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Hack your snack: Why we snack and how to do it better 


How often do you snack? On average, more than 20% of calories consumed in a day are from snacks, and about 95% of adults eat one or more snacks each day. With so many of us eating a large portion of our calories from snacks, our choices matter. Many things influence our snack choices, like the time of day, how we feel, how hungry we are, or what’s within our reach. Understanding when and why we snack can help us make choices that meet our nutrition goals.  

Why people snack and solutions  

There’s a lot of reasons why we snack. The recent IFIC 2022 Food and Healthy Survey found the top motivations for snacking was being hungry or thirsty, and snacking as a treat. Emotions also impact snacking. The survey found, “those who are very stressed (29%) are more likely to snack three or more times a day than those who are only somewhat stressed (10%).”  

Here are three reasons why people snack and solutions to make better choices: 

When you’re hungry 

When you have a craving or want a treat 

Pace Salsa and tortilla chips

When you’re stressed

Make the most of when you snack

Do you snack at the same time most days? The survey also found that time of day can influence people’s snack choices.

Here are three times during the day that people reach for snacks and ways to add nutrition:

1. In the morning, fruit is the most popular snack

V8 blueberry lemon overnight oats

2. Most people snack in the afternoon

Whole Grain Elote Mexican Corn Avocado Toast
Well Yes Sipping Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato

3. Savory and sweet treats are often grabbed in the evening

people eating pretzel crisps and dip around a couch

Most people snack at least once a day. Recognize why you snack and make it an opportunity to enjoy food that tastes great to you and provides positive nutrition.

For more information, check out our nutrition tips for smarter snacking—including a shopping list to help you stock the pantry and fridge with snacks you feel good about.


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