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A Smart Snack Bag Can Mean Better Nutrition!

Do you find yourself hungry in the middle of the afternoon and in line at a vending machine?

Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

Snacks can be a fun and valuable part of a person’s healthful eating plan – but they can also add unneeded calories, sugar, sodium and fat.  During National Nutrition Month® (NNM), University of Wyoming Extension offers smart snacking ideas to help “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”

This year’s NNM theme encourages consumers to adopt a healthy lifestyle focused on making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

Plan for Success

Planning a “Smart Snack Bag” can prevent overeating at mealtimes and throughout the day. For children and adults alike, snacks can supply foods and nutrients that we might miss in meals. Snacks offer a great way to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and low-fat dairy, things we don’t often get enough of.

Fuel for Activity and Growth

For active people, snacks can supplement meals.  Children are still growing and may need to eat more often to get the calories and nutrients they need.

Benefits for All

Healthy snacks can provide an energy boost for adults, and satisfy mid-day hunger. After three or more hours, a snack can help bring up your blood sugar level for optimal energy. For older adults with smaller appetites or limited energy, several small meals including snacks may be easier for their bodies to handle.

Ideas for Healthy Snacks:

  • Plan your snacks.  Keep a variety of tasty, nutrient-rich, ready-to-eat foods nearby, for when you need a bite to take the edge off hunger.  Snack ideas include fresh fruit, air-popped popcorn, whole-grain crackers, dried fruit and nut mixes, almonds or fat-free yogurt.
  • Make snack calories count.  Snack on foods that fill the nutrient gaps in your day’s eating plan.  Snacks can help you get more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – foods we often don’t eat enough.”
  • Go easy on high-calorie snacks such as chips, candy and soft drinks.  They often contain solid fats, and added sugars.
  • Snack when you’re hungry – not because you’re bored, stressed or frustrated. Exercise can actually be a great way to feed those emotional urges.
  • Snack on sensible portions.  Choose single-serve containers, or put a small helping in a bowl rather than eating directly from the package.
  • Quench your thirst. “Water, low-fat or fat-free milk and 100-percent juice are just a few options. Flavored waters might be high in added sugars, so check the label.”

Making the right food and nutrition choices is a necessary part of biting into a healthy lifestyle, this month–and always.   For ideas for a “Smart Snack Bag” for yourself or your child, please contact your local University of Wyoming Extension office or go to .


  • During National Nutrition Month® Make Sensible Snacks Part of Your Healthy Eating Plan, says Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2/2015.
animated brown bag and apple

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Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Contact Our Expert!


Extension Educator:
Vicki Hayman – (307) 746-3531

University of Wyoming Extension

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Issued in furtherance of extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelly Crane, Director, University of Wyoming Extension, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming Extension, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.

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