A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to spend a wonderful morning with Woolworths Australia exploring the topic of ‘healthier snacking‘. The event kicked off with a bunch of leading Australian dietitians sampling some of the new snack products that have been developed for the Woolworths ‘Healthier Bites’ range. Knowing that Woolworths is striving to provide portion controlled healthier snack foods for consumers is very important to us as dietitians and is an initiative we hope to see adopted by more convenience stores and supermarkets throughout Australia. Snacking is a huge problem for many Australians. Our tendency to snack isn’t helped by the fact that the majority of snack foods on the market are both energy dense and highly processed.
So what is ‘Healthier Bites’?
As part of Woolworths broader commitment to ‘Inspire a Healthier Australia’ they created a new category, ‘Healthier Bites’ to help customers make healthier snacking choices. The Healthier Bites category is a world-first, meeting customer needs for convenient, easy-to-find healthier snacks, with over 130 portion controlled snacks.
Woolworths launched Healthier Bites in 2013 and have received positive feedback from consumers. The category is growing as Woolworths work with innovative suppliers to meet the tight nutrition criteria –
- Minimum Health Star Rating of 4;
- Are available in single snack sized portions;
- Align with the recommended kJ content for snacks;
- Are based on core foods, such as wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes and reduced fat dairy; and
- Where possible, no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
The Biting Truth’s ‘Healthier Bites’ top snack pick:
Being the foodies that we are, we generally tend to make our own bliss balls, however we will certainly be grabbing another ‘Cranberry, Cashew and Amaranth’ snack bite when they hit the shelves. These beauties are only $1, which is a bargain relative to other similar products on the market and they are a great source of protein and fibre. Unsurprisingly, they won product of the year for the Snack range in 2014! The fact that these little and extremely palatable goodies also comply with the Health Star Ratings, also means we can rest easy knowing there are no hidden nasties.
The second half of the morning was spent with TV Chef, Food Stylist and Writer, Janelle Bloom in a one-off food styling session! If you’ve seen our Instagram or Facebook profiles, you know how much we love to photograph our culinary creations, so you can imagine how exciting this experience was for us (picture sixteen year olds at a One Direction concert!). The session was inspiring, and let us in on a few new food photography trade secrets –
- Old is in! Get out your old kitchenwear and appliances and snap away!
- Don’t put too much food on the plate. The trick is to keep it simple and to showcase some of the ingredients included in the recipe!
- It is all about textures! Try and incorporate any textured materials you can into the photo e.g. linen, beaten metal, wood.
- Always ensure the light is behind you when you are taking the photo.
The Biting Truth’s verdict on snacking
For many of us it’s not what we’re eating at our main meals that is the real issue, it’s the snacking in between meals. When the 3pm slump hits, it’s simply too easy to grab a bag of crisps from the vending machine! We realise however, that it is both unrealistic and unsustainable for you to adopt a strict practice of ‘snack denial’. Healthy snacking can actually be quite crucial to both losing weight and maintaining a health weight. The trick is to ‘snack smart’ and for most of us who simply don’t have the time to prepare home made made snacks ALL the time, Woolworth’s Healthier Bites range have us covered!
Here are a few of The Biting Truth’s simple tips and tricks to consider when it comes to snacking:
- Watch the size. Portion controlled snacking will ensure you aren’t consuming excess calories.
- Wholesome, unrefined snacks are your friends. Choose fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products (such as yoghurt) and whole grains. These foods are both high in fibre and have been subject to minimal processing.
- DIY. Whenever possible, prepare homemade snacks. When you make them yourself, you know exactly what’s in them! However for those of us that are on the run or are time poor, the Healthier Bites range can be a convenient and nutritional way to ensure you are choosing healthier snack options.