- NUTRITIONAL WELLNESS
- KNOW YOUR SERVING
- BODY SMART
- MEAL PLANNING
- TIPS & TRICKS
- UNDERSTANDING FOOD LABELS
Surprise, surprise: snacks and desserts can be good for you! They can provide needed nutrients, and they definitely make life more pleasurable. In between meals, snacks satisfy growling stomachs and help keep our sugar level steady. They’re even good for bonding moments with family and friends. The key, as always, is making smart choices.First of all, moderation, variety, and balance are just as important for snacks and desserts as for main dishes. Incorporate items from different food groups (vitamin- and mineral-laden vegetables and fruits; protein-rich meats and dairy; carbohydrate-rich sweets, grains, and starchy foods such as pasta) and consider snacks and desserts part of your overall nutrition plan.
If you’re having pork chop for supper, end with fresh fruit. Boring? Squeeze lemon or calamansi juice over it to enhance the flavor or add low-fat cream to make fruit salad. If you long for cake or ice cream, pair it with baked, not fried, chicken or fish and a vegetable dish. For baked goodies, get sugar-free products or recipes using whole-wheat flour (more fiber) instead of or in addition to white, and replace frosting with a dusting of powdered sugar or pureed fruit. Also look for fat-free, low-sugar ice cream versions such as NESTLE Zero% Fat Ice Cream, which comes in mango, vanilla, ube, and mocha flavors.Note that healthier snacks and desserts don’t replace a meal. So practice portion control. Just eat what you need to stave off hunger (for snacks) or to cap your meal (for desserts). If your snack doesn’t last an hour, try more protein, such as a peanut butter or cheese sandwich; they take longer to digest. Ask yourself why you’re eating: are you hungry or just depressed, stressed, or bored? Mindless nibbling may lead to overeating.In a nutshell, nutritious, delicious snacks and desserts are possible if we examine our eating options, needs, and habits and aim for balanced nutrition. Explore and experiment with the many choices available. We may never look at snacks and desserts the same way again!REFERENCES
Duyff, Roberta Larson. 2002. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Williams, Melvin H. 2005. Nutrition for Health, Fitness, and Sport. 7th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.