Technology has given us life altering instruments. One of the major life changers has been Television. It is probably the single most important source of entertainment for so many people. Many researchers have derived watching television as a stimulus for snacking in people, especially while watching movies and sports and for late night TV watchers. While uncontrolled addictive snacking of this kind has obviously, been declared unhealthy, once in a while escapades can be made fun and interesting. However, with the rise in awareness about healthy eating habits, some popular healthy snacks have also come in the picture.
TV time snacking usually includes ready to eat foods as the effort and time to prepare food is absent. Also, they need to be foods where servings/portions are not a consideration, which means that the supply should be healthy. Things that can be had straight from the box/pack/bag are the concept.
Choose a variety of snacks. Try new things. Try new wheat crackers. Try different fruits. Variety is important to get a broad variety of vitamins and minerals.
Finger foods make the most popular TV time snacks. Chips of different kinds - potato to tortilla with varied dips and salsas are extremely popular. Crackers and nachos with cheesy dips and hummus are also often on the menu. In this category, the king has become Popcorn. Not only is it much healthier than chips, it is low on fat and calories, it's easy to make, and makes a top of the mind association with movie watching. Popcorn lovers can, though, still experience the richer varieties in the form of butter, cheese and caramel popcorn. For chips loyalists, baked chips are the healthier option. Another popular finger food that makes a yummy TV time snack are Fries and wings. French fries, potato wedges, chicken wings and fritters are common examples in this category. being deep fried, they caloric value is again a cause for concern but the super hit snacks that they are, that consideration is usually ignored by snacking TV viewers. But that is changing. Potato fingers are being replaced by celery and carrot sticks or apple and orange slices along with PBJ, jello and ketchup.
Nuts are another extremely popular and addictive TV time snack.
Unless they are butter roasted, they are extremely healthy. Dry
roasted cashews, almonds and peanuts are great drink accompaniments
Cookies are one of the most sinful TV time snacks. Globally, cookie dough is sold packaged as a popular late night snack. Similar variants like Doughnuts and pretzels are good substitutes. Most members of this category are also endorphin releasing and hence, are pitched as anti-depressants. However, it'll be very difficult to find low cal options in this category. But then again, do we really want to?
Ice cream, the tubs and the bricks and not the cones and the cups, make great TV time snacks as you can fill scoop after scoop. It is also considered the best comfort food so is an automatic choice for movie watching. You can have sugar free or low fat ice cream if you lose to your taste buds but not to your health watch.
Chocolates and granola bars also feature in this list. While
chocolate obviously will be a rich option, granola bars (without
concentrated sweeteners) can be the healthier options with more
energy and also more fiber.
Local Indian favorites also include hot Samosas or Kachoris with Masala Tea. But healthier options like Dhoklas and Khakras can make great low cal and tasty substitutes.
Snacking at TV time is a fun activity and blends food with entertainment perfectly. However, repeated, frequent or addictive TV time snacking has been considered unhealthy and increasing the risk of obesity. There is a tendency to overeat while snacking which makes it even worse.
So enjoy your snacking while watching TV but keep it in check. Do not snack if there's meal time coming up, esp. kids, as it will invariably kill your hunger and keep you devoid of nutrition. Also, avoid snacking upto three hours of your last meal as it will interfere with proper digestion. Most TV time snacks are empty calories. Try to burn them off through some form of exercise to help your health else it breeds lethargy. Once in a while pay attention to the nutrition label on your snack pack. Check for trans fats and high carb foods. Avoid if possible. Have healthy drinks like 100% fruit juices or lemonades instead of sodas as a snack accompaniment. Not only drinking with a snack reduces your intake, healthier options limit the calories consumed.
Happy Snacking and happy watching!!
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