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, while unhealthy snacks can leave you lacking in vitality. Try to eat only when 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 simple tricks when ordering can help you cut down on the kilojoules. When buying 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 are ok in moderation and can help you stay hydrated, but keep added sugar and condensed milk to a minimum and use light milk.
Fresh is best when it comes to fruit, although it is ok to have canned or frozen fruit for convenience. Dried fruit is best enjoyed occasionally as it is higher in kilojoules and can get stuck on your teeth and encourage decay.
Beware the banana bread
Banana bread is a very popular café breakfast or snack item but the name is misleading: it is 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.
Skip the biscuits
Always grabbing a biscuit with a cup of tea 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, low in fibre and not filling. The same goes for cakes, chips, sugar-sweetened drinks and other snacks high in sugar, salt and fat.
Pack and go
Sometimes we buy less healthy snacks because we can’t find a healthier option when we’re out and in a rush. The best strategy is to take healthy snacks with you.
Consider snacks low in added sugars such as fresh fruit, nuts and seeds and pack them the night before.