Some timely nutrition advice from Rebecca Greco from Nourish Adelaide. Bec used to run nutrition related programs here at Flinders and maintains a strong interest in student nutrition (i.e. nutrition for students, not how nutritious a student is).
I think no one understands the importance of snacks better than a uni student. In school we had recess and time to raid the cupboard before dinner, so obviously the need for a mid-morning and late afternoon snack is strong.
But which types of snacks improve our energy and concentration levels throughout the day rather than give us the urge to eat more and more snacks?
You probably guessed it. Those snacks that are high in kilojoules and low in protein and nutrients are not helpful for good health and wellbeing. So yes, the bag of chips, chocolate bars, donuts, muesli bars and the soft drinks are more of an enemy rather than our friend.
So which snacks should we embrace?
In no particular order……
- Small tub of Greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit
- Vegie sticks (carrots, celery, capsaicin) with dip like hummus or tzatziki
- Small bowl of plain popcorn (not the caramel stuff!)
- Slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter
- Small handful of roasted chickpeas – see recipe below
- Boiled egg
- Small handful of mixed unsalted nuts
- Thin slices of cheese and tomato with crackers
- Small homemade savoury muffin
- 130g tin of salt reduced baked beans
The above 10 snacks will make you feel energised throughout the day because they are low GI – meaning you won’t get a rush of energy and then fall into a heap an hour later and they are also high in protein so you will feel fuller for longer!
Tangy roasted chickpeas
- 400g can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika ground
- 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
- Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place chickpeas on prepared tray. Sprinkle with spices and salt. Toss gently to coat.
- Roast chickpeas for 1 hour or until golden and crispy.
- Cool chickpeas on baking tray.
- Store in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.
Written by Rebecca Greco, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Flinders University Alumni and owner of Nourish Adelaide.