A Few Snack Switches!

This week, I want to debrief the snack class that I recently taught.  At this class, we discussed how when snacking, there’s no need to sacrifice taste for quality.  The next time you are looking for a crunch, cookie, etc., keep these things in mind:

1. This first one can’t be stressed enough.  Please  read the ingredient label of each product that you put into your cart!  This way, instead of buying the spiced tortilla chip (yes, I’m thinking Nacho Cheese Doritos) with 28  ingredients, you can opt for a chip flavored without the use of unnatural flavorings and synthetic dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 5.  For instance, Trader Joe’s Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips are a better choice because they don’t have artificial flavors or preservatives.

2.  When searching for the right pretzel, keep in mind that pretzels should really only have 4 ingredients on the label: wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  The fewer ingredients the better.  I recently discovered pretzel crisps, which are delicious and offer much more of a crunch than the regularly shaped pretzels, because these crisps are much flatter.

3.  Popcorn is an excellent snack choice that satisfies while also adding antioxidants and fiber to your diet.  Try popping your own on the stove and experiment with the different colored kernels.  My personal favorite are red kernels (no, they don’t stay red once they’re popped!).  Even adding your own butter and salt to freshly popped popcorn is much healthier than the microwavable kind, which you may have already heard are filled with toxins from the packaging and the chemical butter flavor.

While we are on the subject of popcorn, have you ever wondered what makes SmartFood “smart?”  Food companies will do anything and everything to make their products seem more enticing and appetizing.  Be on the lookout for processed food packages that have celebrities endorse their food/beverages, use words that relate to health/wellness, use patriotism or purposely ignore the negative aspects of their products to make consumers buy into their marketing campaigns.  Ingredient labels always tell the truth, so never solely rely on advertising when making an informed decision about a food item! ( By the way, SmartFood is not a completely horrible snack choice).

4.  Instead of store bought mini muffins, try making your own.  The processed muffins are unfortunately made up of barely any real food and include ingredients like xanthan gum, soy lecithin, and caramel color, which are all things you definitely don’t need in your body.  When making your own mini muffins, try to branch out from the corn and the chocolate chip…expand your culinary horizons with zucchini muffins, banana muffins, or pumpkin muffins!

5.  Lastly, when choosing cookies, opt for ones that don’t contain trans fats.  These fats are used to maximize a product’s shelf life, and overtime can lead to obesity.  To satisfy your Oreo craving, turn to the Trader Joe’s version of Oreos called Joe-Joe’s, a much healthier alternative that doesn’t have partially hydrogenated oils in them.

Here are some other awesome snack options:

1.  Frozen grapes and/or bananas
2.  Hard boiled eggs
3.  Whole Wheat Crackers and cottage cheese
4.  Sugar snap peas with homemade yogurt dipping sauce
5.  Make your own kale chips
6.  Make your own apple chips
7.  Dark chocolate covered strawberries
8.  Carrots and peanut butter or sunbutter
9.  Crackerwiches:  Spread peanut butter or sunbutter on crackers.  Top with thin strawberry slices.  Drizzle with honey and top with another cracker.
I’d love for you to leave a comment letting me know your favorite snacks and any snack switches that you have made!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

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6 thoughts on “A Few Snack Switches!

  1. Mrs. Dellovo

    Great post, Katie. I am a huge fan of snacking, and in the past couple of years I have made some smart snack switches. A little over a year ago I discovered that I am gluten intolerant, so because of that I had to give up many of my all time favorite snacks. New favorite snacks include homemade trail mix including almonds, dried cherries and dark chocolate chunks as well as carrots and Teddie Peanut Butter w/ flaxseed, which is a great all natural product with an extra bonus! I also really love sweet potato chips!

  2. Christine G

    I agree. I only like to buy packaged food that has ingredients that I recognize! For a sweet treat I love unsweetened coconut chips, slivered almond with a few mini chocolate chips thrown in. Think “Almond Joy” without all the bad stuff.

  3. El

    I’m enjoying one of the snacks you mentioned. I sure do like reading your blogs Katie.
    They are so refreshing and I think you are a born teacher. I’know that lots of research goes
    into all of your projects. Keep up the awesome work!

  4. Erin LaRosa

    My kids love baby carrots and hummus. They also love Pirates Booty. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one. It seems too yummy to really be healthy.
    Do you have an easy recipe for Kale Chips?
    I’d love to see a post some time in the future that lists all of the “bad” ingredients and explaining what they are and why they are in the food. Some things on ingredient labels sound foreign and scary but I’m not always sure if they really are (for example, in Trader Joe’s Organic mini cheese crackers: “ammonium bicarbonate” , “disodium phosphate” and “organic soy lecithin”. Thanks for another great post!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I love carrots and hummus too. I will definitely do a future post on the ingredients you mention. In the meantime, here’s a quick recipe for Kale Chips:

      Remove ribs from Kale and cut into bite size pieces. Wash and then dry (really dry) the Kale pieces (if they are not really dry, they will steam rather than crisp). Place kale pieces on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 300 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crisp. Before they go in the oven, you can also sprinkle the olive oil and salted kale leaves with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or sesame seeds if you’d like. ENJOY!

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