A Guide to Healthy Snacking, According to a Dietitian

Written by:

For many of us, there is a question of whether or not the “quarantine 15” is a real thing {like the freshman 15, but due to quarantine rather than your first stint in college}. Working from home lends itself to lots of snacking or simply over-indulging {#nojudgement}, which can be great, but can sometimes steer us off track from our wellness goals. That’s why we’ve asked Vanessa Rissetto, a local dietician based out of Hoboken, to share with us a few tips to healthy snacking at home.

Vanessa’s Methods

vanessa rissettord

If you’ve worked with Vanessa before, then you know it’s important to look at your week as a succession of chances to reach your goal: you have 35 of them, actually. Every day, you get to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That means you have five chances a day and 35 chances a week to eat well! And, if you can eat well about 33 of those 35 times, you should be well on your way to achieving those wellness goals. Of course, some of those chances come in the form of snacks, which is where many of us choose to indulge in something very delicious, but not so healthy.

Snacking 101

 

Let’s talk about those snacks. Some questions you might be asking yourself are — What should the snacks be? What is their genetic makeup? Should you snack?? Does snacking make you more hungry? How many calories is said snack? Read below to find the answers you seek.

First and foremost, the perfect healthy snack is not just a piece of fruit. One of the biggest issues clients come to Vanessa with is snacking. They end up trying a healthy snack, but then they end up binging more after an hour or so because they do not feel fulfilled. The main reason is that your snack should have some protein and healthy fat in order to ward off hunger. 

Read more: Meet Vanessa Rissetto: A Local Dietician + Nutritionist in Hoboken

Pair some fruit with 15 almonds, or 52 pistachios or one ounce of low-fat cheese. “Cracker Barrel Sharp White Cheddar is a favorite of mine,” Vanessa shares. This will help to keep you full until your next meal. 

You can also get creative. “I do Wasa or Ravita fiber crackers and do some marinara sauce and a little mozzarella cheese and pop them in the toaster for little pizzettes,” Vanessa shares. Rice cakes with Nutella or plain yogurt with one tablespoon of Nutella or peanut butter are also great snacking options. You can also enjoy a protein powder of your choice with almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, and ice — boom, you’re full until dinner.  

Snack Bars

“Bars are great but remember when looking at a packaged good you want no more than 200 calories, and no more than 8-10 grams of sugar,” Vanessa shares. “Kind bars are great and all but sometimes they’re about as calorically dense as a Hershey Bar.”  

Other Snack Cravings

For those craving chocolate, Vanessa suggests trying some chocolate protein powder with ice and almond milk in a Magic Bullet to satiate those cravings. 

For those in the mood for popcorn, chips, or pretzels, Vanessa shares that you can make them work if you reduce the amount and pair them with a fat like nut butter, hummus, or a low-fat cheese stick. 

See more: Desserts Available for Pickup + Delivery in Hoboken + Jersey City

“Nutrient density in all your meals including snacks is the name of the game,” Vanessa shares. “The more nutrient-dense, the more fiber, water, protein in your meals — the more full you will feel, the less you will gravitate towards empty calories.” 

Ultimately you want to honor your hunger, give up restriction, and make sure your meals and snacks are working for you to give you the most bang for your buck. But as always, be kind to yourself — these are trying times and food means a lot of things to a lot of people. Honor that you’re doing your best and that should always be good enough.

EMAIL BUTTONS


 


Written by:

Vanessa Rissetto is a local dietitian and nutritionist helping Hoboken and Jersey City residents make each day and meal a bit healthier. She's also one of the women behind Culina Health, a new health business designed to support clients on their journey of a healthier life.