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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.

5 Ways to Snack Healthier at a Super Bowl Party

Attending a Super Bowl party doesn’t mean you have to blow your diet or go off of your health-kick. Here are some ways to eat well during the big game.

1. Avoid mindless munching. Enjoy each chip and take smaller handfuls, that way you get to reach into the bowl more times.


2. Go spicy! Add curry, chili powder, or whatever other spice you choose to your dips, salsas, and guacamole. Or try The Food Network/Eating Well’s recipe for spicy blue cheese dip. Some nutritionists say that when you add spices to your food, you get full faster and don’t eat as much. Also, because spices add so much flavor, you can get away with using a low-fat or reduced fat base (like mayo or sour cream), and your final product won’t be bland at all.

3. Add more protein to your snacks. Toss some pinto beans into your salsa. Make a black bean dip or a mixed-bean chili. Beans are a good source of fiber and protein, and protein helps fill you up faster so you don’t eat as many chips or as much greasy food and dessert. (Maybe you shouldn’t follow this bean suggestion if you’ll be attending a Super Bowl party with some new friends…)

4. Go with oven-fried or baked goodies. Make oven-fried zucchini sticks or fries; buy baked tortilla chips. You’ll be smothering your chips with salsa, anyway, so you won’t notice the slight taste difference.

5.  Eat your veggies. Munch on some carrot, celery, and zucchini sticks, and slices of red and yellow peppers. During a game, you always want to reach for more food; why not alternate between the wings and some carrot sticks? Better than eating the less healthy option every time. You can also sneak veggies into other places; for example, put corn into the salsa. The vegetables will provide more fiber and help fill you up.

And finally, if you ignore all these tips and end up stuffing your face, don’t feel guilty! Being hard on yourself is not the way to go and will not help you learn to eat healthier. Everyone is allowed to indulge once in a while. I personally go by the weekend rule–I generally eat healthy during the week, and then on the weekends I can dig into some greasy foods and fatty desserts (especially chocolate brownies or gelato…). (But if a special event  etc. does fall during a week, I adjust my rule. Don’t be too strict with yourself! Life is supposed to be fun, and I personally think that food helps to make it fun!)

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