Healthier Snacks

by Patti Chadwick


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'Try this "healthy snack" your kids will love'. Haven't we all heard this before. So we hurry up and make the snack, and your children give you a look and ask "what is that?"

There are a lot of well-meaning people out there who are very concerned with eating healthy. They eat whole grain everything and never add sugar to their diet. Sometimes I wish I could be more like them, but I have just come to accept the fact that I'm not.

My sister is a vegetarian and she does everything by the book. Her idea of having 'junk food' is popping corn and adding a touch of cold-pressed olive oil and sea salt. I admire her dedication and self-discipline when it comes to her chosen lifestyle and often I've tried to follow after her in many ways. But found that I just can't do it. I don't enjoy eating this way and neither does my family. Many times after serving up a "health food" meal, my kids will ask, "Did you talk to Aunt Nancy again?".

I'm still an advocate of healthy meals and snacks, but I also know that giving up sugar, white flour, butter, and meat won't work for my family. So I've come up with a few recipes for that are somewhere in between junk food and health food. I feel good that I have taken some positive steps toward better eating and knowing that my family is actually eating what I prepare!

Fruit Smoothie

While this recipe has some sugar in it and isn't made with 100% fruit juice, it still packs a powerful punch nutritionally. It's a great way for your family to eat fruit.

  • 2 cups of Welch's Strawberry Breeze (or store brand juice cocktail)
  • 2 bananas peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries (1/2 cup frozen strawberries with sugar)
  • 1/2 cup of peaches - fresh or canned (canned in heavy syrup is okay)
  • 1 apple, peeled and cut in chunks

Put juice in a blender and add fruit. Blend for 1 minute or until well blended and frothy. Serve cold.

Granola

While you can add dried fruit such as raisins and dates to this recipe, you are free to omit them if you don't care for them. My boys like this granola plain. It still is a good way to get your family to eat whole grain oats.

  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dates (optional)
  • 1 cup almonds (optional)

Mix all ingredients together. Spread thinly on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 t0 25 minutes at 325 degrees until lightly browned.
Do not let cool in the pan or you'll never get it out. Use a spatula to transfer granola to another container to let cool. Cover and store.
Yield: 3 cups.

Trail Mix

  • 2 cup of granola
  • 1/2 cup of small candy (like m & m's, nestle pieces, Reese's Pieces, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (your choice - cashews, peanuts, almonds...)
  • 1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (your choice - raisins, dates, pineapple, etc.)

Mix ingredients together and store in plastic bags. If you want to just mix together the granola and candy - that's okay too. You are still getting a whole grain as part of this delicious snack.


Patti Chadwick is a freelance writer and creator of History's Women, an online magazine and Free weekly ezine highlighting the extraordinary achievements of women throughout history. You can visit her site at www.historyswomen.com. You can contact Patti at Patti @historyswomen.com

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