Healthy Sandwiches with Mayo

Filipinos eat five to six times a day: breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch (noontime meal), afternoon snack and dinner (evening meal) or after dinner/midnight snack. Snacking is eating light foods between regular meals or simply meryenda. The morning snack also known as Segundo Almuerzo or second breakfast is eaten around 10am while the afternoon snack is eaten between 3 to 4pm. Filipinos prefer fresh, flavorful and juicy snacks. While snacking has been a tradition, it has evolved with the different working hours particularly in the BPO sector and those with 24-hour working companies.

The snacking habits of Filipinos based on the Nielsen Global Survey of Snacking revealed that Filipinos eat snacks for various reasons such as source of nutrients, cave in to cravings, as a treat, and time for sharing with family and friends. Filipinos also eat a variety of snack foods from sweet (donuts, cupcakes, banana-que and kamote-que, turon, maruya) to savory (lumpia, ukoy, barbecue), to pizza and sandwiches. Snack foods can be bought from markets, sari-sari stores, carinderia, and along the streets, so called streetfoods or can easily be prepared at home.

Healthy snacking has several benefits. Healthy snacking can contribute to meeting the calorie and nutrient requirements of Filipinos. The latest Food Consumption Survey showed that about 7 in 10 Filipino households do not meet their dietary energy requirement (DOST-FNRI, 2013). The survey revealed that only 62.7 percent of the households met their daily dietary protein requirement. Moreover, requirements for iron, calcium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin C, and thiamin are also not met by more than 50% of Filipino households. Healthy snacking can also help avoid binge eating, regulate appetite, and add more nutrients to the diet with the right food choices. Healthy snacking is also good way to avoid obesity.
Both children and adults need to meet their nutritional requirements to prevent suffering from poor nutrition, i.e., children can suffer from underweight and stunting while adults from chronic energy deficiency. Moreover, there is also an increasing number of adults who are overweight and/or obese (NNS, FNRI-DOST, 2013). Among children, there is a need to nourish them properly so that they can grow up strong and healthy, considering that they are the future Filipinos.

There are certain foods that many Filipinos grew up with and mayonnaise is one of those foods. Using mayonnaise in preparing healthy snack sandwiches such as chicken breast or tuna flakes as filling is a good option. To make these snacks more nutritious, add vegetables such as lettuce, shredded carrots, tomatoes and cucumber. Complete the sandwich with mayonnaise to help bind the flavors together. There are also flavored mayonnaises or mayonnaise-based spreads which can be used in preparing sandwiches. These contain fats which not only provides flavor but also helps absorb more vitamins from vegetables.

Real mayonnaise is a good source of hearty omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. A serving of mayonnaise has good oils from soya oil and contains as low as 3% of daily cholesterol allowance of 300mg.

-Ma. Theresa M. Talavera, RND, MSPH