Monday, June 7, 2010

Healthy Snacks

Snacking can be good for you, or not, depending on what you eat (and how much). You can keep hunger at bay between meals and get extra nutrition by choosing nutrient-dense foods, or you can nosh on energy-dense foods and pack on the pounds quickly if you're not careful.
Think of your snack as a mini-meal and keep it balanced. Watch your portions and choose a little protein with healthy fats and high fiber carbs. You'll feel satisfied without over eating. Choose more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and fewer sugary, high-fat treats. Here are some ideas for healthy snacking.
Spread peanut butter on six whole grain crackers and serve with one ounce of cheese (about the size of a pair of dice).
Cut an apple into bite-size chunks and add them to 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese. Sprinkle one tablespoon chopped walnuts or pecans (and a little honey if you like sweetness).
Slice a whole-grain pita into 6 wedges and serve with hummus and a handful of fresh berries on the side.
Make a fruit and cheese plate to share. Slice on apple and one pear, and serve with fresh grapes, whole grain crackers and a few thin slices of your favorite cheeses.
Combine one cup plain low fat yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries or strawberry slices, and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or almonds. Add just enough honey to suit your taste.
Spread almond butter on a piece of whole-wheat toast and add a spoonful of 100% fruit spread. Serve with a glass of non-fat milk.
Serve olives and marinated red peppers with one slice of warm whole-grain bread.
Bake your own tortilla chips and serve them with a chunky mango-black bean salsa.
Make a bowl of hot oatmeal and serve with a sliced banana, 1/2 cup berries and a splash of non-fat milk.
Have a small salad with spinach leaves, broccoli florets, tomato slices and top with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and one tablespoon of your favorite dressing.

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