Healthy Eating: Pack a Snack
- June 27, 2012
- on 6/27/2012
- MoJo: April Finnen
“You know, Daddy, you don’t have to just use your lunchbox for lunch. You can pack snacks too.” This comment from my 5-year-old—always full of advice—made me think about snacking. (Confession: I actually think about snacks every couple hours.)
Good news! It turns out that eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day is a good way to prevent overindulging at mealtimes. The key here is healthy, and it’s unlikely you’ll find much by that definition in your office vending machine.
With a little forethought (and maybe an ice pack), you can pack delicious, healthy snacks to last throughout the day. Here are 9 ideas:
- Whole fruit – apples, oranges, bananas, berries, pears, peaches, grapes, cut melon, etc.
- Vegetables – carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell pepper strips
- Hummus – great with raw vegetables to dip, or pieces of whole wheat pita bread (try curry hummus from The Wild Pea of Baltimore*)
- Nuts – raw or roasted almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, etc. (try Sahalie Snacks for a treat, available at the Frederick Wegmans)
- Granola – try making your own, or go for a local option*
- Yogurt – topped with fruit, nuts or granola, or just plain, yogurt is a great snack with a protein boost (for low sugar and extra protein, try Siggi’s Icelandic skyr yogurt*)
- Leftover side dishes – try snacking on roasted potatoes or root vegetables, or any side dish from last night’s dinner, especially if you have trouble using leftovers
- Real popcorn – put popcorn kernels* (up to 1/3 cup) in a clean brown paper lunch bag, fold over a few times to secure, and microwave for 2-3 minutes, until popping slows. Top with salt and/or nutritional yeast*.
- Homemade muffins or bread – try freezing homemade muffins and breads (pre-sliced into serving size), and take them one-by-one straight from the freezer to your lunch box as you need them. These morning glory muffins are delightful.
*available at the Common Market in Frederick, Maryland
A final word of caution: Eat when you’re hungry, and not just because the clock chimes 3:00, or because you have an array of tempting snacks on hand. If you don’t get hungry until 4:30 that day, have your snack then, or save it for tomorrow.
I’ll be tweeting about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) under the hashtag #CSA this season at @AprilFin. Join in, and share your favorite healthy snacks.
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