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A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Enjoy a Free First-Day-of-Spring Treat!

Ices

It may not feel like it yet, but this Friday, March 20th is technically the first day of spring. Rita’s Ices is celebrating with an Italian Ice giveaway! Stop by one of their stores from noon until 10 p.m. on Friday and receive a free 10-oz ice. Yum! (Note to all you healthy snackers: Rita’s has seven sugar-free flavors of ice. And the store has other guilt-free treats like Slenderita, fat-free frozen custard.) To find a store near you, go to their Web site and enter your zip code.

-Lauren

PS My favorite flavor of ice is chocolate (big surprise). What’s yours? Vote below! If you pick "other," write a comment and tell me what it is.

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