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Persons with Disabilities Should Be Offered Three Meals and Healthful Snacks at Appropriate Times and Environment Each Day

5.1 Why do we need 3 nutritious meals and snacks a day?

  1. To help control appetite, lead to feelings of fullness, and avoid overeating.
  2. Tips:
    1. Choose foods that satisfy hunger such as foods high in fiber and protein, vegetables or fruits, whole grains, lean chicken/meats, dairy, and plant proteins (nuts, seeds, soy). Protein and fiber take longer to digest and help keep our energy levels consistent. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time.

Balanced Snack Ideas:

      1. Chickpea hummus and vegetables such as: colorful peppers, carrots, cucumber slices, broccoli, and cauliflower (raw or steamed, depending on preferences)
      2. Celery and peanut butter/any nut butter
      3. Hard-boiled egg and tomato slices
      4. Oatmeal bowl and a handful of blueberries 
      5. Whole wheat tortilla with avocado, tomato, greens (spinach, kale, arugula, mixed greens, sprouts), olive oil salt, and pepper
        1. USDA MyPlate Corn Tortillas
      6. Fruit and Yogurt
      7. Grapes and Cheese
      8. Air fryer mixture such as: Brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, potato, a protein source, onions, olive oil, and season to your liking. Once vegetables are done in the air fryer enjoy plain or with a dipping sauce.
      9. 5 Ingredient Cookies: ripe bananas, oatmeal, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins/chocolate chips/coconut flakes.
        1. Maine SNAP-ED: Oatmeal Cookies
    1. Do not skip meals, this may cause you to overeat later on.

5.2 The Importance of Mealtime Routine

  1. Sitting down together for mealtime can teach your child how to eat and help your child develop social skills.
  2. Offer your child multiple healthy food choices.
  3. Modeling healthy eating behaviors can encourage others around you to do the same.
  4. Make snacks user-friendly.
    1. Pre-cut vegetables in small snack bags at eye level in the refrigerator for easy access.
      1. Cucumber and carrots
      2. Cheese and crackers
      3. Apples and pears
      4. Strawberries and blueberries
      5. Oranges and/or tangerines
    2. Precut most vegetables for quick convenience when preparing stir frys, soups, casseroles, salads, and smoothies.
    3. “The purpose of a snack is to help keep you full so you don’t overeat later” – Clinical Dietitian at Piedmont

This infographic can also be accessed here.


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