals such as Copper, Iron and Manganese as well as potassium, Vitamins A, C, and K, and B-Complex Vitamins. In addition to an in-between meals snack, frozen grapes also work well as an after-dinner dessert.