These 3 dairy snacks are great options to add to your afternoon snack rotation to help fuel your body and any evening activity.
Are you all of a sudden feeling hungrier in the afternoon with the longer days? If so, you aren’t alone. First, why do you feel a change with just an hour difference? Longer days mean more daylight in the evening, and you may be exercising and eating later than before.
This opens up a period in the day where a mid-afternoon snack can be helpful for both exercise performance and fueling the body to stay energized between meals.
So I have partnered with National Dairy Council to share three dairy snack options that pair carbohydrates and protein to keep you on track.
Importance of Protein in Afternoon Snacks
To start, the base of any snack should be protein. This helps you feel full for longer, and can also help you meet your daily protein needs for your activity levels. Without protein, you’ll end up feeling hungry again very soon after eating.
My protein choices for these snacks are cottage cheese, kefir, chia seeds, mozzarella, and sharp cheddar. The protein in dairy is high-quality protein with all of the essential amino acids, so you know you’re eating a quality snack.
Importance of Carbohydrates in Afternoon Snacks
The dairy foods like milk and kefir that provide protein also naturally provide carbohydrates as well. Then I paired each protein with a quality carbohydrate source. This helps balance blood sugars and provide energy for your afternoon before dinner time.
3 Dairy Snacks to Fuel Your Afternoon
1. Cottage Cheese and Fruit Bowl
First I have a cottage cheese and fruit bowl. Some cottage cheeses have up to 15g of protein per ½ cup serving. Talk about a lot of nutrition in a small volume! Plus, since I’m lactose intolerant, one thing I love about cottage cheese is that you can find lactose-free varieties.
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ – 1 cup fresh fruit like berries
- 5 almonds
2. Kefir Chia Pudding with Banana
The next mid afternoon snack is kefir chia pudding with banana. This is an easy option to make ahead of time, so there is little to no thinking involved! Just grab and go. Kefir is a great ingredient to use in snacks because its probiotics can help with digestion.
- 1 cup kefir
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 medium banana
3. Low Carb Cheese Quesadilla
And last but not least, a quesadilla! Because who doesn’t love a simple quesadilla. I made this version with mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and a low carb tortilla. Hard cheeses naturally have minimal lactose which is great for anyone with a lactose intolerance.
While you can choose any tortilla you like, I recommend low carb for my clients who are looking to lose weight and monitor their intake during snack time.
- 1 low carb tortilla
- 1 oz mozzarella
- 1 oz sharp cheddar
Now it’s your turn to try making one of these three dairy snacks and see how you feel in the afternoons and evenings with these nutrient-packed additions.
Learn More About The Benefits of Dairy for Your Health
- 3 Pillars of Health to Optimize Year Round
- How to Maintain Muscle Mass with Dairy as You Age
- Food Synergy & Health Benefits of Combining Dairy and Plant Foods
For more information about the health benefits of dairy, visit US Dairy.