It’s a very common suggestion from most nutritionists to eat “small frequent meals”. Well, however most of the people get confused about what should be eaten in-between breakfast –lunch and lunch-dinner.
Ideally, we should keep eating every 2-3 hours so that our metabolism stays high throughout the day but, the question is, ‘IS IT OK TO EAT ANYTHING’?
I am sharing a few points that could help us make right choices to munch on in-between meals.
- Avoid consuming cereal based products in-between meals – This is the most common mistake which I have observed in a lot of people that they snack on cereal items like Sandwich, biscuits, noodles, poha (Puffed Rice) , idli etc. Some of them may not be unhealthy but they add on to our servings of cereals per day. If we are looking towards weight reduction we should avoid such a mistake. However, adding cereals in-between meals would be a good option for healthy weight gain.
- Add on fruits and vegetables as snacks before meals– Snacking on fruits and salads before meals help us keep our belly full and prevent overeating during main meals.
- Snacks should not always be a solid– Yes we can snack on healthy drinks like coconut water, barley water, lemon water or even vegetable juices like cucumber &tomato juice or radish& lemon juice etc. They make great snacks. These liquids hydrate us; therefore they are especially good for people who are not much fond of drinking water.
- Pulses – like Roasted Chana, Peas, Kidney beans, Whole moong or green gram can be a good protein rich evening snack, if we are looking forward to have light dinners.
- Dried Fruits – serve as filling and nutritious snacks too. However, we should limit its quantity. For example if we are having almonds then 4-5 almonds would be enough. 7 raisins would make a serving or just 1-2 dates would be a good dose of energy.
- Curd – Homemade curd, I would always say is the best option if you are going through any digestion problems. It also adds to our protein intake and at the same time increases our gut micro flora. Fruit yogurt or buttermilk are other options that could be considered.
- This is my favourite snacking option. It looks filling and tasty but gives minimum calories. I am sure many people opt for them. These are Popcorn, Puffed rice, dried lotus seeds (makhana) or Roasted grains. Having 1 fistful of them may not give us much calories but it satisfies our gut. They fall in the cereal group however the quantity of cereal is so less that if may not even make ½ a serving when weighed.
Snacking has a lot of benefits, but all we need to do is, keep these points in mind while selecting our snacks. So, next time, when we plan a 6 meal pattern, this is what we shall, consider for best results.