Snacks and Drinks
Simple solutions to help you and
your family eat healthy
Eat Smart North Carolina:
Snacks and Drinks
Have you ever found yourself at
a snack bar or vending machine
in search of a quick bite during
the day? Or have you packed snacks and drinks for
yourself or your child’s soccer game and wondered what
are smart choices? If so, this guide is for you.
What are snacks?
Snacks are foods and drinks
we eat in between meals to
satisfy hunger or boredom.
For some people, a snack
may be a quick meal replacer.
We may also snack mindlessly
while watching TV or doing
some other activity.
Why think about snacks and drinks?
It is now more common in America to be overweight than to
be at a healthy weight. While weight gain can be a result of
many factors, the basic reason is calorie imbalance. Weight gain
occurs when we eat and drink more calories than we need.
Americans’ calorie intake has increased during the past several
years and continues to rise. Most of these extra calories usually
come from food purchased away from home, sweet and salty
snacks, soft drinks1 and large portion sizes.2
Calories from snacks and drinks often push our daily calorie
intake above what we need to achieve a healthy weight.3
To snack or not to snack?
Snacks are important for small children and perhaps a few
adults with very high calorie needs, who don’t eat enough
food at meals to grow, heal or perform. But for most of us,
snacks are often a source of extra calories—usually from
foods that we eat too much of already.
Before you pick up a snack, ask yourself if you are
really hungry. If you aren’t, skip it. When you do need
to eat a snack, make a smart choice. Smart snack choices
can help us to eat foods that we usually don’t get
enough of—mostly fruits and vegetables or low-fat dairy
and whole grains. Smart snacks can also help us bridge the
time between meals so that we don’t come to lunch or...