This post was written by Georgia Department of Public Health dietetic intern Chelsea Joyner and reviewed and approved by Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN.
We have all experienced a growling tummy before lunch and dinner. Eating three meals a day just doesn’t always keep hunger pangs at bay. Adding nutritious snacks to your day can help keep you full and full of energy! So what makes a balanced and nutritious snack? When it comes to time, taste, and nutrition, finding a balanced snack can be a challenge.
One way to balance your snack and fight hunger is by adding peanuts or peanut butter. Peanuts have 7 grams of protein per ounce, more than any other nut. Peanuts and peanut butter also provide fiber and Vitamin E—which are both good for our bodies. Whether eaten straight from your hand or straight out of the jar, peanuts and peanut butter provide nutrition and they are delicious. They also provide over 30 vitamins and minerals. That’s a nut worth snacking on!
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and protein (like peanuts and peanut butter) are what MyPlate recommends to eat daily. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are also tastier when you eat them with peanuts and peanut butter. In the protein food group, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter counts as a 2 ounce serving. Adding snacks to your day and in between meals can help you eat the right amount from each food group daily.
Adults and kids love snacks that have peanuts and peanut butter. Often times, kids don’t get the nutrients they needs from just three meals alone. Adults sometimes skip out on snacking because they are busy. For some on-the-go snacks ideas, plan ahead and make homemade peanut crunch bars that have peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut flour. Talk about a snack that will keep you going! Make your own peanut snack mix or granola and before leaving the house, measure some out into small, single serving bags. Here are simple ways to add this crunchy or creamy product into your daily diet with other nutritious foods:
- Make a peanut butter chocolate dip and serve with fresh fruit and veggies
- Spread hummus made with boiled peanuts on veggies or whole grain toast
- Spread celery sticks with peanut butter and top with raisins
- Spread peanut butter on slices of bananas or apples
- Add peanuts or peanut butter to low-fat yogurt
Simple, delicious, and nutritious can go a long way when it comes to snacking. Check out the National Peanut Board’s site for more snack ideas.