smart snacking(Family Features) Did you ever find yourself skipping a meal so you could enjoy a snack? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a national survey commissioned by Dole Banana Dippers and conducted by Wakefield Research, nearly 60 percent of women have skipped a meal so they could enjoy a snack without feeling guilty.

With so many hours in a day, it’s nearly impossible to just eat three meals. Everyone needs a snack to keep them feeling satisfied throughout the day. However, it’s important to make smart choices when you reach for that mid-day pick-me-up. Next time you are considering skipping lunch, keep these tips in mind so you can have your snack and eat your meal, too.

Manage Your Sweet Tooth: Every once in a while it’s OK to give into your sweet tooth. Depriving yourself won’t make your body or your mind happy. So next time you’re craving a sweet treat, reach for something that won’t leave you feeling guilty. For example, try Dole Banana Dippers made with fresh frozen Dole banana slices and dipped in decadent dark chocolate. They are available in two varieties, each with only 120 calories per serving or less: Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate with Almonds.

Enhance What’s in Your Eyesight: You are more likely to eat a healthy snack if it’s within reach. So, keep a bowl of fruit on your counter to reach for when you are feeling hungry. And if you find yourself overindulging at work, keep a container of mixed nuts on your desk; they will fill you up quickly and give you extra energy to help get you through the day.

Bring Out the Bowl: It can be hard to stop reaching for potato chips once you start; before you know it, the whole bag is gone. To help keep track of just how many servings you are eating, purchase snacks packaged in individual serving sized containers. If you are a club shopper, or if you just prefer to purchase the whole bag, remember that snacking out of the bag will make you more likely to overindulge. To avoid this, put your snack on a plate or in a bowl; it will help you realize just how much you’re eating.

Slow It Down: Do you tend to wait until you are extremely hungry to have a snack? Before you inhale your treats, take a breath and remember that when you eat your snack too quickly, you don’t give your body time to digest and process whether or not you are satisfied. Eat slowly and savor every bite. You will feel as if you are eating more than you actually are, and your body will have time to decide if it is full or not.

So next time that 3:00 p.m. grumble rolls around, remember these tips to help you snack smart.
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