By Mary Lynne Hixson
Is your energy for cooking dinner in short supply? The snack-meal approach is a perfect solution for practically any meal in your day.
The 3-square-meals a day eating pattern may no longer fit your lifestyle or energy level. The snack-meal offers convenience, thrift, variety, minimal food waste and portion control. Have you noticed the 4-compartment grab-and-go snack packs in the market?
The secret is to pair your snacks considering flavor, nutrient-rich foods, and balance. Bento tins or food storage containers with compartments are perfect for portion control and on-the-go snack-meals.
For flavor, think sweet + savory, strong + mild flavors or sweet + salty. Classic flavor pairings: apple + cinnamon, tomato + basil, chocolate + peanut butter, sour cream + onion or trail mixes.
For nutrition and balance, the perfect snack-meal includes sources of protein, a better-for-you fat, a complex carb, fruit, veggies and a fun treat. Think about seasoned or different flavored options (e.g. lemon hummus) or a sprinkle of favorite seasoning, fresh herbs or balsamic vinegar.
Snack-Meal component ideas:
About Mary Lynne Hixson, MA, RD:
Mary Lynne, a registered dietitian, helps others enhance their health through the advocacy of nutrient-rich food choices and safe food-handling practices. Her expertise also includes counseling patients who have Type 2 diabetes and advising those who are in medically-managed weight loss programs. After her 35+ year career, she retired and became involved with the launch of Harvest of Hope Pantry in 2012 as a Board of Directors member. Mary Lynne is a weekly volunteer with Cultivate’s Carry-Out Caravan program, shopping and delivering groceries to seniors in the Boulder area, and also a frequent volunteer with Harvest of Hope.
Help seniors flourish by reconnecting them—as recipients and contributors—with their surrounding communities.