Many people wonder: if you eat three meals a day and they contain all the elements necessary for a healthy and balanced diet, why should we eat snacks?
In general, having a snack between meals is the best way to maintain a constant level of energy throughout the day. It should contain a source of protein, which supports us between meals, and a source of carbohydrates, which give us the energy to perform our daily tasks.
Here are some cases where snacks make a real difference.
Snacks & children
As a general rule, children need to eat 3 meals and 1 to 3 snacks a day. As pediatric nutritionist Cosette Gergès explains, “Snacks help calm hunger until the next meal, but also supplement the child’s nutritional needs and feed his/her brain so that he/she meets their full potential at school”
The snack is therefore just as important for the child’s growth and development as balanced meals. Indeed, young children have a small stomach that cannot absorb all the nutrients they need from their three meals, making snacks an essential complement; for older children, snacks help to keep a stable energy and motivation level throughout the day.
Snacks During Pregnancy
There is nothing more beautiful than the gift of life… but a pregnancy also requires great diligence when it comes to eating right. Pregnant women are advised to take 2 to 3 snacks a day to avoid energy loss. Variety also plays its role: by eating diversified foods, pregnant women ensure they get the most out of their snacks, for a worry-free pregnancy.
Snacks & Sleep
Did you know that snacks can help you get a good night’s sleep? This is especially true for children: it’s true, eating a small snack before going to bed will leave them satisfied until the next morning and they will benefit from additional calories during growth spurts.
Snacks & Calorie Intake
Have you ever been hungry for one or two hours before dinner, and wanted to rely on treats or pastries to forget that frustration? This is where snacks come into play: By eating healthy and nutritious snacks between meals, you make sure you never feel hungry and avoid the risk of succumbing to unhealthy foods. Planning is key: always think of bringing snacks in your lunch at the office or school, slip one in your bag or leave some in the car… in short, be prepared!
10 tips for healthy snacking habits
- Choose healthy, nutritious foods
- Make sure to choose varied foods
- Avoid highly processed foods
- Eat slowly
- Avoid distractions
- Take small portions
- Eat only when hungry
- Do not eat when you are tired or when you feel different emotions
- Snack only during the day
- Plan snacks and add them to your grocery list