Smart Snacking

Snack Smart

What are Snacks?

Snacks are small, quick, mini-meals that we eat between regular meal periods. Snacks help keep us energized and keep blood glucose (sugar) levels stable throughout the day.

If you find your energy level drops between meals, or you’re feeling tired, irritable, or have a headache you may be in need of a tall glass of water and a balanced snack.

Some Tips for Snacking:

  • Make purposeful food choices, don’t just grab the closest snack around!
  • Portion out snacks rather than eating from a larger box or bag
  • Choose snacks when you are hungry.

What makes a balanced snack? 

A balanced snack is one that gives us lasting energy to get through to the next meal.  Aim to include a source of protein or healthy fat and complex carbohydrates (such as a fruit, vegetable or grain/starch serving) for lasting energy. Proteins, healthy fats and fibre are not only packed with great vitamins and minerals, but they have a slower release in our digestive system, which means we stay satisfied longer.

Some examples are included below:

Proteins and Healthy Fat

Complex Carbohydrate

  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Nut butter/Seed butter
  • Milk/Milk Alternative
  • Cheese
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Avocado
  • Hummus or bean dip
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Tuna
  • Plain yogurt / yogurt alternative
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Edamame
  • Fresh whole fruit
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Homemade muffin
  • Carrot & Celery sticks
  • Whole grain pita
  • Cucumber slices
  • Red pepper slices
  • Grain/seed crackers
  • Whole grain rice cakes
  • Frozen fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Plain popcorn

Try to reduce snack choices that are heavily processed, high in sodium, or that contain simple sugars. Examples of these snacks could include soda, chips, chocolate and sweets. These foods may be tasty treats, but they often lead to a burst of immediate energy followed by an energy low just a few minutes later.

CIF gym with sign that says home of the waterloo warriors

Have questions about snacks, eating well or nutrition on campus? Our UW Dietitian has answers! Email Nicole at