The perfectly balanced snack hack: don't be restrictive in what you're allowed to eat, instead invite more variety onto the plate.

The Perfectly Balanced Snack

I am constantly learning new life skills/hacks from my kids’ daycare. One thing in particular from this year are the snacking requirements that I’ve now adapted into my own life too.

Protein + Veggie + Fruit + Grain

At daycare, meals and snacks must include a protein, veggie, fruit, and grain. In other words, I call it the PVFG plan. I have PVFG written on the fridge whiteboard that I’m always considering when meal and snack planning. And let me tell you, my fruit and veggie intake has wildly increased over time because of this, with almost no effort.

The perfectly balanced snack hack: don't be restrictive in what you're allowed to eat, instead, invite more variety onto the plate.

What I like is that it’s completely unrestrictive. It’s not saying “no, don’t eat that food”, it’s saying, “hey, think about including this if you’re going to eat that”. So if I’m craving something salty and want a handful of pretzels, I’ll also include sunflower butter and carrots. Think of it as a mini charcuterie board, every day, if you will. I know for a fact I’m eating less pretzels now than I would have if I grabbed “just a handful” of them….every time I walked past the kitchen. Now I have a satisfying, nutritious plateful and won’t be reaching for more snacks the rest of the afternoon.

My kids have subconsciously adopted these habits as well. My toddler often asks for a fruit and grain for her post-nap snack. She likes to pick her own food, so as long as the healthy options are visible to her, she will likely pick them. But that’s not to say she won’t try to consume an entire bag of BBQ chips in one sitting either. We all have our moments.

What are your healthy snack hacks?

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