Thursday, October 22, 2009

Healthy Snacking On-the-Go!

We are all looking for fast, easy, and good-tasting snacks that fit into our fast paced lifestyle. With fall approaching and summer fruits and vegetables still in season, use this time to begin developing healthy, quick snacking habits that will stick with you year round!

Here are some ways to make healthy snacking part of your daily routine:
• Prepare in advance. When you make something yourself, you get to control the ingredients and put in what's good for you. Try making your own trail mix or cutting up melon or vegetables in advance and keeping them in single serving bags in the fridge.

• Keep healthy snacks on hand.
Make it a habit to stash fresh fruit, whole-grain crackers, or baby carrots in your or workout bag or desk drawer so you always have some healthy food nearby.

• Variety is key! Healthy snacking doesn't have to be boring as long as you give yourself a variety of choices. Whole-wheat pretzels with spicy mustard, whole-grain pita chips with hummus, or low-fat all fruit yogurt are healthy, tasty, and easy.

• Take a healthy approach. If your sweet tooth is taking over and chocolate is on your mind, try a hot chocolate drink instead of a chocolate bar. An 8-ounce mug of hot chocolate has only 140 calories and 3 grams of fat. A chocolate bar, on the other hand, has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat. If you’re craving something savory, snack on baked tortilla chips instead of regular corn chips and pair with salsa instead of sour cream.

• Read the label. What looks like a small package of cookies can contain 2 or more servings — which means double or even triple the amounts of fat, calories, and sugar shown on the label!

Simple Snack Ideas
• Ready-to-eat veggies*
• Multicolored bell peppers (sliced or miniature)
• Grape tomatoes
• Sugar snap peas
• Baby carrots
• Pre-cut broccoli florets
• Celery sticks
• Hummus*, nut butter, or low-fat ranch dressing on hand for dipping. You can buy individual containers of humus or dressing at Costco (check at your local grocery store as well) so you don’t have to worry about portion sizes or the temptation to eat the whole container!
• Eat with veggies, a handful of whole grain crackers, or 1 large rice cake
• Fresh fruit*
• 1 small apple, pear, orange, or other tree fruits
• ½ cup berries
• ½ papaya or mango
• melon
• Fresh fruit with 1 cup plain yogurt
• ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese w/ fruit slices or bell peppers
• Newman’s Own Natural White Kernel Popcorn (Microwavable) – 3 cups is a serving and is a great source of whole grains! Air or stove top popped in olive oil are also great options!
• 1 Mozzarella cheese stick*
• A handful (about ¼ cup) of almonds, walnuts, or other tree nut for a quick burst of energy*
• 1 piece of whole grain toast with ¼ sliced avocado

*Can be purchased in the SAC Café

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