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Snack food

For American football player nicknamed "Snacks", see Damon Harrison.
"Gorp" ("good old raisins and peanuts") is a classic trail mix made with peanuts, raisins, and M&M's
File:Healthy Snacks.JPG
A picture of some low-calorie vegetable snacks, including bell peppers, endives, beetroots, apples, asparagus, and tomatoes

A snack is a portion of food often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals.[1] Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often leftovers, cold cuts, sandwiches, nuts, fruit, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with snack foods. A beverage may be considered a snack if it possesses a substantive food item (e.g., strawberries, bananas, kiwis that has been blended to create a smoothie).

Plain snacks like plain cereals, pasta, and vegetables are also mildly popular, and the word snack has often been used to refer to a larger meal involving cooked or leftover items. Six-meal eating is a form of eating that incorporates healthy snacks in between small meals, to stave off hunger and promote weight loss.

With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips). A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

Nutritional concerns

Snack foods are often subjectively classified as junk food because they typically have little or no nutritional value,[citation needed] and are not seen as contributing towards general health and nutrition.[citation needed] With growing concerns for diet, weight control and general health,[citation needed] government bodies like Health Canada[2] are recommending that people make a conscious effort to eat more healthy, natural snacks – such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and cereal grains – while avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food.[citation needed]

A 2010 study showed that children in the United States snacked on average six times per day, approximately twice as often as American children in the 1970s.[3]

Dieting and exercise have been a major trend for the last three decades although past years have focused on healthy snacks for weight loss[4] through dietary supplements and flat. Fewer people are eliminating whole categories from their diet strategy plan programs and focusing on taking the right foods for weight-loss.

Types of snack foods

See also