Savvy snacks

Refuel wisely and you’ll keep going through the day.

There are times when we really need something small to keep us going rather than wolfing down a massive meal. Choose snacks with longer-lasting benefit.

Many women avoid all nuts because they’re fatty but you’ll find polyunsaturated omega 3 fats in walnuts, and mono-unsaturated fat in almonds. Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, and almonds, cashews, pistachios and hazelnuts are good for iron.

Dried fruit and seeds
Many cereal bars contain extra sugars. Instead, opt for sunflower seeds – great for omega 6, and dried apricots (choose sulphate-free ones), raisins and packs that mix nuts and things like dried cranberries, are fantastic for iron, slow-release energy and calcium.

Dark chocolate or liquorice
A few squares of dark chocolate (a good, high cocoa content one) and liquorice are good for iron.

When bananas are ripe their starches have been mostly converted to sugars making them easy to digest. To get a longer energy release, try eating it with a handful of nuts.

Oats are great for fibre, slow-release energy, and have cholesterol-lowering properties, plus B vitamins, vitamin E, iron and zinc. If you need a topping, try almond butter – high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.

Savvy tip
Cucumber is hydrating and good for muscles, bones and other body tissue. Apples are a great source of energy and aid digestion.

Pass it on – Get out of the snack habit
1. Junk the junk. Treats are fine in moderation, but having a stash in the cupboard will make you want to swoop a handful every time you pass.
2. Keep your fingers busy. If you associate watching a DVD with a bowl of popcorn, keep a bottle of water to hand instead.
3. Beat boredom. Do word puzzles on the fridge door to avoid nibbling while making the kids’ tea, or a keep book of Sudoku in your bag for times out with the kids when you’d usually be tempted by a latte and biscuits.