Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Snack Food Choices

I feel like everyone I know, me included, is complaining about a few extra pounds and/or flabby muscles. I don't know if it's the time of year, the economy or what, but a lot of people I know are slacking right now. I can't seem to get motivated. I went to Body Pump for the first time in six months last week! That is way too long! I may not be overweight, but I can certainly tell I have been eating too much pizza, drinking too much soda(yes I am back on that track again!) and munching on too much left over Halloween candy.

As many of you know, we are headed on vacation in a few weeks to sunny Florida. I have been searching for "healthy snack options" for the trip instead of convenience foods. I saw this article on ABC and thought it might help you too!

Plan Ahead
Regardless of the length of your trip, you're going to want a snack. Be prepared and bring healthy options with you. "If you're going on a road trip, I recommend packing a mini-cooler of healthy sandwiches, filtered water and fresh fruit," nutritionist Christine Avanti said. "If you're flying, you can pack a brown-bag lunch as opposed to succumbing to the salted nuts and preservative-loaded packaged snacks the airlines offer."

Hobday recommends making sure you book a hotel room with a fridge "so you have healthy snacks and meals on hand. Pick up high-fiber cereal and skim milk, fat-free yogurt, fresh veggies and fruit." That way you'll stave off the urge to splurge on 2 a.m. macadamia nuts or MSG-filled party mix.
Smart Solutions

It's not always possible to find fresh and healthy options on the go. If you're in a jam there are a few packaged goods and fast foods to look out for or take with you. "At a convenience store, grab a Luna bar, bag of soy chips or small handful of nuts. They all contain a mix of carbs and protein, so they'll keep your blood-sugar steady and keep you feeling full," Hobday said.

Avanti also recommends Cliff Builder Bars and Go Organic Bars (available at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's).

"If you are not suffering from high-blood pressure, turkey and salmon jerky are fantastic low-fat 'packaged' proteins. ... If you are vegetarian you can enjoy veggie jerky or seitan strips [both available at most Whole Foods and Wild Oats markets]," Avanti said.

Yogurt can be another excellent source of low-fat protein.

You can find a full "Fast Food Guide" on Avanti's Web site, which outlines the healthiest (and worst) fast-food meals at most major chains. To view click here.
(I did check this out and it is super helpful! The 6-inch Tuna at Subway has 31 grams of fat! It's my son's favorite and mine too. Umm, not good! The bean burrito and chicken taquito and Taco Bell aren't too bad-9 and 11 g of fat. I think I'll make a run for the border the next time I'm in a hurry with the kids!)

Super Snack Ideas

For an easy grab-and-go snack, Avanti suggested low-fat string cheese with fresh or dried fruit, which she said "also pairs well with whole wheat crackers or pretzels." For sandwiches, she prefers the lean protein of turkey.

If you have time, "try making a healthy trail-mix with an ounce of nuts and an ounce of air-popped popcorn or pack portable fresh foods that won't spoil easily," Hobday said. "If you have a fridge, put together a parfait with layers of plain low-fat yogurt and berries or snack on baby carrots dipped in a quarter cup of hummus." For more healthy treats click here.

Okay, I had no idea there is turkey jerky and veggie jerky. Does that taste good? My kids won't eat the Cliff bars, but they will eat Luna Bars. I think I'll pack those, some grapes, good ol' PB& J squares, trail mix and string cheese. Does anyone else have any ideas for snacks to take with kids? BTW, you can still go with us and the Chicago Cubs to Florida in December. Just click on my face at the top of this page for details.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

Methodist Medical Center's new online healthcare program, MyMethodist eHealth, is a proud sponsor of this blog post. MyMethodist eHealth is the secure link to your doctor's office that lets you request appointments, order prescription refills, update your personal health record, and more. Sign up for MyMethodist eHealth here.


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