If you need something to keep you going between meals, make sure the foods and drinks you choose are nutritious. Smart snacking can maintain energy levels and contribute essential nutrients, too many treats can add to your waistline and leave you lacking in vitality. Remember, only eat if you are hungry and not out of habit or boredom.
Take care with coffee
Having coffee is a very popular pastime and a great chance to take a break, but take care not to overdo the kilojoules. When buying espresso coffee (or hot chocolate), order light milk ('skinny') and avoid large sizes. Skip the whipped cream served on some cold (iced) cafe drinks. Tea and instant coffee in moderation are OK and can contribute to your daily fluids but keep added sugar and condensed milk to a minimum and use light milk.
Fresh is best when it comes to fruit, although it’s OK to have canned fruit for convenience, or for a change. Dried fruit is best enjoyed occasionally as it is higher in kilojoules and can get stuck on teeth and encourage decay.
Beware the banana bread
Banana bread is a very popular cafe breakfast or snack item but the name is misleading: it’s really just cake and just as loaded with kilojoules and saturated fat as chocolate cake. Try some fruit bread or toast which is actually bread with dried fruit added.
Ban the biscuits
Always grabbing a biscuit with a cuppa is a habit that can add to your waistline and take the place of healthier foods. Biscuits are not everyday foods because they are high in fat, sugar and kilojoules and low in fibre and satisfaction.
Pack and go
Easy snacks are not usually healthy snacks, as most service stations, corner stores, cafes and vending machines sell mostly ‘occasional treats rather than nutritious foods. The best strategy to eat well is to take healthy snacks with you.
Consider snacks low in added sugars such as fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.