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A Sampling of Small Meals and Snacks



Little meal or snack

When?

Why?


  • Fresh fruit topped with low-fat vanilla yogurt and low-fat granola
  • Equal parts peanut butter, apple butter, and wheat germ mixed and spread on whole wheat toast. Serve with nonfat milk and juice or other fruit.
  • Bran muffin and 1/2 melon filled with low-fat cottage cheese

Early to midmorning

Start your day with the right mix of protein and carbohydrates to provide energy during the early hours and to curb hunger and cravings later in the day.

  • Low-fat yogurt and four graham crackers
  • One serving string cheese and fruit
  • Raisins or other dried fruit mixed with nuts
  • Peanut butter lightly spread on apple wedges

Midmorning

Help sustain energy levels until lunch with a light snack that contains carbohydrate and protein and little or no fat. This will help control food cravings and overeating later in the day.

  • Chili with 6 saltine crackers, carrot sticks, and nonfat milk
  • Tuna salad (made with low-fat dressing) on whole wheat bread, cup of soup, and nonfat milk
  • Spinach salad with garbanzo beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, low-fat feta cheese and dressing. Serve with whole grain crackers, fresh fruit, and nonfat milk.

Lunchtime

Lunches should be low in fat and calories (500 calories or fewer) to help sustain energy and alertness during the afternoon.

  • Six cups low-fat microwave popcorn
  • One-half cup nonfat refried beans topped with salsa and served with 1 ounce baked tortilla chips
  • Make a smoothie by blending together 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1/2 banana, and 1/2 cup frozen berries.

Midafternoon

This is the time of day when you generally crave carbohydrates, salty, or crunchy foods. These healthy snacks help satisfy these cravings and also help avoid overeating at dinner.

  • Spaghetti with marinara sauce, served with French bread and tossed salad
  • Fresh fruit plate with low-fat cottage cheese served with whole grain crackers.
  • Baked salmon, served with brown rice, steamed broccoli, and fruit salad
  • Roasted chicken breast, small baked sweet potato, green beans, and tomato slices

Evening

If your plans include a relaxing evening, focus on high carbohydrate meals. These meals will help increase serotonin, a brain chemical that helps calm you down.
If you have a busy evening planned where you need to stay alert, focus on eating a mix of carbohydrates and protein to keep you energized.

  • A handful of dry cereal (no milk)
  • One frozen whole-wheat waffle topped with 1 tablespoon maple syrup and berries
  • Banana or other fruit
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Whole wheat toast spread with jam or jelly

Nighttime

A small snack of carbohydrates eaten an hour before bedtime will raise serotonin levels and help you sleep. Try not to overeat at night. This will help reprogram your appetite clock to awake rested and comfortably hungry in the morning.