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Snacking Smart on the Go

Filed Under: Health Foods at 5:20 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Milky Way

 Have you ever watched a “Need a Moment?” Twix commercial and thought, “You know, if they broke that Twix in half, he could pop one piece in at a time, add a few extra seconds to his “moment” and not look like such a fool while eating”? No? Well, the makers of Milky Way have. They are now offering Milky Way 2 To Go, a king size Milky Way pre-broken in half for convenient snacking . . . THANK GOD. I have always felt that a king size candy bar was just not conducive to my snacking schedule. What if I only had time for half? The other half would be ruined by the lack of packaging and, thus, unacceptable when I came back for more. I would have to buy a new one in order to get those 460 calories I so desperately needed. 

Sounds kind of stupid, right? Ignoring the fact that I don’t actually need a 500 calorie snack, the idea that my candy bar needs to be more convenient is ludicrous. However, manufacturers everywhere are marketing their goods as “to-go” so as to appeal to the busy consumer. You can now get yogurt, peanut butter, pop tarts, cookies, fried chicken and, my personal favorite, liquor to go. Enjoy any of these fine products while biking, fishing, socializing, working, attending ball games or doing one of the many things on your lengthy to-do list. They are convenient, delicious and oh, so unhealthy. Most of these items pack in a ton of calories with little or no nutrients. What’s more, they don’t really offer you satisfaction. You’re hungry about ten minutes after you squeeze the last dollop of sugary yogurt from the tube. So, what’s a rumbling stomach to do?

First, don’t give up on snacking. In moderation, snacking can actually help you avoid extra calories by beating back the hunger. Come dinnertime, you’ll be ready to eat but not ravenous. Thus, you’ll eat what you should instead of the whole table. Also, snacking can provide you with the nourishment you might miss out on because of your busy schedule.  You are on the go. I’m not going to deny that. And as such, you might miss a meal, so you need a snack. But, don’t choose a king size candy bar. What you should do is plan ahead. Pack little bags of fruits and veggies in the morning that you can grab throughout the day. Try nuts, whole wheat crackers or low-fat dairy products (yes, yogurt can be a good snack, but not the sugar-stuffed, high-fat variety). And if you really need a pre-packaged snack, opt for a nutritional bar. They have what you need, like protein, fiber, nutrients and convenience, without all of the sugar and fat. Plus, they’ll keep you full until mealtime. Just make sure you read the labels and know what you’re buying. “To-Go” doesn’t always go with health.

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