Easy Snacking in Uneasy Times

By Debra Staton, Wellness Coordinator for the Arkansas Health Network

We all feel anxious right now. Unfortunately, in an attempt to soothe that anxiety, we sometimes turn to snacking. This can become our coping mechanism due to the stressful situation. Our daily routines have been disrupted; therefore, we turn to snacking or grazing throughout the day.

The word mindless means you are doing something without thought or skill. Have you ever eaten from a bag of chips without giving it much thought? What about a bag of M&Ms?

Obviously, if we were mindless eating from a bag of celery or carrots that might not be so bad. Hmm…I don’t ever remember hearing of that specific problem. Yes, it would be a better choice to substitute the chips and M&Ms with celery & carrots, but we are already giving up a lot with our social distancing.

I am not saying totally ditch all the chips and M&Ms. Rather, be mindful of what you are doing. Think of it as turning your “mindless munchies” into “mindful munchies” and focus on the present moment.

Mindful Munchie Tips:

  • Use a fork even if you don’t usually use a fork with this specific food
  • Try eating with your non-dominant hand
  • Get creative with your fruits and veggies, which are great sources of fiber and can help keep you full. Try adding cinnamon, a thin layer of peanut butter, salsa, spices or hummus.
  • Eat from a small plate
  • Take time to reflect before eating. Think to yourself, how do you feel? Ask yourself, are you stressed, hungry, bored, scared?
  • Cut everything in smaller pieces
  • Keep fruits & veggies washed & ready to eat
  • Drink water, water, water