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Smart Size Your Snacks

How to find the right serving size for you

A good snack is a good way to get the nutrition you need, bump up your energy level, and keep your mind alert. But how can you make sure your snacks are good snacks? One key to better snacking is to smart-size your portions, and that means finding the right size for you.

Finding your smart snack size is quick and easy. Using a couple of simple tools, it should take less than 5 minutes.

First, go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate website to find out how many calories you should consume each day. Key in your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level. They’ll ask if you want to maintain your current weight or move in a healthier direction. Then, they’ll show you how many calories you’ll want to take in, and they’ll give you target amounts for various types of foods.

“You want the serving that delivers your desired number of calories”

Take the total number of calories their plan recommends, and split it up among your meals and snacks. For example, let’s say your plan calls for 2,200 calories a day, and you plan to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack in the morning and a snack in the afternoon. If you give yourself 600 calories for each meal, that leaves 400 calories for snacks – or 200 calories per snack.

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So, how do you make sure your snacks servings are the right size? Look at the Nutrition Facts label for the snack you’re about to serve. It always starts with the Serving Size and Servings Per Container. Next, you’ll see the Calories per Serving. Some quick arithmetic will tell you what’s the right size for you.

In our example, we’re targeting 200 calories per snack. Let’s say the Nutrition Facts label lists a Serving Size of 4 ounces and 250 calories per serving. Pull out the calculator on your smartphone, divide 200 by 250 to find out what portion of their serving size hits your target. Then, multiply their Serving Size by your portion to smart-size your serving.

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Okay, so you probably don’t want to carry a scale around with you, just to weigh out your exact Smart Serving Size. No worries. Just divide the total weight of the package by your Smart Serving Size to find out how many Smart Servings it contains:

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Those few, simple steps are all you need to smart-size your snacks. Give it a try. In just a few moments, you’ll find yourself on the way to better snacking.

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