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Healthy Snacking

Filed Under:
December 12, 2018

Farm and Family Radio
Healthy Snacking
September 15th, 2016
September 22nd air-date

Eytan Stern, Dietetic Intern at Mississippi State University


Today, we’re talking about: “Healthy Snacking.” Hello, I’m Amy Taylor-Myers, and welcome to Farm & Family… Today I’m speaking with Eytan Stern, dietetic intern at Mississippi State University, who currently is in his intern rotation at the MSU Extension Service. Today, we are going to talk about healthy snacking and what that means for your overall health.

Amy: Mr. Stern, thank you for joining us today!

Eytan: I appreciate you having me! It’s great to be here with you and our listeners!

Amy: Mississippians suffer from the 2nd highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the nation. Many residents in the great state of Mississippi do not know how to properly incorporate healthy snacks into their diet, which can help combat chronic health issues. Why is healthy snacking so important?

Eytan: Great question! The average American consumes a quarter of their calories from snacks. When it comes down to it, we snack to fight hunger and provide energy for our bodies. In order to produce energy, our body needs nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals. If our snacks don’t contain these nutrients, we will ultimately need to eat more to fill our energy needs.

Amy: So, what defines a healthy snack?

Eytan: Let me first begin with what defines an unhealthy snack. An unhealthy snack contains plenty of refined sugar. Why is refined sugar so bad for us? Because it causes us to feel tired, and in turn even hungrier. You should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of refined sugar a day as a woman, and no more than 9 teaspoons as a man. As a reference, one candy bar contains between 6 – 10 teaspoons of processed sugar.  In comparison, a healthy snack contains fruits, vegetables and whole grains that provide plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy natural sugars.

Amy: I’m afraid I’m getting way more than 6-9 teaspoons! Why is planning your snacks ahead of time of importance?

Eytan: I’m glad you asked! Planning any meal, but specifically snacks, ahead of time is vital to ensuring that your snacking habits are healthy! Planning a snack ahead makes sure that if you get hungry during the mid-morning or afternoon, you don’t go buy something from the vending machine. Rather, you have a snack prepared and readily at hand. This strategy will help ensure that you consume foods that provide you with the nutrients you need, while also fighting hunger. Try to go to the grocery store with a prepared list of ingredients, and stick to that list! You can create your list using some of the snack recipes that are available through the Mississippi State University Extension Service! Lastly, try to make enough of each snack to last a few days, so that you aren’t constantly having to prepare snacks each day.

Amy: Could you describe some of the snacks you are referring to?

Eytan: Surely! One of my favorite snack recipes is an apple-peanut butter sandwich. This is very easy to prepare. You simply slice the side of an apple into ¼ inch thick pieces. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on a slice of apple, and create a sandwich by placing the other slice on top. Two “sandwiches” are a perfect mid-morning snack! Apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and peanut butter provides healthy fats, vitamin B6, and magnesium. As a precaution, make sure that your children are not allergic to peanuts before feeding this snack to them!

Amy: Would it be a problem to ask you for one more example?

Eytan: Of course not! Another snack recipe that I think is perfect for someone who isn’t very active during the day are a homemade trail mix. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup each of unsalted peanuts, raisins, oat cereal, and dark chocolate chips. Mix well using tongs or washed hands. Split the trail mix into separate baggies and enjoy for the next two to three days! Peanuts provide healthy unsaturated fats, raisins are rich in vitamin B and antioxidants, and the oats and dark chocolate chips are both heart healthy!

Amy: Lastly, how can our listeners become more involved with healthy snacking?

Eytan: Well! If any of you would like to learn more or would like to host a demonstration on healthy snacking in your workplace, church or other organizational facility, please get in touch with your local extension office! Contact information can be found at

Amy: Thank you so much for joining us, and I look forward to having you on again sometime soon!

Eytan: Thank you as well, I can’t wait to speak with you and our listeners again!

Amy: Today we’ve been speaking with Eytan Stern, dietetic intern at Mississippi State University. I’m Amy Taylor-Myers, and this has been Farm & Family. Have a great day!



Department: Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion

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