It’s quite possibly my favorite time of the day: snack time. One of the habits that I adopted early in 2012 was to implement an adult version of the after school snack. Beyond holding me over till dinner time, taking a short break from my otherwise busy day helps me focus and prepares me for the rush of after school homework, dinner and evening activities.
The primary purpose of my afternoon snack is to ward off any pre-dinner grazing. And since I’m not famished as I approach dinner time, it helps me to make better dinner choices. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when I’m hungry, I make poor choices.
My snack always consists of four components: a serving of fruit, a serving of dairy, a small sweet treat and a cup of coffee (with a pinch of sugar and a splash of creamer).
In-season fruit is usually what’s on the snack menu. These days, my kitchen is stocked with:
- Minneolas (if you haven’t tried this citrus fruit, you should!)
- Fresh pineapple with a few frozen blueberries
My go-to dairy items are:
- Mini-Babybel Light (1P+) cheese round
- Low-fat cheese stick (1P+)
- Greek yogurt (1P+ for 113g) topped with 1 tsp. honey (1P+) or 1 tbs. fruit preserves (1P+)
- Shaved parmesan (1P+ for 10g)
- Low-fat cottage cheese (2P+ for 1/2 cup)
For the sweet treat, I almost always reach for a Fiber One Brownie bar (2P+). I do switch up the variety, at least!
The Fiber One Brownie varieties (all 2P+) that I rotate through:
- Chocolate Fudge
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Lemon Bar
- Chocolate Chip Cookie
- Cinnamon Coffee Cake
In addition to serving a functional purpose, snack time has also turned into a time for me to mentally regroup and set a plan for the remainder of the day. If the kids are home, I ask them to give me a few minutes of quiet in the kitchen. I cherish the time that it takes to brew my coffee, assemble my plate and enjoy the snack. As I’m finishing up, I usually take a moment to review the family calendar and think about how to navigate what lies ahead.
Who would have thought that a few minutes in the afternoon could do so much good?