If you know the meaning of the word “hangry” or have ever had to deal with an empty stomach at the worst of times, then this article might just be the one for you. For those of you not in the know, “hangry” is a combination of the two feelings; hunger and anger. It’s a potent combination of emotions that can arise in almost anyone, though it’s more common in some people than in others.
When people get hangry, it’s most likely due to a lack of food with no mealtime in sight. This is why hangry episodes are often in the middle of the afternoon, in the space between lunch and dinner! One solution could be adding more food to your regular mealtimes to try and make the waiting period more bearable, but in our opinion, the best solution will always be snack time.
Even if you haven’t seen the phrase since elementary school, snack time is a precious period of time in anybody’s day, and we’re trying to help it make a comeback. For some reason, snacks are often associated with being unhealthy, when it’s quite the opposite! Snacks allow you to feed and nourish your body whenever you need to, even if it’s in the middle of two significant mealtimes.
Snacks can also help a wide variety of people who may have difficulties with food or eating habits and can even help to teach younger children about valuable life lessons and social skills! So whether you’re looking for a way to prevent your partner from getting hangry or trying to help your kid develop a healthier relationship with food, look no further! We’ll go over some snacking basics, as well as the benefits of snack time, so you can start adding some snack breaks into your day.
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Your Relationship With Food
One of the possible reasons that snacks have gotten a bad rap recently is thanks to the values of modern society. As much as many of us try to avoid it, we live in a world that is quite often fixated on food, weight, health, and diets. Instead of promoting healthier eating habits or encouraging body positivity, the global focus is usually on the latest fad diet or exercise routine promising to “sculpt your body.”
All of this has led to an overwhelming amount of people that struggle with their relationship to food. Over or under-eating, binge eating, calorie counting, and various other eating disorders exist in society today. Thanks to the relentless press of ultra-healthy body images and diets, it’s difficult to break free from these disorders. Here’s where adding in snacks can help!
Rather than painting snacks as a cause of weight gain or “overeating,” snacks should be viewed as a positive, simple way to give your body food when it requires it. This can help start reframing nutrition in your mind as nothing more than energy and sustenance for your body. It removes pressures and societal expectations that center around food, and by normalizing the idea of “eating when you’re hungry,” you might start interacting with food in a healthier way.
Listening To Your Body
Building on the ideas in the last section, snack time is all about tuning into yourself and understanding your body’s needs. The keyword here is needs and not necessarily wants. This could be a reason that snacks don’t get a great reputation, as when people go to snack, they won’t always choose great food.
However, just as with anything else, there are two sides to this story. It’s true that many people think of quick and easy options when it comes to snacking, but that’s likely due to the fact that most quick and easy snacks are labeled as snack food! Bringing back a regular snack time to your life can help you break that relationship in your mind and help you listen to your body when it comes to food.
Learning With Food
This last tip is directed more at children (or, more accurately, the parents of children), but anyone can still follow this advice. Besides providing a midday boost or staving off those pesky hangry feelings, snack time can be highly educational, both about food and plenty of other things!
For children, in particular, snack time can teach them several valuable lessons. For the youngest children, snack time is the perfect arena to practice sharing and communication. Teaching kids how to share is much easier when it comes to food because pretty much everyone wants some!
Snacks can also teach kids about people with allergies or difficulties eating. If some people are gluten-free, can’t eat peanut butter because of an allergy, or really don’t like cottage cheese because of the texture, those moments can teach kids about all the ways people interact with food. This can help children develop a more understanding and compassionate stance regarding food while also combatting toxic diet and body image culture!
Finally, and perhaps most obviously, snack time is a fantastic place to try new foods, learn about the categories of foods, and redefine what a snack is! For instance, with some trail mix and nut butter, you can show the importance of healthy fats while providing a tasty snack. More nutritious snacks like dried fruits and beef jerky can show people different, more natural protein, fat, and sugar sources!
Some of the best meals and snacks are discovered simply by trial and error, and when snack time is encouraged for anyone and everyone, there are endless possibilities.
Some Final Thoughts
Though this article has primarily focused on “healthy” snacks, snacks are meant to be enjoyed, so if a food makes you happy, eat it! You don’t always have to eat boiled eggs and wheat toast with cream cheese (yuck); have some ice cream now and again! Treating yourself to something sweet and sugary can affect your mood, and give a little boost to your happiness.
Snack time isn’t about being the healthiest or eating the best foods; it’s about giving your body a little extra. It’s about enjoying the process of eating and finding joy in the fact that food gives you energy. As long as you’ve got that part figured out, you’re well on your way to happy snacking!
Snacks for Anyone
We love snacks here at theEATbar, which led to the creation of our bars in the first place! Our unique, meringue-textured snack bars are perfect for snacking amongst all ages! The bars are tasty, melt-in-your-mouth, and chock full of calories that will help you get back on your feet in the middle of the day.
Check out our collection of tasty bars here, or learn more on our blog!