Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Healthy Snacks

Happy 1st snow!  At least here where I live.  Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate as well.  
I've been thinking about health lately and how I can increase my intake of healthy food.  It's tricky if you were not grown up with it but I've learned some things over the past few years.  For one, I've gathered a list of good healthy snacks to eat and I would like to share that with all of you.   
  • String cheese - A good source of calcium.
  • Jello with or without fruit - It has some protein and vitamins if you put fruit in.  I've been told you can't put fresh pineapple in it though b/c it will degrade the gelatin so use canned pineapple.
  • Granola bars - A good source of oats, nuts and fruit.  I actually have a recipe for delicious homemade ones that I may put up some time.
  • Fruit - Cut fruit or whole fruit.  I try to have bananas and apples around b/c they are easy to eat but make sure you change it up by adding some other type of fruit b/c they all have different benefits.
  • Fruit Smoothies - Another good source of vitamins and if you put yogurt in the drink then it is also a good source of calcium.
  • Cereal bars - Another good source of fruit and grains.
  • Dry cereal - Depending on the cereal, this can be healthy.  You can always take a healthy cereal like Cheerios and mix it with dried fruit and nuts to add more taste.
  • Popcorn - Fairly healthy w/o the extra butter.  I use Jolly Time popcorn.  Instead of butter add a spice like one of the ones recommended on their site. Jolly Time healthy recipes
  • Yogurt - Healthy if you do not get the ones that are supposed to take like cream filled pies.  The regular ones are a good source of calcium.  If you get Greek yogurt, it has tons of protein.  You can always get Greek yogurt or the vanilla ones and add your own fresh fruit, dried fruit, honey or granola into the cup.
  • Bagels - I can eat these plain but I know I'm weird.  You can spread jelly that doesn't have a lot of added sugar or you can make homemade jam.  I've put fresh blackberries in a small pot on the stove, mixed it with a bit of honey or agave nectar, cooked them, and smashed up the berries a bit.  You can even some peanut butter on them but don't overdo it. 
  • "Chex" mix - You can take some nuts, dried fruit, and pretzels and make your own mix of handful yumminess.
     Well, that is my list.   I hope this list keeps you from reaching for that candy bar or can of soda.  Remember, these are snacks so they are not going to fill you up but they will temporarily get rid of that hungry feeling which we need to avoid.  Also, when I buy food like fresh fruit, I immediately prepare it when I get home so that I'm encouraged to eat it later.  With a snack like the "Chex" mix, you can always prepare a bunch and put them in little baggies.  Snacks, I feel, are meant to be eaten quickly b/c often you are running out the door or in your car eating so make it easier on yourself by preparing them ahead of time.