Smart Snacking: Low-cost, Healthy Ways to Fuel Up Between Meals
By Margo McDonoughFor many of us, summer time means snack time. During the warm weather months, we’re out and about more, and less likely to have ready access to healthy foods. But whether we’re in the car, heading to the boat or beach, or at the ball field, cheering on our favorite center fielder, there’s no excuse for not eating right.
An order of fries at the drive-thru or ice cream cone at the ballpark can be tempting. But with a little advance planning, you can create tasty, low-cost snacks that are healthy ways to fuel up between meals.
Both of these snacks cost just pennies to prepare, in contrast to the pricey - and mostly unhealthy - items at convenience stores and concession stands. Some of the cheapest “grab-and-go” snacks are homemade cereal mixes and trail mixes. There are many healthy, no-cook recipes for trail mix and cereal mix on the Internet and in cookbooks. You can adapt them to your tastes. Substitute raisins for peanut chips. Use bran squares instead of wheat squares.”
Turkey Roll-ups Recipe
1, 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
¼ pound deli turkey, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped dried cranberries
2 tablespoons salsa
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 flour tortillas
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the cheese, turkey, cranberries, salsa and chili powder. Spread 1/2 cup mixture over each tortilla; roll up tightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Once firm, cut into 1-inch slices.
1 roll-up: 49 calories,
2 g fat (1 g saturated
fat), 7 mg
cholesterol, 117 mg
sodium, 4 g
carbohydrate, 1 g
fiber, 3 g protein.
Making trail or cereal mix together can be a great family activities. These are perfect cooking projects for kids because they’re easy and don’t involve the stove or oven.
Despite our best intentions, sometimes we forget to prepare snacks in advance. But whether heading across town to a soccer game or across the country on an airplane, it’s become easier to find healthy choices at fast food restaurants and convenience stores. In an airport look for low-fat yogurt or low-fat smoothies. Many convenience stores now stock cut-up vegetables and Dip and Fresh Fruit. Favorite pre-made snacks include natural applesauce cups; fruit cups packed in juice, not syrup; and string cheese.
Margo McDonough, Two Cent Tips Newsletter, University of Delaware Extension