Healthy afternoon snack: Nutritionist indicates best options

 Healthy afternoon snack: Nutritionist indicates best options

Lena Fisher

"When we skip the afternoon snack, we have an increase in hunger at night and we are more prone to bad choices and exaggerated eating," says nutritionist Paula Barbosa. Staying many hours without eating makes it difficult for the metabolism to function. In addition, exaggerated eating motivated by intense hunger can influence weight gain. That's why it is so valid to include an afternoon snackhealthy in the eating routine.

According to her, the consumption of such macronutrients helps maintain the feeling of satiety for longer, avoids exaggerated hunger at night, and thus collaborates with those who are in the process of losing weight.

"In addition, protein is also raw material for our muscle, and is essential for those who want to increase lean mass," he adds.

Here are some examples of protein sources that can be part of a healthy afternoon snack:

  • Eggs;
  • Ricotta cream;
  • Tuna;
  • Shredded chicken;
  • Cheese;
  • Whey protein;
  • Yogurts;
  • Dairy drinks;
  • Protein bars;
  • Finally, oatmeal.

What to avoid in a healthy afternoon snack?

When preparing the meal, it is worth paying attention to two points: quantity and combination - besides, of course, being careful, especially with fried foods, sugary foods, and ultra-processed foods.

In terms of quantity, the nutritionist explains that some items, despite being nutritious, may not be enough to satisfy hunger, such as nuts and fruit alone. In these cases, it is interesting to bet on the combination with other foods, such as yogurt, oatmeal, and granola.

In addition, eating foods rich in sugar or refined carbohydrates, for example, bread, cookies, cake, sweets, and desserts, is not a good idea: "This is because these foods, when eaten alone - without other foods that are sources of fiber or protein, can raise our blood sugar and make us hungrier," she points out.

Healthy Industrialized

Prioritizing natural foods does not mean having to give up industrialized options. In the market, there are several healthy items that can be part of a balanced and nutritious afternoon snack - just pay attention to the label and the product's ingredients.

"Natural yogurt or yogurt with little additives, whey protein, tuna, rice cookies, bread and ricotta cream are examples of industrialized products that can be consumed daily," comments the nutritionist.

On the other hand, protein bars and protein milk drinks can be consumed, but more moderation is needed. This is because the composition of these items usually has several food additives.

Can you skip the afternoon snack?

Besides hindering the weight loss process, since it makes the individual feel more hungry and overindulge in the next meal, skipping the afternoon snack is also not a good strategy for those who want to gain muscle mass.

"When doing physical activity, it is important to consume a protein-rich meal every 3 to 5 hours to avoid losing lean body mass in the process," he explains.

Thus, skipping the afternoon snack frequently is not a habit recommended for those who aim to hypertrophy, nor for those who want to lose weight.

Healthy afternoon snack options

Practicality and ease are two attributes that are highly valued when it comes to choosing recipes for a healthy afternoon snack. Generally, it is a time of day when there is not so much time to prepare and enjoy the meal.example:

  • Banana pancake (can be eaten with berries and honey);
  • Hot mix with a fruit or natural juice;
  • Vitamin accompanied by toasted bread or popcorn or scrambled eggs;
  • Yogurt with whey protein, fruit and oatmeal;
  • Tapioca with cheese or shredded chicken;
  • Natural sandwich.

Read also: Fruits for the afternoon snack: see how much to eat and how to combine

Banana pancake recipe from nutri


  • 1 Chicken Egg
  • 1 mashed banana (75g)
  • Oat Bran (2 Tbsp - 20g)
  • Olive oil - 1 shallow teaspoon (1g)


First, with the help of a fork, mix the mashed banana, the egg and the oat bran. Then, pour the mixture into a good skillet pregreased with olive oil. Then, put the skillet on low heat and cover it. Then, wait for the dough to cook one side and when it is firmer, turn it over to cook the other side. Then, you can finish it with chopped red fruits and honey orwith dulce de leche and cinnamon (1 Col. Dessert).

Note: One pancake has about 250Kcal, and thus can be a great option for a weight loss diet.

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What to eat outside the home?

For those who can't prepare the recipe at mealtime, the ideal is to plan ahead to have an afternoon snack: "You can organize to bring to work snacks like natural sandwiches made with ricotta cream, chicken or tuna or cheese, yogurt with fruit, protein bar and fruit, simple cake or popcorn popped with fruit, yogurt or whey," she says.

In case of unforeseen circumstances in which it is necessary to eat food from establishments such as bakeries, restaurants, and markets, it is a good idea to follow some more conscious guidelines and thus opt for a balanced afternoon snack as far as possible.

The nutritionist's main tip is to choose baked snacks and snacks with chicken instead of fried snacks. In addition, when there is the possibility of consuming a protein drink or a dairy option accompanied by a toasted bread you can bet without fear.

Investing in the basics, such as a hot mix and natural juice is also a great idea: "Nowadays it is very easy to find options other than filled cookies, fried food, and snacks in markets and snack bars," says the specialist.

Source: Paula Barbosa Graduated in Nutrition from Universidade Federal de Viçosa and Master in Physical Education from Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.