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Snack smart while working from home

If you're working from home and finding that you're eating more, you're not alone.

COLUMBUS - Working from home means many people are simply moving less and potentially eating more.

“It’s that boredom eating,” said Prya Patel, an OhioHealth registered dietician.

And it’s no secret why people are reaching for the junk food.

“Obviously, carbs and sugars, they taste amazing,” Patel said. “That’s why we always gravitate towards that.”

To cut back on that boredom eating, Patel encourages people working from home to set an eating schedule, including designated times for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to avoid grazing throughout the day.

But if the cravings win, Patel says everyone should give themselves a little grace during this time.

“Sometimes we tend to say, ‘Well, I had a bad breakfast. I had waffles, bacon, a lot of syrup on it, so my day is already ruined. So for lunch I’m going to go ahead and eat pizza or for dinner I’m going to eat burgers and fries,’ but your day isn’t ruined,” Patel said. “It’s just that one meal. Don’t let that define your entire day. We’re not perfect.”

To avoid the temptation to snack on junk food in the first place, Patel suggests shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, steering clear of those in-between aisles with more of the processed foods. Next, prep purchases as soon as they get home, Patel said.

A lot of times, junk food is easier to grab and go but Patel explained, if fruits and veggies are washed, cut and prepared right away, people can cut out the hassle when it comes time for a snack.

“Especially when you have little kids, cut up those strawberries and put them in little, small containers so that way when they are hungry, they can just grab that and it’s ready to go,” she said.

Finally, many people want to cut down on how often they hit the store right now, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Because producer can go bad quickly, give food items like beans a try, Patel said.

Beans contain plenty of fiber and are a good source of carbohydrates, so they’ll keep the kids fuller, longer, she said.

“They’re affordable, they’re canned so they’re not going to go bad and you can do a variety of things with them, like make black bean burgers, hummus, black bean salsa, quesadillas,” Patel said. “There’s so many things you can do with beans.”

For more tips on healthier stay-at-home snacking, click here.