The brown-bag lunch of yore, complete with turkey on whole wheat and an obligatory apple, has thankfully gotten a more sophisticated facelift. Today’s kids are no longer rewarded for eating soggy sandwiches (those are fast becoming obsolete in a world of lunchboxes stuffed with free-range chicken salads and tabbouleh) with a sugar-high-inducing chocolate chip cookie. Instead, they can be fueled by wholesome, good-for-you snacks. Here are five tasty alternatives.
Tag: healthy snacks
Get your game-day buzz on with these winning tailgating snack recipes. They’ll get everyone in the team spirit — and you’ll score points ’cause they’re good for you, too.
Ski lodge offerings have come a long way over the years and it’s actually possible to find some healthy options … for a pretty penny. Better yet, stash a few portable picks in your multipocket ski jacket, and then snack away on the chairlift.
#1: Granola bar
Choose a soft granola bar so it won’t crumble if you take a spill.
- Kashi Chewy Granola Bars Honey Almond Flax
- Nature Valley Dark Chocolate Cherry
- KIND Fruit & Nut Almond and Apricot (above)
Well-balanced snacks can help keep you satisfied until your next meal. Think of them of as mini meals that provide your body with important nutrients like calcium and fiber. The ideal number of snacks depends on the individual but is usually one to two daily. And calorie-wise, snacks should be in the 150 to 200 range.
Some snacks have a bad reputation for being unhealthy—but I’m setting the record straight on these six foods.
Popcorn originally gained a bad reputation thanks to movie theaters frying popcorn in coconut oil and folks drowning it under buckets of artery-clogging butter. But corn is a whole grain and, when air-popped, it contains about 30 calories per cup along with 5% of the recommended daily dose of fiber. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt or a drizzle of olive oil, and you’ve got a smart snack. (For added flavor, try Ellie’s Parmesan-Paprika Popcorn, above, from Food Network Magazine.)
Almonds are a great between-meal snack that both fills you up and provides a nutritional punch. One handful of nutrient-dense almonds gives you not only 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 75 mg of calcium, but also 13 grams of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are the heart-healthy fats that may help lower total cholesterol and LDL (monounsaturated fats help raise HDL levels too), which can decrease the risk of heart disease.
A serving of almonds has 162 calories, 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein, and when snacking on almonds, portion control is key. One serving of almonds is 23 almonds, which equals 1 ounce, ¼ cup or about 1 handful. One portion should fit into a small spice bottle or baby food jar or – if you’re snacking at the office – should cover the surface of one 3″x3″ sticky note. Use the photo above to help you remember, or put old baby food jars or spice bottles to new use as almond snack-containers.
Edamame, or soybeans in the pod, shouldn’t be relegated to date night at your local Japanese joint. With just 120 calories per serving (1/2 cup shelled or about 1 1/8 cups in the pod), edamame packs a powerful nutrient punch. In fact, it’s so crammed with fiber, you’d have to eat 10 cups of chopped Romaine to get the fiber found in 1/2 cup of edamame (9 grams). The little legumes are also loaded with protein (11 grams/serving), iron (unusual for a plant food) and vitamins A and C, two very potent antioxidants. Check out my fiery way to serve them in the recipe below. I typically use the microwave-ready, steamable, frozen bags of edamame and I used those to test this recipe. Let me know what you think! Read more
Morning and afternoon snacks (whether at home or at work) not only squelch hunger pangs, they offer additional opportunities to incorporate vitamins, minerals and fiber during the day, important nutrients that you can’t always get in your average three square meals. It just takes a handful of ingredients and a little creativity to make gourmet snacks that will make you the envy of the office. Just remember this when planning: Including fiber and protein in your snacks will keep you satisfied for hours (not true of a candy bar or handful of pretzels).
My blog post is kinda different this time because I’m traveling with my kids and thought it would be fun to talk about “healthy eats” on the road. This week we’re flying, and if you’ve hit the air recently, you’ve experienced the food situation (or lack of it). On shorter flights, there’s often nothing more than a tiny bag of peanuts or pretzels. Longer flights offer a “snack cart” where you can purchase fresh and pre-packaged food. The cart has a few healthy options but if you’re sitting in the back and they run out mid-way through service, you’re stuck with what’s left (they seem to have an endless supply of chips and candy). When I travel with my boys, I don’t take any chances; I pack a bunch of munchies and keep my credit card handy for healthy, fresh food on board. Grabbing something at the airport is also an option, but you have to search for healthy fare and then deal with really long lines while dragging your luggage (my kids won’t stand still long enough for that). If you have more patience, opt for fresh sandwiches on whole grain bread. Get roast turkey, carved ham or grilled chicken and add lettuce and tomato. Go easy on mayo-based spreads; opt for grainy mustard instead. Fresh salads are great too, just watch out for high-fat dressings and those topped with loads of meat and cheese (share those with your travel partners). Fresh fruit, fruit smoothies and bulk nuts, seeds and trail mix are also terrific choices.