Snack Like a Dietitian
It’s exam season, and we know that means many hours of studying. A great way to fuel your brain for these study sessions is to grab balanced snacks between meals to maintain optimal blood sugar levels – alongside other self-care strategies found here and here.. Low blood sugar can contribute to feelings of brain fog, low energy and sugary food cravings. Pro tip: Aim to eat something every 3-4 hours to keep you fueled for studying. Eat 3 meals per day with snacks in between.
Balanced snacks have many benefits. They give you more energy, increase your mental clarity, reduced cravings for sweets and processed foods, and provide you with an overall feeling of well-being.
Here are five tips to snack like a Dietitian:
- Plan ahead: Have healthy snacks on hand and ready to go. You’ll be more likely to eat these! Try grabbing a fresh to-go TAM after breakfast or grab an extra snack after dinner for your next study session. If you have access to a kitchen, prepare snacks on the weekend or the night before a big study day.
- Portion beforehand: Don’t let a snack replace your meal. The purpose of a snack is to give you a boost of energy before your next meal. For example, if your dinner is in an hour, have a smaller snack portion. Some TAMs are big enough for two snacks. Portion these snacks out for easy access rather than taking the whole bag or meal with you.
- Listen to your hunger Cues: Eat a snack when you’re hungry, not when you’re bored or stressed. Enjoy your snacks mindfully and away from distractions. Resist the temptation to overconsume or fill up before dinner with friends or family. Learn more about eating mindfully here.
- Pair protein and fibre: Protein, healthy fats and fibre from whole grains and fruits and veggies keep us feeling full for longer. Combining these two food groups will fuel your study session until your next meal. Bonus tip: snacks are a great way to get your daily fruit and veggie intake for the day!
- A note on food safety: If you are on the go, remember food safety! Keep your cold food cold and hot food hot so that your food never reaches the temperature danger zone (between 4C /40F and 60C/140F). In this zone bacteria can grow quickly. Pack a cooler with ice to take with you, or place cold items in a fridge when you reach your destination. Learn more about food safety on our blog here.
Study snack ideas for on-campus or on the go
*Bolded options can be found in our Fresh to Go fridges in the Lazy Scholar and Location 21 for a TAM!
- Hummus and vegetables (carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes) or crackers with seeds.
- Tuna, egg salad or peanut butter on whole-grain bread
- Yogurt parfait with fruit and granola
- Smoothie with frozen fruit, milk/soy milk and yogurt. On-campus? Grab your favourite smoothie combo in the Lazy Scholar!
- Cheese with fruit (grapes, apples, etc.) or grain crackers
- Boiled egg with fruit such as grapes
- Nut butter with an apple or banana
- Mixed nuts and fruit
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Easy to make nut-free energy bites.
- Popcorn. For vegans, add some nutritional yeast for your daily B12 intake!
- Roasted Chickpeas with spices
- Salsa and guacamole with nacho chips
- Bowl of high fibre cereal with milk or milk alternative. Remember: 5% is a little, and 15% is a lot when looking at nutrition facts tables for high fibre options. Learn more on our social post here and Health Canada here.
- Energy Boosting muffin
A note on Allergies: While nuts are a great source of protein and fibre, be mindful of your peers that may have a life-threatening peanut and or tree nut allergy. Learn more here.
Short on Time?
Skip the grocery store line and order your exam snacks with Campus Market! Campus Market is available for online grocery orders, and local delivery, until April 16. Local delivery is available for students living off-campus, within a 4km delivery radius, for a $2 delivery fee. Log on today and set yourself up for study snack success!
Remember: keep snacks in your bag or your fridge for when hunger strikes!
Read more about snacking:
- Registered Dietitian Leslie Beck, “Q&A on healthy Snacking”
- Today’s Dietitian “On Track With a Snack”
- Dietetic Directions “3 Tricks to Snack Like a Dietitian”
- Eat Right “Smart Snacking for Adults and Teens”
- Unlock Food “Healthy Snack Ideas for Adults”
Other exam support:
- 7 Dietitian Tips to Manage Stress this Exam Season
- The Facts on Caffeine
- Student Academic Success Services – Academic Stress
- Campus Resources