It’s easy to think there were two kinds of people in this world. Those that relish in their 3 meals a day, and those that snack. all. day. But when working from home became a reality full-time, it was easy to fall in the latter camp; and the same applies to the current stream of festive season celebrations with aged prosciutto, cheese, olives and dried fruits all within arms reach for what seems like an entire month. So we enlisted Australian nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill of Brown Paper Bag Nutrition to set the record straight this season. Read on for snack ideas and recipes!
Is snacking 'bad' for you?
“Snacking isn’t necessarily ‘bad’. It is very much individual dependent in terms of its needs, type and timing. What’s important is acknowledging the frequency and timing of your snacks: be mindful, not mindless in your approach to eating always.”
Coconut Raspberry Pops by Jacqueline Alwill of @brownpapernutrition
So is there an optimal time to snack or should it be intuitive?
“It’s very much intuitive. Some individuals thrive on 3 meals a day others find smaller, more frequent meals-slash-snacks fuel them best. Tune into what your body needs (and not your mum, sister or colleague) and respond accordingly. What is important this year more than ever with working from home is that you’re not constantly snacking and thereby missing the opportunity for nutritionally balanced meals.”
Help! That’s us.
“Implement some structure if you’re a serial WFH snacker. Have a mid-morning and afternoon break that incorporates a nutritious snack. Be mindful of using constant trips to the fridge or pantry as a ‘break’ because our digestive system and insulin aren’t built for constant procrasti-snacks.
Think about what snack you’re choosing, what time of day it is and how that will affect your energy. For instance, mid-morning you may need something more energising; mid-afternoon I’d recommend nothing too sugary or caffeinated as it can impact sleep.
Raw Snickers Bar by Jacqueline Alwill of @brownpapernutrition
How do I get kids involved in lunchbox and snack prep?
“Eat the rainbow! You can have a lot of fun with the kids if you approach it that way. Start small for fussier eaters but make exposure (especially to vegetables) frequent; in time they end up trying it based on the familiarity.”
What are your top 3 go-to snacks that are deliciously nutritious?
“Pre-workout: A banana sliced in half and spread with nut butter and dusted with cinnamon.
Mid-morning: Greek yoghurt with frozen blueberries or a half portion of my supercharged raspberry smoothie (below) which are great sources of antioxidants, collagen, vitamin C, fibre, fats, protein and magnesium. Ticks lots of boxes!
Afternoon: a whole carrot with beetroot hummus or a piece of one of my signature treats like Peanut Butter Fudge or a Healthy Snickers Bar.”
Why not try making Jac’s go-to smoothie recipe this week?
Note: Or split the quantity for 2 snacks.
1/2 cup almond milk
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup frozen raspberry
1/2 cup frozen cauliflower
2 tbsp chia
1 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut
1 serve chocolate protein powder
1 tsp magnesium powder
1 tsp collagen powder, good pinch cinnamon
1 tbsp ABC butter (almond, brazil, cashew)
Smart snacking couldn’t be easier.