Everyone loves a good snack. Why not? There are some great food choices, it makes you feel good, and sometimes, it can be a long wait between meals. In planning your daily meals, one should plan to go no longer than 4 hours between meals. That means if your breakfast is at 6:30, and your lunch break at work is at 12, you need to have a morning snack. There is a very good reason behind this, it's not just to eat for the sake of eating. The purpose of a snack is to prevent you from arriving at your next meal starving. We all know that when we're very hungry, we don't make healthy choices and we typically eat more than needed. So, by eating a snack, we can prevent ourselves from making poor choices.
So, then, if snacking is a good idea, what foods should we eat? There are loose guidelines for snacks. They are: snacks should contain a carbohydrate and a protein. Pretty easy, right? So this means foods like: cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, banana and peanut butter, fruit and nuts are great choices. The reason for this is the following: carbohydrate-containing foods are included to ensure blood sugar remains steady (drops in blood sugar can be responsible for the crankiness some people feel around 3pm!), and the protein-containing food help keep you full for longer. Protein is a complicated molecule that takes a long time to digest, so it keeps your stomach busy, which keeps you from feeling hungry. So, by combining a carb and a protein, you are giving your body what it needs to tide yourself over to your next meal.
Most people need to have an afternoon snack, but depending on your work schedule, you may not need a morning snack. I often encourage people to bring a morning snack to work, and eat it if they need to, but at least they have a balanced snack, just in case. Depending on your job, lunch may not be when you planned, so having food on hand is a good idea.
So get creative with your snack choices and see how it changes your day!