While the concept of snacking may get a bad rap, if it’s done well, it can enhance your wellbeing by adding beneficial nutrients to your day. According to Virginia Turner, registered dietician, The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, having smaller, more frequent food breaks can actually be preferable to three large meals a day. The foods you eat, and how much you eat make the difference. Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and nutrition, University of Maine, Orono suggests looking at your eating habits, to see if there are any deficiencies – you can make these up in snacks. She asks, “What do I have trouble getting into my diet normally? Is it whole grains, more fruit, more fiber?” Camire says for her getting enough dairy intake is a concern, so she brings yogurt to work for a morning snack, and string cheese for the afternoon. Healthy snacks can help you beat mid-day slumps, and foods with protein can have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. Lots of migraineurs know that skipping meals, fasting, or ignoring hunger pangs can often trigger a headache.

A recent article in Food Technology magazine suggests snacking at least twice a day is the “magic” number for a large part of the population. Be careful though, not to add on the calories, sodium and fat by snacking on cookies, potato chips and candy bars!   Philadelphia Inquirer    1/15/13

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