All Entries For snacks
Eating healthier can be hard enough for us adults, but when our kids want those fun and colorful packaged foods that are low in nutrition and high in calories, it can be hard to say no to them (and keep our own fingers out of the box once it arrives home). In our home, my husband and I make a conscious effort to keep the snacks we buy as natural and nutrient-packed as possible. Of course there are always times when we allow our sons to have “special" (mom-speak for junky) treats, but we try to limit those to truly special occasions, and not let them become a daily habit.
At our kids' school, many well intending parents bring in packaged treats and sweets to share with their child's classmates on birthdays and other special occasions. Much of what is shared are the kinds of foods that we choose not to give our children (sugary, high-cal snack foods with other additives and preservatives). While celebratory foods and sweets are OK in moderation, it seems like almost every day is someone else's birthday, which means these treats are anything but occasional. So I am on a quest to encourage parents to bring in healthier alternatives that the kids will still enjoy.
I've created a list of 17 foods that are fun for kids, yet quick and easy for busy parents and teachers to pick up or assemble. Read More ›
UPDATE: The winners are EVERSTEPH, STLOUISWOMAN, and BEAR1991.
Also, CLIF just told us they have a new flavor (Citrus) of Shot Blocks Energy Chews, which I love for my long runs. Have you tried them?
My boyfriend eats a lot. Though it's just two of us, I often cook for 6-8… which yields lunch and dinner for each of us: 2 portions for me and the rest for him.
He's a competitive cyclist and bikes as his primary form of transportation. The guy eats all the time!
Around our house, food goes fast, and we like to eat healthy, so we keep the pantry and fridge stocked with easy-to-eat, grab-and-go snacks for before and after a workout. Aside from my homemade baked goods (best way to portion control and resist overeating what you bake? Live with a cyclist!), his favorites are Clif bars. He always takes a couple along on long bike rides.
I like them, too, but they don't usually last long enough around the house for me to eat them!
Today, you'll get a chance to win a case of one of the three three seasonal flavors: Spiced Pumpkin Pie, Iced Gingerbread and a brand new flavor, Peppermint Stick! Three winners will be chosen. Read More ›
Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post from a SparkPeople advertiser.
Whether you want to lose weight or simply eat healthier, enjoying a couple of snacks each day is a smart habit for many people. Eating a planned snack between meals can help curb your hunger and prevent overeating at mealtime while also increasing energy levels when you need a boost. Snacks also offer an additional benefit for people with diabetes by helping to optimize blood glucose control. Snack bars and drinks have become popular because they offer portable, convenient, pre-packaged options especially when people are living on the go. Now people with diabetes have a delicious way to stick to their weight loss plan AND enjoy snack options without worrying about throwing off their blood glucose levels.
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You probably know that fueling your body properly can help you take your workouts to the next level. After all, if you go too long without eating, you can feel tired, sluggish and even faint during an exercise session, which means your workouts will suffer and you won't get very good results from your efforts. But with properly timed meals and snacks, you can stave off hunger and give your body the energy it needs to perform at its best.
Here's how to create the perfect pre-workout snack (along with some of our favorite fueling ideas). Read More ›
Over the years, I've had an "on and off" addiction to chewing gum. It seems like I go through phases, where I go through packs of gum like a smoker goes through packs of cigarettes. Then other times I kind of lose interest and stop buying it completely. My reason is more that I just like having something to keep me occupied. But a new study says chewing gum could actually help curb your appetite. Do you agree? Read More ›
Let's face it, most of us are bombarded with access to food on an almost daily basis. From our fellow co-workers bringing in the daily supply of morning donuts, to weddings, baby showers and office parties, along with the growing number of restaurants spotting the landscape, many of us do not have to worry about when and where our next meal or snack will come from. According to research, this massive availability to food, in addition to our declining activity levels, may be two of the biggest factors responsible for our ever expanding waistlines. We are also spending more time eating between meals and sadly many of us underestimate the amount of food we are eating at any given meal or snack.
So what can you do to avoid the snacking trap?
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The day started innocently enough. I ate my healthy breakfast, and I really wasn’t hungry after that. A car trip later and I’m drooling like Homer Simpson at the sight of a Dunkin’ Donuts sign. Should I or shouldn’t I? One won’t hurt. No, usually one doesn’t, but it does cause cravings--mad crazy cravings! I find myself staring straight into the abyss that might be a downfall of super sugary and fatty portions. I control it by driving through and getting one and leaving. If I get any more than that, I’m in trouble.
Surely you know the foods you eat that cause cravings. They are the magical ones like chocolate that send you into another world with just a thought. Everyone has their personal favorites. We often concentrate on what we shouldn’t eat in large quantities or what triggers our hunger, but what about those foods that satisfy us? Finding foods we should be eating that are healthful, tasty, and filling can be fun.
Hunger sometimes has much to do with emotions and comforting, rather than true stomach hunger. (Stop emotional eating before it starts.)It has to do with what others are eating and what time of day it is. Hunger many times is just triggered by the setting of being somewhere or doing something. Smell is a very strong hunger trigger. So with all of these false signals telling you to eat, what do you do?
What I do is stay full. I keep water around at all times. I also eat every 3-4 hours, so I’m in no danger of real physical hunger ganging up on me with some false signal and sending me on a binge. I enjoy healthier comfort foods than I used to eat. Fiber and protein both take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates. Basically timing is everything. Your body breaks down carbohydrates within the first half to two hours after you eat them. During hours two through four, your body is working on proteins, while in hours four through six your body is breaking down fats. This is why it is important to get a mix of foods at every meal and not wait longer than every 4 hours to eat. I have many favorite hunger fighting foods now, but for the sake of time, I will tell you 15 of my basic must-haves. These foods are generally high in fiber, protein, or both and may have healthy fat included.
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I love guacamole. It's one of my favorite foods to eat. And while it is higher in fat than its brethren, the salsas, it is packed full of fiber and heart-healthy fat.
To save the reputation of my favorite dip, I did a quick comparison to see how two tablespoons of guacamole stacks up against some other popular dips.
|Calories||Fat (g)||Saturated fat (g)||Sodium (mg)||Fiber (g)|
Guacamole's looking better already, isn't it? Read More ›
Mother knows best. Back in 2005, my mom starting telling me about this "amazing" seed that was great for health. She added it to smoothies, granola, breads, and just about everything else. Flax, I quickly learned, was versatile and an easy way to integrate those heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids into my diet.
But as much as I love flax for its nutritional benefits (fiber, lignans, the aforementioned Omega3s and protein), there are a couple of caveats when using it in recipes:
Flax must be ground for our bodies to process it. Whole flaxseeds pass through the body undigested, meaning they're only providing us with fiber. If a product contains whole flaxseeds and boasts that it's a great source of Omega-3s, it's like they gave you a treasure chest but forgot to give you the key! Sure, those heart-healthy fats are in there, but they are locked inside the seeds.
Their nutty flavor is tasty but hard to disguise, which makes it difficult for it to blend in to the background in a recipe.
A couple of years ago, I discovered a food that's become as much of a staple in my kitchen as flax (which I still use almost daily and love!). This seed is a bit harder to find and perhaps slightly more expensive, but it's a great product that I love to use.
What is it? It's chia seed. (Also called salba.)
You know, like Ch-ch-chia? (Rings a bell now, doesn't it?) As in Chia Pets? Those terra cotta sculptures that grow "hair" use the same seeds that grace my morning smoothies and afternoon "puddings." Read More ›
By Jane Bianchi and Kathleen Corlett,
via Family Circle
When food shopping, picking the healthiest groceries can be tough. Say one bag of potato chips is "baked" while another is "kettle-cooked." Which is the better choice? (Turns out kettle-cooked is more nutritious.) A new system, being used in more than 750 supermarkets across the country, can help you figure that out. NuVal ranks every product in the store from 1 to 100 (100 being the healthiest) by evaluating more than 25 nutrients and other related factors. So we sorted through scores of popular snacks, from chips to cheese, to pull out the best.
Find out how your favorite snacks stack up or get the entire list of healthy snacks, at FamilyCircle.com.
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Are You Tired and Wired? Your Proven 30-Day Program for Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue and Feeling Fantastic Again by Marcelle Pick MSN OB/GYN NP
Co-founder of Women to Women—one of the first clinics in the country devoted to providing health care for women by women—and the author of The Core Balance Diet, Pick focuses on the root cause of these symptoms: adrenal dysfunction. (Psst... we're giving away five copies of this book on Friday evening.)
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Wondering what to serve at your Super Bowl party? Look no further! We've rounded up a variety of healthy Super Bowl party recipes that everyone will enjoy!
Honey-Mustard Chicken Wings
Super Healthy Hummus
Pineapple, Onion and Bacon Pizza
SP_Stepf's Skinny Cheese Fondue
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Every day in elementary school, my mom packed my sister and me the same lunch: PBJ (always with natural peanut butter and Gramma's homemade jams on wheat bread), a pouch of real juice, a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks, and a granola bar or a fruit roll-up. I never tired of it, but around age 7, I did decide that I needed to be independent. I wanted whatever my sister didn't have. I announced to my mother, as she handed me my lunch, that I no longer ate grape jelly. I would henceforth require only strawberry jam on my sandwiches, please and thank you, mother. My sister could keep the grape jam, and strawberry would be mine and mine alone, (I embellish the dialogue only slightly. Ever the precocious child, I was a cross between Eloise and Fancy Nancy. I almost flunked gym class in first grade because I refused to wear sneakers, and I took pride in telling people I never wore pants the entire year of kindergarten. I digress…)
Suddenly, my boring old sandwich was new again. Strawberry jam was so much better than icky grape, and 22 years later, I don't think I've eaten grape jelly since then.
In junior high, my beloved PBJ fell out of favor when I decided that skipping lunch was the cool thing to do. (All those raging teenage hormones, plus low blood sugar, equaled one cranky Stepfanie. Not my smartest move.)
Then came college and my first apartment. I was strapped for cash and time. A PBJ was a quick dinner, so I thought. Later that night, I was sick, bent over with horrible stomach pains. I blamed stress. Eventually, a doctor diagnosed me with a peanut intolerance (so thankfully no life-threatening symptoms), and, separately, a cashew allergy.
In addition to losing my PBJs, I could no longer eat mixed nuts, pad Thai, several kinds of curries, and the world's best flavor combination: chocolate and peanut butter. (Now if only we could get airplanes to stop serving peanuts. I always end up with a migraine after flights when they serve peanuts.)
Then along came a nut (a drupe, really) that made me forget peanut butter ever existed. The almond.
Why am I sharing this story with you today? I'm sharing this story because almond butter is expensive, and fancy nut butters are all the rage. And I have the recipes to prove it. Read More ›
Last week, Coach Nicole sent me a link to this video. That morning, I had driven past a large orange billboard near our office. "So what if our name doesn't end in 'itos'?" it read. As I drove past, I also caught a glimpse of the words "baby carrots."
After a bit of research online, I learned that Bugs' favorite treat is getting an extreme makeover. "An alliance of 50 carrot farmers is investing an initial $25 million" to market the crunchy snacks. A big-name advertising company is creating splashy billboards, TV, social media/online ads, and new packaging that will make carrots look like junk food. Plus, they plan carrot vending machines in schools. The push to make carrots the No. 1 snack in America isn't only about our waistlines. It's also about the bottom line: The farmers hope to double the $1 billion carrot market in the next couple of years or so, according to the Associated Press.
The carrots have a Facebook account, Twitter feed and a homepage, upon which they say:
"A BUNCH OF CARROT FARMERS™ is made up of, well, a bunch of carrot farmers. Our mission: To get folks to eat more carrots. Then get their friends to eat more carrots. Then get their friends' friends to eat more carrots. And so on and so forth, until carrots are the official favorite food of everyone, everywhere.
"Powerfully crunchy. Subtly sweet. Gloriously versatile. Mischievously addictive. Perfectly orange. What more could you possibly want in a food? Nothing...the answer is nothing.
"If you fancy yourself a loud and proud Carrot Farmer — whether your harvest yields one pound or one million — join the crusade to make carrots the most demanded and universally loved food on earth."
That leads me to some questions… Read More ›