WW Taming the 3pm Snack Beast

Here is a great article from Weight Watchers Online to keep your snacking in check:

Taming the 3pm Snack Beast, Part I

Article By: Elly Trickett McNerney Print Email

The yawning stretch between lunch and dinner is a danger zone for many, and sometimes a piece of fruit just doesn’t cut it. We’ve rounded up some fun new snacks — and a couple of old favorites — to help you stay the course.

There’s no worst time to be ill-prepared than when the snack beast attacks. Even the most organized among us — those who normally keep supplies of, say, string cheese, hummus and cut-up veggies at hand — can get caught short mid-afternoon. These are the times when you need something stashed away in the desk drawer or the glove compartment of the car.

So, we’ve nibbled and munched, tasted and tested, and narrowed the field down to a handy few. All of the snacks here come in at just 1 or 2 POINTS® values, and a decent few of them have just enough protein and/or fiber to keep your hunger at bay for a little while. There were too many yummy options for just one article, so check here to see the rest of our picks.

Prices and availability may vary

Nutritious Creations Wafer Chips
POINTS values per bag: 2

We were skeptical about these wafers masquerading as cookies — right up until we bit into the Cinnamon Oatmeal flavor and achieved snacking nirvana. (We liked the Rocky Road ones too.) The creamy drizzle of icing gave it a decadent taste, and with 4g fiber and 3g fat these multi-grain cookie chips were much more satisfying (and a much better serving choice) than nibbling on an equal quantity of cookies. They definitely kept our hunger at bay for long enough to get through the mid-afternoon snack slump.

$1.99 per pack. Available at Smartsnacks.com, and limited health food and small grocery stores

Funky Monkey snacks
POINTS values per bag: 2

These freeze-dried fruit snacks had a surprising heft to them — who knew banana could be so crunchy? We loved the Purple Funk flavor, with açai mixed in with the banana, as well as the cinnamon-y Bananamon variety. The 3g of fiber helped the snack stay with us for a while, even though we found it hard to eat these slowly. Bonus: With no added sugar, preservatives or color, these are kid-friendly too. Admittedly, it’s a bit pricey for fruit, but these do taste like a treat.

$1.99–$2.49 per pack. Available at Whole Foods, Super Target, Kroger, Amazon.com

Kozy No Sugar Added Rice Pudding
POINTS values per pot: 1

This one doesn’t fit the desk-drawer mandate (it needs to be refrigerated), but we liked it enough to include it anyway. With its trendy fruit flavors (including one tester’s favorite, blueberry pomegranate), rice pudding now has a hipness quotient. One tester vehemently disliked the artificial sweetener in this, but another one wasn’t bothered by it and really loved the creaminess and bite of the rice, plus the tang of the fruit. The pots are rather small, so use a delicate hand with the spoon or it’ll be gone in two gulps.
$3.59 for a 4-pack, available at grocery stores.

Figamajigs Dark Chocolate-Covered Fig Bar
POINTS values per bar: 2

This definitely falls at the candy-bar end of the snacking spectrum, and is a genuinely yummy, filling, coat-the-teeth-with-chocolate experience. The raspberry and mint flavors appealed to some, but we universally loved the regular flavor. Fudgy and dense, some of us couldn’t even finish the bar in one go, and one tester said it reminded her of a chocolate torte — high praise indeed for dried fruit. Price and availability are a drawback, but they’re well worth the occasional splurge.
$23.85 for 15 bars. Available at Figamajigs.com

Ocean Spray Craisins 100-Calorie Packs
POINTS values per bag: 2

This sweet-tart snack has a little kick on the back end that makes them enjoyable, yet you wouldn’t want to plow through more than one pouch at a time, such as you might with 100-calorie packs of cookies. While the decent-size mound of cranberries won’t fill you up, it did still feel like a treat — albeit a healthy one, rating very low on the guilt meter. It was worth the 2 POINTS values simply because it served as a little snack in a healthful way.

$2.89 for a 6-pack. Available at grocery stores.

Emerald 100 calorie packs, Cocoa-Roast Almonds
POINTS values per pack: 2

 A handful of almonds is a great snack, but having the whole bag in the vicinity can rack up the POINTS values in no time. This package totally satisfies that salty/sweet craving while also meeting the need to crunch. There’s not many to a pack, but we’d rather have 100 calories worth of cocoa-covered nuts, which are a great source of heart-healthy fat, some protein and fiber, than 100 calories of something like pretzels which are really nothing more than a bunch of empty calories.
$3.69 for a 7-pack. Available at grocery stores.

Progresso Light Homestyle Vegetable and Rice Microwave Soup
POINTS values per container: 1

While these microwaveable soups have a POINTS value of 0 for one serving (half of one container), you can still eat the whole lot for just 1 POINTS value. There’s something about eating soup in the middle of the afternoon that feels more like a meal than a snack, so the satisfaction quotient is high — helped out further by the 3.4g of protein and 6.9g of fiber. These really don’t taste like “diet” food.

$2.59. Available at grocery stores

POINTS values per container: 2

Most testers are die-hard soy chip fans, having given up on most other potato chip wannabes. But these manage to taste of potato (plus delicious flavors such as barbecue and mouth-puckering sea salt & vinegar) while still having a great crunch. They don’t disintegrate at first bite like many baked chips, and the smooth texture helps avoid uneven flavor distribution. With 1g each of protein and fiber these won’t keep you full for long, but they’re still a worthwhile bite.

$1.15. Available at Jamba Juice, Amazon.com and Target


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