Snacking Survival Guide Spend a little time getting organized, and it will go a long way toward keeping you on the smart snacking path. Top Five Reasons to jump on the Snack Bandwagon. Snacks help control food cravings and impulsive eating Snacking helps keep hunger sustained, so that you don't overeat at your next meal Snacks can be an important source of nutrients that we may miss as we race through our regular meals in a busy day. Snacking helps to ensure that children, whose stomachs are small, will take in all the food and nutrients they require. Health Canada has recognized the importance of snacking in the Food Guide, and supports the promotion of healthy snacking habits. Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada www.dairygoodness.ca Five Tips to turn your kids into healthier snackers Stock the kitchen with healthy choices - give your kids their own space in the fridge and pantry where they know to look for snacks, and fill it with cut-up fruits and veggies, milk and cottage cheese, cheese, whole grain cereals and crackers, and nuts. Limit the competition - commercial snack foods can easily tempt kids and give them mixed messages. Allow treats as an "occasional" food, but don't make them readily available all the time. Put the kids to work - let little ones come shopping and learn about new and healthy foods as you go through the aisles. Lead by example - kids learn what they see, so it helps if mom and dad are healthy snackers too. Follow the guide - keep a copy of Canada's Food Guide in the kitchen so your kids can figure out how their snacks count towards their daily minimum servings. Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada www.dairygoodness.ca Five tips to help adults reach for healthier snacks Planning is the key - we all know that planning ahead helps keep your eating on a healthy path, and this applies to snacks as well. If you plan for a healthy snack or two during the day, you're less likely to cave in and reach for something you know isn't healthy. Be ready when the snack attack hits - stock your office kitchen with whole grain cereal and milk, keep a small container of nuts in your car, keep a granola bar in your purse and of course make sure your kitchen at home has a variety of healthy choices for your family. By making sure healthy food is available for you whenever you need it, you're setting yourself up for success. Keep it interesting by switching up your snacks. Try different veggies with humus, try a new kind of whole grain cereal, mix your cereal with cottage cheese and fruit, try different unsalted nuts and dried fruits, or enjoy a smoothie made with chocolate milk and fruit. There are lots of great healthy choices just waiting to be discovered! Stop eating when you're full - one of the proven benefits of snacking is that it helps prevent overeating at mealtime. Listen to your body, eat enough to satisfy your hunger but don't stuff yourself - it's okay to leave some food on the plate. Eat breakfast - research indicates that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat later in the day and snack on higher-calorie foods with little nutritional value, so if you make sure you get a good breakfast in, it will help you to snack more wisely throughout your day.