Sneaky Tricks for Healthier Snacking
While at the dentist this morning, I was talking with my hygienist. You’ve all been there…your mouth is wide open and they are asking you questions that require more than a yes or no answer! Today she was asking me questions about eating healthy. She had been working hard at adapting to a healthier lifestyle. She has starting running and has reduced her diet soda consumption, and is feeling really good… but struggling with snacking. She asked, “How do I make eating healthy easier? Going to the pantry and just grabbing a hand full of chips or pretzels is so much easier than going through the refrigerator to find something good for me.”
Over the years I have found a few tricks that have worked for my busy family, who often needs to “grab and go”.
The easiest way to avoid process food binges is to not to have that stuff in your house. If it’s not in there, it’s really hard to eat! If you must have chocolate, I can totally appreciate that, but go for dark. The darker the better. It is chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Instead of keeping it out in plain sight, I put it in the freezer. A frozen piece of chocolate takes a lot of effort to eat! Also, because it melts in your mouth, the taste and sensation of satisfaction will last longer. Hence, you will not eat quite as much in one sitting, or should I say, bite.
When grocery shopping, I always start in the fresh produce section. I load up on all the beautiful colors of the rainbow, red peppers, oranges, bananas, kale, blueberries, and especially watermelon, just to name a few. By the time I load up on all that fresh goodness, there is hardly any room in my cart for the boxes and bags of impulse items that would sabotage my mission to be as healthy as I can.
One of the best tricks that I have found is when unloading the fruits and vegetables don’t put them away! After you put away all your other groceries, immediately take all those fruits and veggies out of the bags and wash them. Place fruits that do not need to be refrigerated in a nice bowl and display them on the counter. It’s decorative and you will grab an apple from the counter faster now since it is plain sight!
You can take this a step further and cut up your vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, and cucumbers. Once cut, put them in containers and voila, your vegetables are ready at dinnertime. You just throw them in the lettuce and toss for a quick and easy salad. A handful of carrots dipped into hummus for some added protein, makes an awesome snack.
Four nights a week I make a vegetable platter to have with dinner. It looks like I spent hours prepping, but all was done earlier in the week. The whole family eats from the platter and there is less cooking on my part. There is never any left over! Total Healthy Family Bonus!
These are just a few of my tricks for keeping my busy family happy, healthy and satisfied.
Wishing you the best of health.
Guest contributor, Heather Nanda is the owner of The Nourished Classroom in Gaithersburg, MD
The Nourished Classroom’s mission is to bring about the change in the school environment to allow for better nutrition to be understood and implemented.