A snack is a lot of times a spur of the moment decision. Having some healthy or easy snacks around can help people make better choices. Kids want to grab a snack when they get home from school. Most people don’t take time to prepare a snack ahead of time. So, it is pretty easy to grab commercially packaged snacks like chips, crackers or a candy bar. You can have a more nutritious snack by planning and preparing your snacks before hunger attacks.
Your quick-to-grab stock of healthy snacks could include such items as a bag of trail mix in the glove compartment, a small box of raisins in your purse, a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, or a package of whole wheat pretzels in the kitchen cabinet. It is helpful to have an assortment of plastic zipper bags and containers to make your homemade snacks portable. Storage containers can hold small portions of refrigerated leftovers from healthful meals to heat and eat later for snacks.
Need some ideas of what to buy? Here are a few.
• Small packages of vegetables and fruits like baby carrots and unsweetened applesauce that come in portable, single-serving packages.
• A container of sweet grape tomatoes which are even smaller than cherry tomatoes.
• Small cans of fruit in natural juices.
• Ingredients for fiber-filled trail mix such as unfrosted cereal squares, unsalted nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or dried fruit.
• Apples, bananas, grapes or other fresh fruit that you can transport easily for a snack during the day.
• A cup of lowfat yogurt garnished with fresh berries, wheat germ or lowfat granola.
• Peel an orange or tangerine at home and put the sections in a plastic bag so you can enjoy it on the go without the mess.
• Apple slices mixed with cinnamon in a plastic bag for a new treat.
Source: Iowa Extension Service, Chef Charles Series