According to a report from Mintel, world leading market intelligence agency, 94% of Americans snack at least once a day. It can occur at any time and it can happen often, increasing the overall frequency of eating for the average person. Because snacking often occurs amidst the hecticness of your everyday life it can easily become a mindless habit that affects your diet and nutrition. Publix Corporate Dietitian, Jennifer Patzkowsky MS, RDN/LDN, , has put together three simple measures you can take to become a smarter snacker.
1. Controlling Your Portions
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, portions have gotten larger both in restaurants and for grocery products. This directly influences calorie consumption as studies show that we unintentionally consume more when faced with larger servings. How do you beat this? Portion out your snacks ahead of time! Be sure to take time to package your foods so that you are meeting your dietary needs. To learn more about what and how much to eat, visit My Plate’s SuperTracker.
Use this simple hands-on chart to calculate your servings:
|| 3 ounces of meat
|| 1 cup of rice or pasta
|| 1 ounce of nuts
|| 1 Tbsp. of salad dressing
| Thumb tip=
|| 1 Tsp. of oil, butter, or mayonnaise
2. Choosing the Right Foods
Think of snacks as an opportunity to add nutrients to your diet. Ditch the vending machine potato chips and opt for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Making small shifts is key to being a smarter snacker.
To include smart foods in your snacks, choose 2-3 out of 5 food groups. Find some tasty options below! For portion suggestions, visit My Plate’s SuperTracker.
||Low-fat cubed cheese
||Whole wheat mini pitas
||Air popped or
low-fat microwave popcorn
||Sliced squash/ zucchini
||Low-fat string cheese
||Whole grain tortilla chips
||Sugar snap peas
||Low-fat smoothie drink
||Whole wheat crackers
||Low-fat cottage cheese
||Whole grain, low sugar, cereal
(varieties without added sugar)
||Granola bar made with whole grains
*In the table above, for the protein choices refer to https://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods for suggested serving sizes providing a one ounce equivalent from the protein foods group. Quantities for items vary by individual dietary needs.*
Use your imagination when combining these to form tasty treats. For example, low-fat yogurt and berries or hummus with apples, celery, and carrots for dipping.
3. Satisfying Your Cravings
Why has snacking become as culturally prominent as meals are? According to the report done by Mintel, 62% of Americans say they often snack to satisfy a craving. We’re here to help you balance taste and nutrition. Try these tips on snacking for specific cravings and remember to check out My Plate’s SuperTracker for serving sizes that fit your dietary needs:
Trail mix, (as listed under the crunchy category.)
Low-fat yogurt with fruit.
Publix cut fruit salad.
Roll up: Lean deli meat with slice of low fat cheese.
Pretzel sticks dipped in nut butter.
Whole grain tortilla chips with salsa.
Sweet and Salty
Apple or other fruit with cheese.
Low-fat cottage cheese with fruit.
Peanut butter with apple slices.
Air popped or low fat popcorn dusted with spice blend of cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.
Hummus (look for varieties made with vegetables) with whole grain crackers.
Savory yogurt based dips (available in Produce) with vegetables.
Apple slices with almond butter dip. (recipe)
Vegetables: carrots, bell pepper strips, celery, and sugar snap peas with Publix deli hummus .
Trail Mix: Publix toasted oats, dried fruit and unsalted nuts.
Dried bean snacks made from beans including chickpea snack.
Deli Edamame hummus with baby carrots and seedless grapes.
Produce snacks including unsalted nuts and dried vegetable chips.
Remember, you can avoid letting snacking get out of hand by controlling your portions, choosing the right foods, and satisfying your cravings. If you need more advice on how to build your diet, check out classes hosted by your in-store dietitians (in the Tampa, Florida area) or ask our corporate dietitians questions online. Do you have any go-to smart snacks? Share below to help each other!