Food. We can’t live with it and can’t live without it. Why is it so hard to eat the way we should? Consuming three healthy meals a day is time consuming and thought provoking enough, but those three meals rarely can keep our minds and bodies active and moving for a full work day and home life period. To fill in the gaps we should be having snacks, but snacking should be something that fuels our stomachs and minds, not something that is absentmindedly done out of boredom.
Eatright.org recommends that snacks and meals be eaten in a room with no distractions. Keeping any meal or snack time in a designated area helps both adolescent and adult minds associate that area with eating and eating alone. Taking a snack into a room with a television will cause the mind to think that a snack should be had anytime the t.v. is on regardless of hunger. Keeping all meals and snacks in one place will help to consider the food being consumed as essential to growth rather than essential to an activity.
In addition, snacks, like all foods, should carry a health benefit. The food pyramid requires certain amounts of each food group per day, and snack time helps to reach those necessary amounts. If the three main meals of the day leave you wanting for more vegetables and dairy, include these two groups in snack time. It’s recommended that children have two to three snacks daily with at least one hour in between the snack and the meals surrounding it, according to eatright.org.
Meals and snacks, especially when the food pyramid is involved, require a little planning and forethought. To keep each food intake period an ample amount of time ahead or behind another, a routine plan of meal times should be set in place. Keeping the body on a routine will help in digestion and sleep habits. Planning meals and snacks will only aid in efforts to be healthier and provide our bodies and minds with the tools to obtain overall health and wellness.