Is it okay to snack between meals?
The answer is – yes – of course it is! But if you don’t want to, you certainly don’t have to! It depends on the individual, their needs, activity levels, hunger and food preferences.
However, snacking can be important. Firstly it’s an opportunity to nourish your body with good food, that provides vital nutrients for health and gut health. And secondly, because it satiates us and can give us a mental boost so we can go about our day in a well-fed, satisfied state.
One little qualifier here though – we don’t advocate for grazing all day long. Because ideally, your gut needs a few hours between each meal or snack, for ‘cleaning and maintenance’. And this practice is also good for your dental health.
Another question commonly asked is “should I snack between meals if I don’t get hungry?” And a simple answer to that is – No – of course you don’t have to. If you’re not hungry, you might just need a break, a stretch, a change of scenery and drink.
Think about what you feel like? Crunchy, chewy, crisp or cool? Warm and comforting? Choosing the right temperature and texture can be important, for hitting that satiety button. Also, take a break away from devices, and pay attention to portion control – after all – this is a snack, not a meal.
Crunchy, chewy things might include wholegrain crackers and cheese, popcorn, veggie sticks with dip, a fruit and nut muesli bar, or a handful of trail mix.
Or maybe you feel like something fresh, like a piece of fruit or a fruit and vegetable smoothie
Warming, comforting snacks might include a mug of hot soup, a hot chocolate, a warm savoury or sweet muffin, or a piece of sourdough toast with your favourite toppings.
The key ingredients is to find snacks thoughtfully so they nourish your body. A sometimes treat is also nothing to beat yourself up over either, it’s why it’s called a treat and not a snack!
Photo by Ola Mishchenko