7 ways to snack better during the pandemic

Nutritionist Lisa Drayer's children like her chocolate peanut butter dessert hummus.

(CNN)Chips, cookies, munchies: There is so much snacking going on.

It's no shock that many of us reach for cookies, candy, chips and other indulgences during stressful times, whether it's due to the pandemic, the resulting economic downtown or a divisive US election.
Snack food consumption, including both sweet and savory snacks, increased by 8% during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to consumer research company NPD Group's Snack Food Behaviors in Challenging Times study.
    That's much more than during the Great Recession, between 2008 and 2010, where snack foods increased by 1%, or 4.8 billion eatings. (An "eating" is defined as one occasion that involves eating a meal or a snack.)
    "I think the increase in snacking was so pronounced now versus the last recession because this downturn came upon us so suddenly," said Darren Seifer, food industry analyst at The NPD Group, via email.
    "At the beginning of the lockdowns, consumers had to make decisions on how to feed their families in a matter of weeks, while the last recession took months to fully take its grip," Seifer said. "Consumers quickly stocked up on