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.
Spice It Up
Looking to shake things up a bit in the New Year? Abandon your bland rice cakes for a more fun and flavorful snack. I particularly like the curry cashew trail mix from Grizzlie’s Granolas. It’s a delicious medley of all-natural ingredients: curry cashews, roasted almonds, walnuts, raisins, fruit-juice sweetened cranberries, apples, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. The curry not only gives the cashews a nice kick, but also adds certain health benefits. For example, according to some studies, curry may help prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s, and may treat inflammation. Also, I’ve heard that when you eat spicy food, it fills you up fasterso you don’t overeat. I can always use help in that department!