Follow the Food Guide Pyramid to stock your kitchen. Having the right stuff on hand is very
important for making fast, healthy snacks. If your snacks are based on whole grains, fruits and
vegetables, with a little dairy and lean protein, you will be on your way to
better health. Of course you will
want to watch ypour intake of salt and saturated fat to keep your heart
healthy. Here are some items you
may want to keep on hand:
Low-fat, whole-grain crackers
Whole-wheat pita bread (100%)
Whole-wheat bread (100%)
Baked tortilla chips
Hummus (watch serving size)
Potatoes and sweet potatoes
Vegetable juice (100%)
Nuts and nut butters
Canned tuna or salmon
White chicken or turkey, skinless
Nonfat, light yogurt
Fortified soymilk and skim milk
Smoothies made with soymilk or skim milk
Easy Snack Ideas
For healthy snacks, think out with the bag--that is, out with foods that are sold as snacks in all those cute packages and bags. Healthy snacks do not really include pretzels, crackers, cookies and chips, all of which are often high on sodium and fat, and low in fiber. This is especially important if you are trying to watch your weight, lower your blood pressure or control your blood sugar. Here are some healthy, delicious snack ideas.
Peanut butter crackers - An old standby is healthy when you place it on 100% whole grain, low-fat crackers (such as WASA brand crackers) or even 100% whole grain bread. If you are watching your weight, keep peanut butter to 1 Tbsp per serving and add some no-sugar-added preserves of fresh sliced fruit.
Soup - Purchase low-sodium, low-fat vegetable or bean soup. It can be microwaved in minutes n a coffee mug. If you are keeping this at the office, don't forget the can opener.
Rabbit bag - Put a few raw veggies and fruits together in a zip lock bag. Use orange wedges, apple slices, raw cauliflower, and raw carrots. The orange gives everything a nice flavor and helps keep the apple slices from turning too brown.
Smoothie - Blend skim milk, fruit and wheat germ to make a delicious drink that tastes like a milk shake.
Low-sodium vegetable juice helps you get to 5 a day.
Sandwiches don't have to be just for lunch; they are great snacks, too. Stuff a whole-wheat pita with turkey or beans, lettuce, tomato and a little vinegar and oil for a heart healthy treat.
Tuna or salmon on toast - Make tuna or salmon salad with low-fat mayonnaise. Spread it on one slice of toasted 100% whole wheat bred and top it with fresh sliced tomato and shredded romaine lettuce.
Oatmeal raisin bowl - Make a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon and top with skim milk.
Cereal parfait - Place light, nonfat yogurt, fruit and whole-grain cereal in a plastic cup and you will have a nutritious snack ready to go.
Baked Sweet potato - Bake a sweet potato in the microwave and top it with reduced calorie pancake syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.
Calories per Serving:
Healthy Snacks Estimated Calories per Serving
High-Calorie Snacks Estimated Calories
Pretzel, soft 214
French fries 350
Cinnamon bun 370