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
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.
Where can I find a balanced snack on campus?
There are lots of places on campus where you can find nutritious snack options! In any of our locations, you are likely to see at least a few healthier options, and we are continuing to grow our healthy snack program every day. Check our locations map to find out which food outlet closest to you.
Here are some great snack finds on Campus:
In your Residence Dining Hall
At our smaller locations
If you’re at…
PLUS- you can find most of the grab and go snacks we also have in our smaller locations!
What about snacks at home?
We've compiled a great list of snack and meal recipes for you on our Recipes page. Check it out!
Don’t forget about Exercise
Just like food snacks are little nutrition breaks throughout the day, exercise snacks are little physical activity bursts throughout the day.
Exercise often takes a back seat when we get busy with work, school, and other activities. Here are some quick tips for getting more activity when life gets hectic. Aim for an each activity bout to be 10 minutes or more.
- Set your alarm 15 minutes early and do some stretching before you start the day.
- Get off the bus one or two stops earlier than usual, and walk the rest of the way.
- Take the stairs, the ‘long route’, or park further away when you can.
- Studying or working for a long period of time? Set a timer or download an app to remind you to get up and move every hour or so to stretch or walk around the block.
- Use a kitchen counter or bar height table as a standing desk when you’re working on your laptop at home.
- Try a 10-15 minute home workout, there are lots of YouTube videos or you can try an app like ‘Seven’ which offers 7 minute circuit workouts for free!
- Walk to the grocery store, or to go out and run errands when you can.
It may not seem like a lot, but a little exercise here and there adds up and can give your body a much needed break during busy days. Check out this recent study on ‘exercise snacks’ from McMaster University where they found short bursts of intense physical activity did in fact help improve health for participants.
Have questions about snacks, eating well or nutrition on campus? Our UW Dietitian has answers! Email Nicole at email@example.com.