What is a healthy snack?
We all know what a snack is, it’s what’s also known as nibbles or a bite to eat. Sometimes we even refer to snacks in more specific ways and talk about ‘the afternoon snack’ or ‘mid-morning fruit’. A snack, as it is known in the English-speaking world, is something we eat between meals, it helps us satiate hunger between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. But while there is no doubt about what a snack is, there is some controversy about what constitutes a healthy snack. Next, we will be explaining all the variables that can constitute a healthy snack in detail.
Calorie-count in snacks
One of the first things that comes to mind when we talk about healthy snacks is the calories contained in the snack of our choosing. Who hasn’t looked at the nutritional chart that is printed on the back of every product we buy? And who hasn’t been taken aback just by looking at the sheer amount of fat and calories present in a humble cookie? Nowadays, we all want to know nutritional information about what we eat, because we are increasingly aware of the adverse effects of an unhealthy diet. One of the most frightening things to read is the amount of calories we are going to eat.
What do the calories in a product really mean?
Calories are simply a unit of measurement. And what do they measure? The amount of energy provided by a given item of food. In and of themselves, calories are not necessarily harmful to our bodies, it’s quite the opposite, it is a well-known fact that we all need energy to survive. Everything we eat contains calories, which are what allows us to live. With that being said, the problem arises when we ingest more calories than we need to live and lead an active lifestyle. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day for women and between 2,000 and 2,500 for men. This means that any excess calories we don’t burn through movement and activity stay in our bodies and cause us to gain weight. That is why every specialist in nutrition and good dietary practices will recommend a food intake that is proportional to the physical activity we carry out. The more active we are, the more calories we will be needing.
We get most of the calories we need to survive from the main meals, namely breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, snacks are also a source of calorie intake. As we have already highlighted, a snack is meant to provide you with the energy you need to stay active between meals, thus maintaining a balanced diet. With that being said, eating a small bag of crisps, which usually contains around 250 kcal, is not the same as eating a banana or an apple, which contain around 50 and 80 kcal respectively. To prevent snacks from taking up a significant portion of the recommended daily calories, there is a solution, which is to consume low-calorie snacks, such as fruit or vegetables.
Low calorie, healthy VitaSnacks
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is essential for a healthy, well balanced diet. However, maintaining the freshness of all these products can prove problematic in today’s world. Not everyone is able to go to their supermarket or their local greengrocer often enough to guarantee the freshness of the produce they purchase. This reality is added to the fact that we don’t always feel like eating a piece of fruit or vegetables. What we crave is variety and change, and this is something that VitaSnacks’ healthy snacks are able to offer us. But what’s the secret? Well, they are fresh fruit and vegetables that have undergone a dehydration and texturization processes at low temperatures, using an exclusive technique that has allowed us to create a product that surprises the consumer both due to its taste and crunchy texture, as well as for being a low-calorie, healthy food.
Taste matters: The sweet but healthy snack
Generally speaking, thinking that sugar is fattening is a common misconception. This simplistic assumption is based on the true fact that when consumed in excess, sugar can trigger a long list of issues and diseases, such as obesity and cardiovascular problems. The key to this lies in the word ‘excess’. Fruit and vegetables contain their own natural sugars, and being able to preserve them to create sweet snacks without any added sugar is one of the keys to the success of VitaSnacks products. The traditional taste experience of eating a strawberry or an orange is not lost in the VitaSnack packets, which is why we are able to say that our fruit and vegetables are healthy snacks with no added sugar.
An unsalted snack, the flip side of the coin
Something similar to what happens with sugar is also the case with salt. Obesity, cardiovascular diseases or kidney stones may be avoided by controlling salt consumption. The production of savoury snacks with no added salt is also a key product in the healthy snacks group. VitaSnacks’ savoury products are able to ensure that the original, intense flavour of the dehydrated vegetables is maintained without the need to add any colourings, preservatives, sweeteners, or indeed any other artificial ingredients. In addition, as they do not undergo any frying or baking processes, the flavour is acquired through an exclusive technique involving their dehydration and texturization at low temperatures, which guarantees healthy snacks in every sense of the word.
Healthy snacking is also fun!
Healthy snacks can be just as tasty, varied and fun as other snacks that are full of sugars, additives and other chemicals. The key lies in a proper manufacturing process that preserves the original flavour of the base products, as well as a constant dedication to innovation and improvement of the products for the consumer. VitaSnack makes sure it uses organically grown fruit and vegetables for the future production of its products and devotes a great deal of research to product innovation, anticipating the future of healthy snacks. Because a future that is not healthy and sustainable is not possible.
Back to our daily routines with healthy snacks
Now that we know about healthy snacks and how varied they are, we are faced with the question: ‘when did the consumption of healthy snacks become vital in our lives?’ With the return to our daily routines after a long few months marked by the Covid-19 healthcare crisis and the obligation to lead a more relaxed and domestic life, we once again need the energy provided by snacking between meals. This return to offices and workplaces also means adults are back to having to eat something in the middle of the morning, and it is with the return to school that kids will be asking not only for the morning snack, but also the afternoon snack.
A culture of afternoon snacking
From an early age, us Spaniards have been taught that a proper, healthy diet is based on the ‘5 a day’ and the ‘5 meals a day’. Both campaigns go together, because while the first one seeks to encourage the consumption of 5 pieces of fruit or vegetables a day to achieve a balanced, healthy diet, the second guarantees an equitable distribution of food intake. Meal times in Spain are very different from those in other European countries such as France or the United Kingdom. The Spanish working day usually starts between eight and nine o’clock in the morning and provides for a lunch break at around two in the afternoon, and most of the population does not eat dinner until after nine in the evening. There are usually five to six hours between breakfast and lunch, as well as between lunch and dinner. So how are we able to go so many hours without eating? The answer is simple, we eat in the middle of the morning and we resort to afternoon snacking almost as if it were a religion. Snacking between meals is the key to not overdoing it when it’s time for the main meals; however, it is very important to use healthy options for mid-morning breakfast and afternoon snacks. The culture of afternoon snacking is instilled in us when we are kids, so it is only natural that we should also teach our little ones to resort to healthy snacks.
Children and their snacks
It is well known that eating habits learned during childhood will last a lifetime, and this is why children should be taught healthy eating habits both at home and at school. It is up to adults to make sure that the little ones follow a varied, healthy and balanced diet and to instil in them a respect for food and the habit of sticking to certain schedules and recipes. One of the most important ones to follow now that we are all back to our routines – and especially in the case of the kids and their customary yearly return to school – is the afternoon snack.
The perfect snacks for their return to school
Who doesn’t remember finishing school and dashing to the park to play with friends and have the afternoon snack? The afternoon snack is more than just eating food; it is almost like a ritual that brings children together and educates them in good eating practices. So if the afternoon snack is so important, why do you see kids eating industrial baked goods? In today’s world, it’s only understandable that a great deal of families don’t have the time to prepare a homemade meal for their children’s afternoon snack. But that doesn’t mean that the alternative is to feed them food that is undoubtedly harmful to their health and growth. What we need to start doing is to change our mindset, we need to start consuming healthy snacks that are high in nutritional value and delicious to taste. We at VitaSnacks would like to make it easy for you, which is why we hand you the keys to a healthy afternoon snack (and one that is suitable for all ages!)
The snack you can always carry in your pocket
The individual packs of VitaSnacks dried fruit are the perfect solution for an impromptu afternoon snack that only requires you to carry a pack of VitaSnacks in your pocket or in your child’s backpack. There are many different types of fruit to choose from – exotic fruits such as mango and pineapple or more familiar ones such as apple or persimmon. The vitamins provided by all these fruits, along with the antioxidants and other beneficial properties, remain virtually intact in VitaSnack products, and this is also true of their flavour. One of these packets will become one of your little one’s ‘5 a day’ and while they will enjoy the taste, you can also rest assured that you are contributing to their proper nutrition.
Is today a special day? Add chocolate to your fruit snack!
Nothing says celebration or pleasure better than chocolate. The content of the snack itself is the same: dehydrated and texturized fruit, along with its vitamins and antioxidants, but what is it that makes it different? Well, the fact that now they come dipped in delicious chocolate, which will put a smile on your and your little one’s face. But don’t worry, the cocoa we add to the dehydrated and textured fruit is organic and sustainably grown. It does not contain milk either, which makes it suitable for the lactose intolerant, as well as for vegans and raw vegans, just like the rest of our products.
No need to worry about cleaning your child’s backpack
VitaSnacks’ snacks come in individual packets and contain the exact quantity studies have confirmed is suitable for one person. Forget about having to clean your little one’s backpack because a Tupperware™ of fruit they had as an afternoon snack has opened. It is also not possible for this to happen in your work bag or handbag. Carrying a VitaSnacks snack is easy and safe for all ages.
VitaSnacks for the whole family: The afternoon snack that solves the snacking needs of the young and the not-so-young alike
A VitaSnack for every day of the week
Our goal is to make your life easy, so that having to think about afternoon snacks does not become an additional problem when it comes to returning to the routine. That’s why we would like to inspire you with by suggesting… Having a different VitaSnack every day of the week! Our proposal includes both adults and children, because following a good diet is equally important for everyone.
It’s the first day of the week, and getting back into the routine after the weekend is hard, so we thought we’d let the sweetness of our dried fruit snacks help you get through it. There is a wide variety of fruit to choose from – orange, strawberry, banana, mango, blueberry, persimmon, papaya, pineapple or apple – so why not take advantage of the different vitamins and nutrients they are able to provide? Since it’s Monday, we thought we’d make things easy for you; a VitaSnacks fruit sachet for each member of the family and hey presto! A healthy afternoon snack for everyone.
A savoury afternoon snack on Tuesdays and Thursdays
We all like a change, and while Monday was a day for sweets to kick off the start of the week, Tuesdays and Thursdays lend themselves more to a savoury snack. If you’re in a hurry, simply grab a bag of tomato, carrot or dehydrated, crunchy pumpkin to treat your taste buds in the afternoon. If, on the other hand, you have time in the morning to prepare a mixer, we suggest you mix our products up to enjoy your favourite and totally customised mix. Some ideas could include broccoli and sweet potato with a touch of crispy onion, or if you’re up for something more daring, beetroot with courgette and red peppers. And what about the little ones? You can turn their afternoon snack into a creative activity by letting them choose whatever catches their attention the most. We know that the orange colour of our pumpkins or the red of our peppers and tomatoes can be very attractive and appealing to everyone. Finally, for those of you who would like a combination of our products, and also appreciate the convenience and simplicity of our snack format, we have some pre-prepared mixes. These could be your star products: our ‘Root Crunch Combo’ – with beetroot and sweet potato – and our Mediterranean Combo, which contains our organic tomatoes and courgettes with a delicious hint of oregano. Will you be able to choose just one?
It’s the middle of the week, so why not? Let’s mix things up a bit! All our products may be eaten on their own as a snack, but they can also be used as ingredients for your salads, toppings for your ice creams, tasty touches in your cocktails or as a condiment for a yoghurt. In the case of muesli, we love how it combines with the taste of yoghurt, which can be dairy or of vegetable origin. This option for an afternoon snack is more conveniently prepared at home, where we can give our kids a tasty and nutritious afternoon snack after an intense day at school. Needless to say, this combination is also highly recommended for breakfast. And what goes into out crunchy muesli option? The base is always oatmeal, although we have a sweet option that contains pumpkin and chocolate and a savoury option that has sweet potato and beetroot. What are you waiting for to taste them? And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can always add a final drizzle of chocolate syrup on top (we won’t judge!).
The Friday celebration
It’s the end of the week and we’re all exhausted, but we can’t neglect the afternoon snacks for the little ones. We have got through the week and got to the last day bent on providing our littles with a healthy afternoon snack, on teaching and instilling in them the importance and value of a healthy and balanced diet. How can we continue upholding this motto while at the same time celebrating that we have a family weekend ahead of us? Well, Friday is the day of our crunchy dressings. Is there anything sweet you fancy? It’s the right day for our apple and cinnamon dressing. Are you more tempted by the savoury? So why not go for our tomato with basil or our seasonal courgette with black pepper. And if you fancy something more exotic and sophisticated, it’s time to go for sweet potato curry or broccoli with cayenne. As you can see, the options are extremely varied, and neither the little ones nor the not-so-little will be able to resist snacking on healthy snacks throughout the week.
Getting back into a healthy routine has never been easier
The kids are back at school and us adults are back to our routine, and we should never be without a healthy snack on hand. The choices are very diverse and include a variety of salt-free snacks, low-calorie snacks, sugar-free, healthy snacks and other healthy sweet snacks. The key lies in eating fruit and vegetables that are organically and sustainably grown and in season. The techniques we use at VitaSnack are especially respectful of the vitamins, nutrients and properties that the raw material itself offers. We dehydrate and give texture to fruit and vegetables to give them a crunchy touch, while always maintaining their traditional flavour. We do not use chemicals or other artificial additives that might modify their taste and properties, nor do we add salt or sugar, which is why they have fewer calories and are healthier. That’s why we are able to say that we have the best healthy snacks, and we are the perfect alternative for your children’s afternoon snacks. The healthiest way to go back to school is to decide on a VitaSnack as an afternoon snack for the whole family, thus ensuring that the afternoon snack is one of our ‘5 a day’. Do you have your healthy back to school snack on the ready?