There is often a split between people when it comes to snacking or eating full meals. We believe that meal time should be stress free and align with your personal preferences. While it often gets a bad rap, it is actually helpful to implement snacks into your lifestyle.
To some, snacking is an easier way to meal prep for the day or a more convenient way to get in daily nutrients. To others, snacking is simply a personal preference. Overall, it is important to break the stigma that all snacking is bad. After all, food freedom allows us to incorporate foods into our personal preferences and lifestyles!
What is snacking?
Typically, snacking is characterized as consuming food/beverage between your regular meal times (breakfast, lunch, dinner). With this board definition, it is obvious that snacking or snack times are different for everyone. As there is no universal definition, it is surprising that there is (more or less) a universal stigma.
Unfortunately, snacking does have a negative connotation. Specifically, that it involves overly processed, packaged and “unhealthy” foods. Further, negative messages are often circulated around the idea that snacking could be to blame for weight gain and health complications. As a result, snacking often leads to guilt and food insecurities.
However, snacking doesn’t have to equate to consuming “junk food.” One of our favourite ways to focus on cleaner snacks is to build a snack plate. The best part of a snack plate is that you can pretty much add whatever you like!
If you are a picky eater, snack plates allow you to fill up with the foods you enjoy most. The variety and options snack plates provide you are literally endless.
If you find yourself craving some chips or sweets, you can totally incorporate them into your balanced snack plate. By mixing in fruits, veggies, protein and carbs, your snack plate is perfect for nourishing your body and listening to your cravings, too!
Are there benefits to snacking?
The short answer is: it depends. As aforementioned, there is no uniform definition of snacking nor is there a right or wrong way to snack. Therefore, the benefits of snacking depend on your personal health, preferences and lifestyle.
As explained by Eliza Martinez, snacking benefits can include increasing your nutrient intake and energy. As a result, your concentration levels may be boosted due to fueling your body between meals.
Martinez says that a balanced snack can “increases your energy levels for a longer period of time than sugary snacks do.” Essentially, by consuming balanced snacks, you are slowly fueling your body throughout the day and keeping your energy levels up.
There are many different opinions and perspectives regarding the effects of snacking. However, conflicting views on snacking shows that there is no right or wrong way to incorporate snacks into your routine!
It’s still important to eat full meals
Snacking is certainly an important factor to integrate into your daily meal routine. However, it is just as important to make sure you are eating enough full meals to fuel your body.
Eating complete, nutritious meals ensures that you are consuming the daily recommended nutritional intake. As such, it is important to note that both meals and snacks are a good way to fuel your body – you don’t need to eliminate one or the other! So, don’t be tricked into thinking you should only be eating one meal a day, or replacing all meals with just snacks!
That being said, meal time doesn’t have to be stressful or overcomplicated. Just like snacks, meals can be pretty easy to make! Some of our favourite simple meals include:
- Southwestern Stuffed Breakfast Tomatoes
- Sweet Potato Hash and Egg Oatmeal
- Steak & Black Bean Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Turkey Sausage Scramble Stuffed Eggplant
Structuring snacks or meals into your routines
Implementing snacks into your dietary lifestyle is all relative to your personal preferences. Some of these can include your hunger levels, dietary restrictions and daily cravings. Planning to incorporate snacks into your diet is all relative to you! Sometimes the best way is by experimenting what snacks work and don’t work for you. From there, you can decide: are you more of a snack or meal person?