The start of a new semester is an exciting time – new classes, new friends, and a new weekly schedule. It can also mean that you are spending more time away from home during the day, and you’ll need healthy fuel to keep you going. Packing a few simple snacks each day will save you some cash, keep your belly happy, and give you the energy to have your best semester yet!
Snacking is a great way to help get in all of the nutrients you need and keep your energy levels high throughout the day. Healthy snacking between meals can help to regulate blood sugar levels, preventing that dreaded 4pm slump.
Keep in mind that the amount of food a person needs each day varies, and too much snacking can lead to weight gain. That’s why it is important to listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and try to avoid mindless snacking when you are bored, tired, or stressed. Take a few minutes throughout the day to enjoy your snack, as distractions such as the TV can cause you to miss your body’s fullness cues and you may end up eating more than your body needs.
Planning out your snacks and having them pre-portioned will make snaking on the go a breeze. Look for snacks that combine protein, carbohydrates, and some healthy fats for a winning combo that will provide important nutrients and energy for all of your activities.
Depending how close you are to your next meal, the size of your snacks will vary. Anything from a small piece of fruit to a slice of avocado toast with an egg can be a good snack depending on your hunger levels – the key is to listen to your body!
Ready to pack some good snacks and start the semester strong? Here are a few simple and healthy snack ideas to get you started:
1. Whole Grain Crispbread Open Face Sammies
Top a whole grain crispbread like Wasa or Ryvita with some nut butter and banana, or try it with hummus, sliced cheese, and mashed avocado for a mini sandwich that will keep you full through the afternoon. In a rush? Just grab a banana and some peanut butter from a Residence Dining Room to go.
2. Energy Bites
These little balls are full of nourishing ingredients and will give you a great energy burst when you’re running from class to class or to the gym. Try this recipe to start (no special equipment required!), then experiment by adding your own favourite ingredients.
3. Veggies and Dip
There’s nothing more classic than crunchy veggies and creamy hummus. Chop up carrots, celery, and bell peppers (or grab some from your dining hall) and pair it with a few spoonfuls of hummus. Add a few pieces of pita or whole grain crackers to make this a bigger snack.
An easy grab-and-go option. Grab a banana or an apple on your way out the door and have an easy snack ready for when mid-class hunger strikes. Pair it with a small handful of unsalted nuts for a boost of protein and healthy fats. Forget to grab your snack when rushing out the door? You can grab fresh fruit and other healthy snacks at Harvest (near University Blvd and Lower mall) or Harvest Express (in the David Lam Research Centre). The Residence Dining Rooms also have great options to go.
A great whole grain snack that is filling and has that satisfying crunch. Make it at home in an air-popper or look for Angie’s Boomchickapop (sea salt flavour) at Harvest. Toss 2 cups in a container and take it with you for easy snacking on the go.
Thanks to UBC dietetics student Britney Lentz for drafting this article!
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