To snack or not to snack….that is the question (at least, it’s certainly a question I am often asked!) There is no standard answer to this as we are all individuals. That said, those with digestive issues or smaller stomach capacities (children!) 聽do well to eat little and often. The job that you do also influences your choices, e.g. an聽office worker sitting down all day will have different needs to the warehouseman bending and lifting for hours. We also need to take account of existing health issues, especially hormonal imbalances and diabetes, two conditions that can be adversely affected by not-so-wise choices. And finally food intolerances will also need to be managed. Many store-bought snacks contain the top food culprits of聽gluten, dairy, egg, soy and yeast, so making your own fresh nibbles is best 馃檪

Snacks 聽should ideally contain a good balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate to sustain you – 聽boosting your energy and brain power in the process.

Here are ten healthy snack ideas to tempt your palate:

  • Seasonal fruit and a good handful of nuts
  • Trail mix: chopped dates, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes and cacao nibs
  • Rice cake with smoked salmon and cucumber slices
  • Raw carrot sticks with hummus
  • Cold boiled eggs
  • Nut and seed butters on oatcakes
  • Half an avocado stuffed with tuna
  • Yogurt, oats and berries (coconut yogurt for the dairy intolerant)
  • Bliss balls
  • Sesame Date snack bar:Blend 1 cup walnuts, 陆 cup sesame seeds , 1陆 cups pitted dates ,1陆 cups raisins and a pinch of salt until the mixture holds together. Press into a 9 inch square tin and chill. Cut into squares to serve

If you are a snacker, portion sizes are important, not only for snacks but for ALL your meals. Here’s a little guide to give you an indication (emphasis on the word ‘guide’!)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 apple / 1 banana / 1 orange or fruit of a similar size

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 plums or other fruit of a similar size

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 陆 a grapefruit or avocado

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables (organic, fresh or frozen)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad (organic, fresh or frozen)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 陆 cup of dried fruit (such as raisins and apricots)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 handful of grapes, cherries or berries

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 1 dessert bowl of salad

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 150ml glass of fruit juice (juicing your own will avoid harmful sugars, additives and preservatives)

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 150g carton yoghurt

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 4cm cube cheddar cheese

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 2 tbsps. cottage cheese

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Palm-sized portion of lean meat or fish