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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.
Snacks and health
- Foods that have whole grains
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Low-fat dairy products
- Lean meats, eggs, such as hard-boiled eggs, and lean cheese
Government bodies like Health Canada are recommending that people make a conscious effort to eat more healthy, natural snacks – such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and cereal grains – while avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food.
A 2010 study showed that children in the United States snacked on average six times per day, approximately twice as often as American children in the 1970s. That's roughly 570 calories more per day than they did in the 1970s.
Dieting and exercise have been a major trend for the last three decades although past years have focused on healthy snacks for weight loss through dietary supplements and flat. Fewer people are eliminating whole categories from their diet strategy plan programs and focusing on taking the right foods for weight-loss.
Snacks and cognition
A Tufts University, Department of Psychology empirical study titled, "Effect of an afternoon confectionery snack on cognitive processes critical to learning" found that a consumption of a confectionery snack in the afternoon improved spatial memory in the study's sample group, but in the area of attention performance had a mixed effect.
Types of snack foods
- Apple slices
- Bagel with cream cheese
- Bread/toast with butter, honey, jam, or other spread
- Candy bar
- Carrot Chips
- Cheese puffs/Cheese curls
- Cheese, a larger cold prepared snack
- Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats
- Corn chips and Tortilla chips
- Cocktail sausages
- Deviled Eggs
- Dried fruits
- Drinkable yogurt
- Edamame, fresh or dried
- Granola bars
- Flour tortilla with a filling
- Frozen berries
- Sliced fruit
- Fruit cocktail
- Fruit salad
- Ice cream
- Instant noodles
- Pound cake, in slices
- Mixed nuts
- Parsnip Bits
- Pita bread, straight from the packet or toasted
- Pork pie
- Pork rinds
- Potato chips
- Pretzels, hard or Soft pretzels
- Ratatouille, served cold, a larger cold prepared snack
- Rice cake
- Rice crackers, distinguished from the above
- Sandwich, a larger cold prepared snack
- Seeds (sunflower or seed mix)
- Smoked salmon
- Trail mix
- Vegetables (e.g. carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes)
- Whole fruit
- List of brand-name snack foods
- List of snack foods
- List of snack foods by country
- List of brand name snack foods
- List of Indian snack foods
- List of foods
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- "Definition of Snack at Dictionary.com". Retrieved 2011-03-13.
- Lat, Jeff. "Sweet Snacks". Blogspot.com. BlogSpot. Retrieved 9/7/15. Check date values in:
- "What Are Healthy Snacks?" California After School Resource Center. Accessed September 2011.
- "Say Yes to Healthy Snacks!" Illinois Early Learning Project. Accessed September 2011.
- "Smart Snacking - Canada's Food Guide". Retrieved 2011-03-13.
- "New Trend Shows Kids Snacking Every Few Hours". Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss
- Mahoney, Caroline R.; Taylor, Holly A.; Kanarek, Robin B. (September 21, 2006). "Effect of an afternoon confectionery snack on cognitive processes critical to learning." Tufts University.
- (April 3, 1973.) "America: just one long snack bar." Ellensburg Daily Record. Accessed October 2011.
- Wikibooks Cookbook – A collection of recipes from around the world
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