Snacking is something most of us like to do. It can be a great addition to your healthy eating meal plan or it can be a place for hidden fat and extra calories.
Choose your snacks wisely. Fruits and vegetables are always a welcomed choice along with breads, starches and cereals. Almost anything can be a snack, just make sure it fits your overall food plan.
- When shopping, let children help pick out fruits, vegetables, and cheese for snacks. They will be more interested in eating these foods if they have been involved in selecting them.
- Set aside a “snack spot” in the refrigerator and cupboard; keep it stocked with nutritious ready-to-eat snacks.
- Avoid high sugar, fatty and salty snacks, such as candy and soda pop.
- Plan snacks to help meet the suggested number of servings per day from the Food Guide Pyramid: 6 to 11 servings from the breads, cereal, rice and pasta group; 3 to 5 servings from the vegetable group; 2 to 4 servings from the fruit group; 2 to 3 servings from the milk, cheese and yogurt group; and 2 to 3 servings meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and dry beans group.
Simple Healthy Snack Ideas
- Raw vegetables, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green pepper, green beans, cucumbers, mushrooms or zucchini may be served with a low fat dip.
- Fresh fruit in season, cut in slices or halves, such as apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapefruit, grapes, melons, pears, plums or strawberries.
- Low fat quick breads and muffins, such as pumpkin, zucchini, banana or bran.
- Low fat yogurt with fresh, frozen or canned fruit.
- Shakes with low fat milk or yogurt and fruit.
- Unsweetened fruit juices.
Pyramid Tortilla Recipe
Here is an easy to do snack. For each person you will need:
- 1 (8 inch) tortilla
- 2 oz. thin sliced turkey or ham
- 2 Tbsp. shredded cheese
- ¼ c. shredded lettuce
- 1 Tbsp. raisins
- Low fat mayonnaise, cream cheese, or margarine
Give each person a tortilla. Have them spread with mayonnaise, margarine or cream cheese. Then layer on the meat, cheese, lettuce and raisins. Roll up and enjoy!
Source: Barbara Farner, Extension Educator, Nutrition and Wellness University of Illinois, Extension
Fish & Friends Munch
- ¾ c. square corn cereal
- 1 ½ c. crackers
- ¾ c. oat cereal rings
- ½ c. Graham Cracker Teddy Bears
- ¾ c. pretzel nuggets
- 1 ½ Tbsp. soy sauce (regular or light)
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
Lightly spray a 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all snack ingredients except soy, mustard and spices.
In a small bowl combine soy sauce, mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder until blended. Pour sauce over cereal mixture; spread into prepared pan. Bake in pre-heated 350 ° oven 5 minutes.
Remove mixture from oven and mix lightly. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Great for trips to the zoo, nature center or other field trips.
(Tastes great by the pool!)
- 1 c. Frozen peaches, strawberries
- ½ c. low fat cottage cheese
- ¼ c. low fat fruited yogurt
Mix together in blender until smooth.
36 g carbohydrate
16 g protein
2.5 g fat
5 g fiber
Graham Cracker Sandwiches
Mash ½ cup of peanut butter and 1 large or 2 small very ripe bananas with a fork. Add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon and mash again.
Spread on one graham cracker square and top with the other for a fun treat.