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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Cookie Dough Yogurt

Snacking After Eight: Is it so Great?


Are you a late night snacker? While "eating after 8 p.m. is bad for your health," is a myth that has long been debunked, it doesn't mean that all foods in a late night kitchen spree should be on the table. However, late night snacking doesn't have to kick the curb as long as you follow these rules:

  • Sleep. Short sleep, defined as less than seven hours, has long been associated with obesity risk. Researchers at the University of Alabama have associated less sleep with more time spent eating and drinking, particularly while engaged in another activity, such as watching television. Another words, the more time spent awake, the more time spent mindlessly eating.
  • Eat because you're hungry. It's hunger versus habit. More often, we eat because we are trained to eat at a particular time. Have you ever felt full at lunchtime but ate anyway, simply because it was noon and that's what we've always known to do? While it's not a good idea to skip meals, which can provide important nutrients your body needs, it can be smart to skip the snack if you're simply not hungry after eating a balanced meal.
  • Snack on what you missed. The evening is a good time to evaluate what you've eaten that day. Are you low on fruit intake? Did you skip veggies with lunch? Have you had any dairy today? An apple, sweet mini peppers with hummus, or low-fat yogurt are good ways to get in those missed nutrients.
  • Portion out what a serving size should be. The package on the bag of chips may say 1-ounce, which equates to approximately 10-15 chips, depending on the chip size. Two or three small cookies may be a serving size. Portion them out onto a plate, and put the rest away. Make chips and cookies a "sometimes" snack and not an "everyday" snack.

Consider what type of snacker you are and whether or not there is room for improvement. It's not too late for a New Year's resolution!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Yogurt (Printable PDF)

1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt

1 Tablespoon natural creamy peanut butter

1 Tablespoon honey

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together and serve.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition analysis per serving: 160 calories, 6 grams fat, 60 milligrams sodium, 17 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 11 grams protein



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