In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- WhatвЂ™s in a Healthy Snack?
- Eyes on Portion Size
- Well-Timed Snacks
- Where to Snack?
- Healthy Even on the Go
Snacks get a bad rap. TheyвЂ™re blamed for everything from spoiling kidsвЂ™ dinners to childhood obesity. Yet healthy snacks actually play a crucial role in helping kids get the nutrition they need.
Snacks between meals can give kids an energy boost — keeping them alert and engaged in school, and providing enough fuel to be active. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends three meals and at least two snacks each day for younger kids. Older kids should get at least one snack in addition to three meals (or two snacks, if theyвЂ™re playing sports or going through a growth spurt).
Of course, you shouldnвЂ™t give your child total freedom to raid the kitchen between meals. Follow these simple guidelines so you know how to serve them well-balanced, healthy snacks:
WhatвЂ™s in a Healthy Snack?
Just like you put together breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that include several food groups — carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables — that nutrient balance is the goal for snacks, too. This approach can be especially helpful for picky eaters who might miss out on key nutrients at mealtimes.
Some well-rounded snacks to try:
- Carrot sticks (a carbohydrate and vegetable) with hummus (a protein and healthy fat)
- Banana or apple slices (carbs and fruit) with a spoonful of nut butter (protein and healthy fat)
- Whole-wheat pita (a carbohydrate) topped with tomato sauce (a veggie) and low-fat cheese (a healthy fat and protein) for a healthy take on pizza
- Greek yogurt (a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat) topped with fruit. (Or you can blend the two with some ice cubes to make a smoothie.)В В В В
What about cookies, chips, and other pre-packaged snacks? They may come in small containers, but theyвЂ™re usually full of sugar, salt, and empty calories. They wonвЂ™t fuel your kids for long.
Eyes on Portion Size
Healthy snacking isnвЂ™t just about what theyвЂ™re eating, but how much of it, too. After all, snacks should tide kids over until their next meal — not fill them up so much that theyвЂ™re not hungry for that meal.
To keep snacks to a reasonable size, donвЂ™t let your kids eat directly out of the box or bag — before they know it, they may eat the whole thing. Instead, measure out their snack into a bowl or plate.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following portion sizes for both snacks and meals:
- Kids ages 1 to 6: 1/4 cup cooked, frozen, or canned or 1/2 piece of fresh fruit
- Kids over 7: 1/3 cup cooked, frozen, or canned or 1 piece of fresh fruit
- Kids ages 1 to 3: 1/4 cup cooked
- Kids ages 4 to 6: 1/4 cup cooked or 1/2 cup salad
- Kids over 7: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup salad
- Kids ages 1 to 3: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/4 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta, 1/3 cup dry cereal, or 2-3 crackers
- Kids ages 4 to 6: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/3 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta, 1/2 cup dry cereal, or 3-4 crackers
- Kids over 7: 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta, 1 cup dry cereal, or 4-5 crackers
- Kids ages 1 to 3: 1 ounce of meat, fish, chicken, or tofu, 1/4 cup cooked beans, or 1/2 egg
- Kids ages 4 to 6: 1 ounce of meat, fish, chicken, or tofu, 1/3 cup cooked beans, or 1 egg
- Kids over 7: 2-3 ounces of meat, fish, chicken, or tofu, 1/2 cup cooked beans, or 1 or 2 eggs
- Kids ages 1 to 3: 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 ounce cheese, or 1/3 cup yogurt
- Kids ages 4 to 6: 1/2 cup milk, 1 ounce of cheese, or 1/2 cup yogurt
- Kids over 7: 1 cup milk, 1 ounce of cheese, or 1 cup yogurt
To avoid the kind of nonstop snacking that isnвЂ™t good for kids, itвЂ™s important to set snack times that make sense. Most experts agree that offering kids snacks 2 to 3 hours after one meal ends and about 1 to 2 hours before the next meal begins is ideal. If a child is allowed to have a snack right after lunch, for example, they might not be as motivated to eat the well-balanced meal on their plate. And letting them snack right before a meal means theyвЂ™ll be less hungry when they sit down to eat.
Where to Snack?
To avoid mindless munching, get your kids to eat their snacks in the kitchen. Not only will this help you monitor what (and how much) they have, but itвЂ™ll also keep them from eating while they watch TV or browse the Internet. Distractions make it easy for them to lose track of how much theyвЂ™re having and eat too much.В В
Healthy Even on the Go
Putting together a well-balanced snack at home is one thing; itвЂ™s a bigger challenge when your only options are drive-thrus or gas stations. A couple of good rules of thumb: Choose options with the most fiber (almost anything with veggies, fruit, and dairy such as cheese and low-sugar yogurt are good choices) and the least amount of processing (nix those pre-packaged cookies, cakes, and chips). This will give you the best shot at giving your kids a healthy snack — not one thatвЂ™s filled with empty calories.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: вЂњWhen Should My Kids Snack?вЂќ
American Academy of Pediatrics: вЂњPortions and Serving Sizes.вЂќ
All parents have seen their kids come running to them from school or sports practices looking for something to eat. This is a crucial time to teach healthy snacking habits to your kids, and even a few basic cooking skills if they are a bit older. Here are some ways to make sure your children have a healthy snacking habit.
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Kids have smaller stomachs and can get hungrier quite a few times in the day. They normally tend to eat smaller portions more often. You do not need to worry as this is a common trend among children and is perfectly healthy. This also teaches them how to incorporate healthy eating habits on a daily basis. If the kids are aware of the fact that snacking is allowed, they will eat just until they are no longer stuffed and judge when they eat by when they actually feel hungry. You should also keep healthy choices close to you. When the kid is hungry, he/she will search the closet as it is an instinctive choice. Allow healthy snacking by keeping healthy food close to your kids’ reach, which is easily accessible to him/her when the need arises.
Keep things simple
Most children love an easy snack that they can just take and go wherever they want. Keep fresh cut-up fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. The children can then grab them whenever they want without having to wash the snack first, peeling and asking the parents for help. Moreover, all the kids accept that things seem more attractive with the option of a dipping sauce. This is also a good way to get different food groups within a small snack. For example, you can give the kid cut-up veggies with some hummus or ranch dip, apples with peanut butter or graham crackers with yogurt.
Choose the whole grain options
Whenever possible, keep things whole grain. This will provide more nutrients to your kid, and will also make them feel fuller for a long while and as a result, they will not ask for snacks a lot. Also, buy fascinating and different nuts and fruits from the supermarket. Take your kid with you to the grocery store and make them choose a new fruit or any other healthy food. This will make them more excited about experimenting with new foods and they may even find a new favourite snack to eat.
If supermarket shopping for healthy food products has you foxed, then we’re here to help.
We agree that shopping for groceries is far tougher than it looks. Yes, you have a wide range of products to choose from, but are you making healthy choices? How do you judge if the packaged food is healthy and will not spike your blood sugar level or tip your blood pressure to the extreme? There are a few points you can add to your check list, don’t worry it doesn’t involve remembering tongue twister names. Here’s how you can select healthy snacks next time you go grocery shopping to the supermarket.
How to select healthy snacks from supermarkets:
-Look for products that lists out ingredients you can pronounce. Believer it or not, the more complex the name, the more processed it is.
-Choose products with minimum amount of sodium.
-Whole grain products should contain at least 2 grams fiber in each serving.
-Opt for products with least amount of ingredients – this especially includes preservatives, artificial flavouring and colouring, high amount of sodium, and artificial sweetners.
-Another rule of thumb – the first ingredient on the food label is used in large quantities, for example, cookies contain – sugar, flour, dry fruits. This implies that these cookies have higher content of sugar than any other ingredient.
-Avoid products that mention fat and sugar as the first three ingredients.
-Avoid products with brominated vegetable oil, fructose corn syrup, shortening, fat substitutes, monosodium glutamate and emulsifiers.
-Completely avoid products with hydrogenated fat; it is bad for heart patients and for everyone else as well.
-Always opt for fresh products.
Now that we have broken down the rules on how to select healthy snacks from supermarkets, we hope your next visit will help you choose healthy fresh products. Healthy living is an option, the choice is yours.
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We all know it. We should be constantly slicing up fresh fruit for our kids, or baking nutritious snacks for them out of sweet potato and quinoa. But let’s admit it.
Sometimes we just don’t have the time.
Anna Debenham and Alex Parker of The Biting Truth, accredited practising dietitians, say parents shouldn’t ever feel guilty about having to resort to packaged snacks.
“Obviously, as dietitians, we’re always going to recommend people make their own snacks as much as possible and use wholesome fresh ingredients like fruit and vegetables and dairy,” Debenham tells Mamamia. “However, we’re also realistic and obviously everyone’s really busy.
“There are packaged snack options for kids in the supermarket that are healthy options.”
Parker says parents should look for snacks that offer nutritional benefits, in terms of fibre, calcium, protein and wholegrains. She suggests having a read of the ingredients.
“Ideally, the ingredient list should be quite short, and they should be able to recognise most of the ingredients on that list.”
She says portion size is also important.
“We know from the stats that Aussie kids are already eating too much. The recommendation is that a snack should be less than 600kj.”
Debenham adds that parents should be aware that not everything stocked in the health food aisle is actually healthy.
“There are a lot of food and snacks in that aisle that are marketed as being a healthier option, but when it comes down to it, they’re not at all.”
Here are five snacks that Debenham and Parker say are a “good option” to have in the pantry or fridge for when you’re short of time.
1. The Happy Snack Company’s roasted chickpeas and fava beans.
“They’re in the portion-controlled packets and they’re low in sodium, which is really important when it comes to savoury snacks. They’re also really high in fibre. It’s a really good way to get legumes into kids’ diets, and they’re still quite crunchy and tasty.”
Jump to Contents
Snacks are eat-in spare time as the name hints. But with the modernization of daily life, snacks are also known as “Junk” foods. In fact, there are many kinds of snacks. The key is how to choose them and how to eat them properly. Here is a little advice for you to choose healthy snacks. I hope it will help you.
Types of snacks
- Stir-fried nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, melon seeds, almonds, etc
- Dried fruits, such as raisins, dried apples, dried kiwifruit, dried dates, etc., as well as preserved fruits, candied fruits, plum, etc. which are nominally made from various dried fruits.
- Puffed fried, such as potato chips, shrimp chips, popcorn, fried rice, instant noodles, onion rolls, etc.
- Drinks, such as sweet drinks, cola, sesame paste, oatmeal, lotus root powder, milk, yoghurt, soymilk, etc
- Natural fruits and vegetables, such as apples, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc
How to choose healthy snacks
Try to choose the original flavor of nuts
Today’s nuts are made into a variety of flavors. The reason for choosing the original flavor is that other flavors will be added with sugar and salt. That will add extra calories, and it is not suitable to cultivate light flavors. Moreover, the flavor of all kinds of nuts may be added with sugar and salt in order to cover their taste.
Choose natural fruits with less additives
So what is natural? Natural fruits are made by natural drying without adding other additives. For example, many salt, sugar, potassium sorbate, and other additives are added to preserved fruits and preserves. Also, the original quality is hard to detect. You can check at the nutrition label of some package of plum. Some of there the content of sodium is about 10 times higher than the recommended amount.
When you choose these dried fruits in the supermarket, you have to consider some matters. If there is a package, you’d better look at the food ingredient list and nutrition label on the back. Less additives in the ingredient list there, the better choice. As for the nutrition label, the dried fruits mainly look at their sodium content.
Direct pass for puffed fried products.
Of course, when you are very hungry, and there is no other food to replace you, you can choose a bag of instant noodles. At this time, you don’t need to think about your health first. Your hungry is very important, and you can have a meal. Next time, you can prepare some healthy snacks at home in advance for the unexpected.
For beverage preparation, select those with less additives (direct pass for sweet drinks)
Here we mainly talk about the choice of oatmeal. When purchasing, we must carefully look at the list of ingredients at the back. Some oatmeal ingredients are ranked at the second or even the third place on the list, which are not optional. The best choice is oatmeal ranked first, and there is no other added.
When choosing, yogurt, soymilk, oatmeal, lotus root starch, etc. are all good choices.
Natural fruits can be chosen at will as long as they are safe
When eating healthy snacks
First of all, nuts are fried. These kinds of snacks contain a lot of vitamin E, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, dietary fibre, etc.. But the only deficiency is the large oil. It is recommended to eat a handful of nuts (controlled at 25g) in a day. It is better to eat them at breakfast or half to an hour after breakfast because working in the morning will consume brain power and certain physical strength. These nuts can be used as a supplement and will not cause energy accumulation
Other kinds of healthy snacks are the same amount. Do not affect the dinner as much as possible. Because no matter how good these snacks are, they can not make up for and replace the nutrition of vegetables and other grains in the dinner. Eating more is easy to cause obesity.
If you want to stay up late at night, it is recommended to eat some snacks with strong satiety. Such as a cup of soymilk or oatmeal plus one or two pieces of whole wheat bread or fruit.
Matters needing attention to healthy snacks
When choosing packaged snacks, pay attention to the ingredients list and nutrition label.
Although snacks are good, the amount of snacks should be moderate. Do not affect the intake of meals. If you eat too many snacks, the number of meals should be reduced appropriately.
The best choice for snacks is the original flavor.
We all know that kids need to eat a variety of fresh foods to be healthy. Great. We also know that packing a lunchbox with fresh food can be challenging at times. It might be a Monday morning emergency when the fridge is empty and the fruit bowl only contains one limp looking banana. Or perhaps you’ve got a super fussy child who only likes plain, white, crispy foods. Or perhaps you just don’t have a lot of time, but the canteen is closed that day. Whatever your reason, sometimes you just need the convenience of a healthy pre-packaged snack to pack in the lunchbox. So, what to choose?
It’s not always easy to pick a healthy pre-packaged snack. The information on the front of the packet is confusing at best, and sometimes it can feel like you need Sherlock Holmes skills to interpret the nutrition information.
So many parents have told me how overwhelmed they are by choosing snack options for lunchboxes. That’s essentially why I started my weekly ‘Chewsday Reviews’. Each week I let you know what I like and don’t like about a different food that kids often eat, and what I recommend instead. You can follow along, and submit your own requests, for reviews of packaged food products for kids!
Four tips for choosing pre-packaged snacks
As a dietitian, I’d always recommend fruit or vegetables as a first option for lunchbox fillers. But, in real life I know that this can sometimes be challenging. So here are my top tips for choosing an ok pre-packaged snack option for your child’s lunchbox.
1. Treat the ‘health food’ aisle with a high level of suspicion.
Most of the foods I’ve reviewed from this part of the supermarket are nothing but expensive junk foods. You can read two examples here and here.
2. There’s never going to be a perfectly healthy pre-packaged snack
It’s impossible compete with the nutritional content of fruit or veggies. But, you can find healthy pre-packaged snack foods which are nutritionally better than others. You just have to weigh up the ingredients and the nutritional content to work out which one is best for your family.
I like to look for:
- saturated fat content of less than 3g/100g
- a sugar content of less than 15g/100g
- sodium content of less than 420mg/100g
- a source of fibre or calcium
3. Consider adding a fruit, vegetable or dairy component to your healthy pre-packaged snack foods
This might be some cheese to go with the crackers, some fruit to mix with the yoghurt or a side of veggie sticks with the chips/wholegrain bites. This will boost the overall nutritional content of your snack (and take the pressure off you having to serve lots of these foods at mealtimes).
4. You pay for convenience.
The smaller the packs, the more you pay. Where possible, try to buy bigger tub/packet/containers of your healthy pre-packaged snack foods and decant into your own preferred packaging.
The following snack foods are those I quite like (or at least don’t thoroughly dislike!) Remember, they’re not perfect, and they’re not necessarily an everyday food- but they’re a good option to have on hand in a snackmergency! These are reviews I’ve done to date, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to request a Chewsday Review of your favourite snack food!
Dr Kyla Smith the author of this post. She is a Paediatric Dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and sign up for her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on her Instagram Page. You can also email her.
Out and about on WW
Have you recently joined WW, or are you thinking about signing up?
Once you’ve been on the programme for a few weeks, you may find that eating healthily at home becomes second nature. With a bit of advance planning, you can start stocking your fridge and cupboards with ZeroPoint™ foods and SmartPoints®-friendly ingredients, ensuring you have everything you need to make healthy meals and snacks.
But what if you’re out and about? With processed food and unhealthy options around every corner, going into town or out for the day can prove tricky when you’re on a healthy living programme. When hunger strikes, how can you guarantee you’ll stay on track?
As with meal planning, supermarket shopping and cooking at home, the key is being prepared. How long will you be out for? If you’re likely to need a full meal during that time, the WW app contains SmartPoints values for meals at popular restaurants, including McDonald’s, Starbucks and Nando’s. The flexibility of the WW programme means you can still enjoy a meal out, including fast food if you’re on the go!
If you’ll only be out for a few hours, why not prepare some snacks that will keep hunger at bay and fit snugly within your SmartPoints Budget? Scroll down to read our smart snacking guide.
Smart snacking guide
Let’s talk about snacks. Often, they’re a source of delight in our day: a little something to break up the morning or get us through the afternoon. You might think of them as a treat, but snacks have an important role to play in keeping you healthy and energised.
“Healthy snacking can improve your health, manage your hunger, assist with weight management, regulate your mood and give you energy to keep going throughout the day,” explains dietitian Alex Parker from The Biting Truth. “Snacking is also an opportunity to sneak in nutrient-rich foods like fruit and vegetables.”
Not all snacks are created equal, though – poor snack choices can impact your healthy habits and weight loss efforts and leave you even hungrier. Want to know how to get those small bites right? Follow this guide for a strong snacking game.
Look at your options
The challenge with snacking? It’s all too easy to make unhealthy choices. Crisps, biscuits and chocolate bars are tempting when you’re hungry and even snacks that look like they’re a healthier option, such as energy bars and muffins, can be high in SmartPoints®, added sugars and saturated fat.
“Sneaky marketing and misleading labels can sometimes mean that junk foods are marketed as healthy snacks,” says Parker. “Always check the ingredients list of packaged foods and look for products with few ingredients and ingredients that you recognise, rather than numbers or words you can’t pronounce.”
Another common trap is portion size – snacks don’t need to be as big as a meal. “A good guide is to keep your snack to around 150 calories,” says Parker.
Know your needs
Whether or not you snack is totally up to you. But as a general rule, eating every three to four hours is smart as it can help to stabilise blood sugar levels and maintain your energy, notes dietitian Rachel Scoular, founder of Instagram account @healthyhappyhabits. “Often that looks like breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner,” she says. “If you rise early or exercise first thing, you’re probably looking at a morning snack too.”
The key to a healthy snack is simple: prioritise protein and fibre. “Protein and fibre take longer to digest and break down, helping you feel fuller for longer,” explains Scoular. “And, when choosing snacks, think about how they’ll help you reach your daily targets of two serves of fruit, five serves of veggies and two-and-a-half serves of dairy. That way you aren’t eating empty calories.”
Delicious snacks that fit the brief include veggie sticks with hummus, low-fat cheese on wholegrain crackers, strawberries dipped in natural yoghurt, a portion of air-popped popcorn sprinkled with cinnamon, a pack of our salt & vinegar chickpeas, plain fat-free yoghurt with a piece of fruit, or a small handful of raw nuts.
Snack smart tips
There are plenty of ways to ensure you have healthy snack choices on hand when hunger strikes. Try these strategies:
1. Prep it. If you have spare time during the week, use it to whip up a batch of carrot cake snack bites (1SP per portion), boil some eggs, or slice veggies such as carrot, red pepper and cucumber and store in airtight containers in the fridge. Pop them on the top shelf so they’re the first thing you see!
2. Portion it out. Get in the habit of portioning out snacks, whether you’re at work or home. “Rather than keeping a large bag of nuts in your drawer at work, portion out 30g into zip-lock bags to help prevent overeating,” suggests Parker. Write the SmartPoints on the bag for easy tracking.
3. Stock up. Stash healthy options in your handbag or desk so you don’t turn to the vending machine. Try mini packs of natural popcorn, wholegrain crackers and nut butter, or bulk buy healthy snacks from the WW Shop.
4. Head to the supermarket. Caught out on the go? “The supermarket has your back,” says Scoular. “Fresh fruit and a tub of yoghurt, sliced cheese or a tin of tuna are easily found.” Keep a spoon or fork in your handbag and you’ll be good to go!
5. Stay hydrated. Sometimes thirst registers as hunger, so try to always carry a bottle of water and sip regularly to ensure you’re properly hydrated. Check out this WW Water Tracking Bottle with handy markers to stay on top of your hydration.
WW members share their snacking tips
“I just reach for a banana. They are magic!” Jenny Currie
“I make apple and cheese ‘sandwiches’ from apple slices and cheese.” Carmen Gibson (Top tip: Try WW reduced fat sliced cheese for a super SmartPoints-friendly snack, available at your local Asda, Tesco and Morrisons.)
“Planning is the key. I divide my snacks into individual bags and take some with me when I’m going out. Just in case I’m away longer than I think… Then I always have something on hand and know its SmartPoints value.” Ann Leaman
You probably know by now that it is smart to have some snacks with you when you are following the low FODMAP diet or that it is smart to bake a snack at home, so you have something healthy to take with you to work. On my blog, you find lots of inspiration for that, such as my blogs with 80+ low FODMAP snacks for every day, freezer-friendly low FODMAP snacks and 26 healthy snacks. In real life it just doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes you are on the way to work and you suddenly feel like having a snack. Or you forgot to take a snack with you to work and you go out in your break to buy yourself something to snack on. Which choices do you have when you want to buy a quick snack in the supermarket? What are low FODMAP snacks to buy in the supermarket?
In this blog post, I have collected sweet and savoury snacks, healthy snacks and less healthy snacks, so that you can find something for every moment!
Sweet low FODMAP snacks from the supermarket
- Low FODMAP fruit, such as an unripe banana, an orange, mandarines, grapes or strawberries.
- Rice cakes with a dark or milk chocolate topping.Rice cakes are low FODMAP up to 30 g per serving, so take a maximum of two cakes per serving.
- TREK protein bars. Not all flavours are low FODMAP, so check the label. The flavours cacoa oat, cacoa coconut and a few more are low FODMAP. Available in supermarkets in the UK and in the US through Amazon. The flavours cacoa oat, cacoa coconut are low FODMAP. The bars contain a little bit of soy flour. Soy flour is high in FODMAPs in amounts of 50 g or more, as these bars contain only a little bit of soy flour they are safe.
- Nairns biscuit breaks. The flavours oats grahams and oats, chocolate & coconut are low FODMAP. Available in supermarkets in the UK and in the US through Amazon.
- FODY dark chocolate nuts & seasalt bars and Almond and coconut bars. These bars might not be so easy to find in a supermarket (they are sold in some supermarkets in the US), but they are handy to order online in the US or UK webshop if you want to stock up on ready-made low FODMAP bars.
- Schär digestive biscuits.Available in the UK and several other European countries.
- A package of sweet popcorn. If you prefer popcorn with a flavour, make sure to check that no high FODMAp ingredients have been added.
- 20 g milk chocolate*
- 20 g white chocolate*
- 30 g dark chocolate**
*These are the low FODMAP servings for milk and white chocolate. Most people with a lactose intolerance should tolerate these amounts without problems. If you are very sensitive to lactose, this might be too much for you. Test your own tolerance level to know what you can and can’t tolerate. If you choose chocolate with extra ingredients, make sure that no high FODMAP ingredient have been added.
**Be careful with very dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the more fibres it contain and this can give problems for people with IBS.
Savoury low FODMAP snacks from the supermarket
- Low FODMAP snack vegetables, such as small tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper or carrot.
- A handful of peanuts.
- 40 g macadamia nuts. 40 g macadamia nuts is a low FODMAP portion, you can also take a bit less, if you prefer.
- 30 g walnuts.
- 30 g pecan nuts.
- Lactose-free yoghurt. If you buy low FODMAP yoghurt with a flavour, make sure only low FODMAP fruits have been used and no high FODMAP ingredients have been added.
- A package of salted popcorn.
- A small bag of plain potato chips or plain nacho chips.
- Gluten-free pretzels.
I hope that I have given you some inspiration for quick low FODMAP snacks! Do you have tips for low FODMAP snacks from the supermarket? Let me know in the comments below!
This blog is a part of the FODMAP kickstart challenge. Read more about the challenge here and join in january and february!
This blog contains affiliate links. To read more about what affiliate links are and why I use them, check my affiliate disclaimer.
Together we go for a calm belly!
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It’s 3 p.m., you’re on the go or at work and you suddenly get peckish. Time to nip into the supermarket for bikkies, chips and chocolate bars, right? Not necessarily.
“Foods which are high in sugar, preservatives and fats (particularly the unhealthy, processed fats) are the things I recommend to reduce,” accredited practising dietician Chloe McLeod told The Huffington Post Australia.
While many of us might think shopping for healthy store-bought snacks is a hopeless task, it is possible.
“Check the food labels and ingredients — it’s always going to come back to that,” McLeod said. “It’s always worthwhile checking so you know you’re making a healthier choice.”
“Look for foods that are high in fibre, low in added sugars, low in salt and contain an appropriate amount of natural sugars.”
Basic guidelines to go by are:
Sugar — less than 10 grams per 100 grams (for a product without fruit) or 20 grams per 100 grams (for a product with fruit)
Sodium — less than 400 mg per 100 grams (a low sodium product is considered less than 120 mg per 100 grams)
One great tip to follow when shopping for healthy store-bought snacks: stay away from the middle aisles.
“The middle aisles are where you’ll find the more processed foods, like soft drinks, biscuits, chips and lollies,” McLeod said.
“Spend a bit more time around the edges of the supermarket — that usually tends to be where the healthier things are.”
McLeod advises to look for snacks that are as natural and fresh with as little processing as possible.
“So fresh vegetables, fruit, natural nuts and seeds are going to be the best choice,” McLeod said.
However, for someone who is craving chocolate, carrots and apples might not seem too appealing. Plus, depending on the supermarket or convenience store, you might not have much fresh variety to choose from.
“Obviously fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t going to be the most convenient or possible, so having some packaged snacks on hand is always a good idea,” McLeod said.
Getting into the habit of checking food labels is key to making healthy food choices.
If you can’t resist, instead of choosing salty chips and chocolate, opt to buy these snacks at the supermarket. They are still delicious and will keep us full for longer (and consequently, help to maintain a healthy weight).
“The yogurts I recommend are the unflavoured yogurts,” McLeod said. “Chobani or Farmers Union are great options and come in small tubs.”
“If you’re getting a flavoured one, the flavoured Chobani yogurts tend to be really good,” McLeod said. “They’re a lot lower in sugar than many of the other brands — most of their flavoured ones are around 12 grams per 100 grams.”
Dry roasted beans
“Another great option are dry roasted chickpeas and fava beans,” McLeod said.
“There’s more of these on the market now and they make a really great, filling, high-fibre snack, which is also quite low in kilojoules.”
Muesli bars are more often than not full of added sugar and preservatives, but there are some great products amidst the crowded muesli bar section.
“If you’re looking for bars, I suggest the Uncle Toby’s Farmer’s Pick muesli bars, Goodness Superfoods’ Better For U! bars, or some of the low sugar Carman’s bars,” McLeod said.
Popcorn has been given a pretty bad rap due to its high salt and fat content — but that’s not to say every type is unhealthy.
“Air popped popcorn would be a great option,” McLeod said.
Another healthy popcorn option is Cob’s Sea Salt popcorn from their Natural Range.
The chia pudding in Chia Pods is a great source of healthy fats, fibre and protein, while being dairy, gluten and preservative free.
“Chia Pods are another great option — you could definitely grab those,” McLeod said.
Hummus with crackers or veggie sticks
Hummus is a healthy snack that helps keep you full due to its high protein and fibre content.
“You can get little packs of hummus with veggie sticks or rice crackers in some supermarkets,” McLeod said. “There has started to be some really good, less processed options around that are coming already portioned for you.”
Otherwise, McLeod recommends buying some Vita-Weats and a small tub of hummus to dip into.
Semi-healthy store-bought snacks
While these snacks are still healthier than your average junk food snacks, McLeod recommends watching the portion size as they can be higher in sugar and contain processed ingredients.
Date and cacao bars
“Dates are good for you but they are very high in sugar,” McLeod said. “So a lot of products that are made with dates can be too sugary — just check the sugar content of those date bars.”
Even if the product contains the recommended 20 grams of sugar (for a product with fruit) per 100 grams, McLeod suggests aiming for lower.
“Because that’s still 20 percent sugar, which is quite high,” McLeod said.
On-the-go cheese and crackers
These go into the semi-healthy category as the crackers are typically highly processed and made from refined flour.
“I recommend them in some instances — say, if you’re on a road trip and you’ve stopped at the service station and there’s not much else,” McLeod said.
“The crackers aren’t usually the best but having it in that small portion like it is, you’re likely to not eat more than one packet.
“So they can be a very useful snack, but using a wholegrain cracker with the cheese is better.”
They’re hot, they’re spicy, incredibly moreish and, turns out, they’re a good snack, too.
“They can potentially be high in salt so check the label, but they tend to be a pretty good option,” McLeod said. “If it’s just a handful it should be okay.”
Healthy Snacks At The Supermarket
What Are Healthy Foods?
If you think about the types of foods people ate before supermarkets were invented, you would have a good idea of what consists of healthy foods.
Basic, non-processed foods are perfect healthy snacks.
The best way to find out what is healthy to eat and what is not when you when you are shopping at the grocery store is to look at the nutrition label.
The more ingredients it consists of, the less healthy it will be. Also, steer clear of anything that contains ingredients that you have never heard of.
Most likely it is some sort of unhealthy, processed ingredient.
Look for ingredient lists that contain as few ingredients as possible. Usually the product will consist of the most basic, unprocessed ingredients.
If you go to the produce section, you will not see ingredient lists, since these foods are at their most basic, raw form. Keep reading to find other ways to get healthy.
Healthy Homemade Snacks
What are good things to eat? Buy things like whole wheat flour, unprocessed oats, dried fruit and spices that you like. You can find them in the baking aisle.
They are usually inexpensive and you can make tons of healthy, homemade snacks with them.
Some great ideas for healthy homemade snack foods are: Banana bread, oatmeal-raisin cookies, granola, smoothies and trail mix.
If stored in the refrigerator, these foods will usually keep for up to two weeks.
String Cheese: Convenient And Healthy!
Healthy Snacks: Dairy Products
You can find some great, healthy and filling snacks in the dairy department. Yogurt and cheese are great options.
When looking at cheese, find cheeses that are low in sodium. Eat small amounts when you do snack on cheese since they contain fat.
If you are lactose intolerant, try to find an aged cheese. The longer the cheese has aged, the easier it will be on your digestive system.
String cheese is a great to-go option since they are individually wrapped. Babybel cheese is another mild cheese that is individually wrapped.
Yogurt is another great option. Try to look for yogurts that are low in sugar. Normally, if it has a flavor, it will also have a lot of sugar in it.
You could buy plain yogurt and add fresh, cut-up fruit to add your own flavor with a lot less sugar.
Greek yogurt is a great, healthy snack. It’s higher in protein than regular yogurt since it is more dense (less water). You get more bang for the buck!
Find Fresh Fruits And Vegetables At Farmers Markets
Healthy Snacks: Fruit and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are the least expensive and best snacks in the grocery store. There are tons of different varieties and lots of different ways to eat them.
You could eat them raw, bake them or dry them. Try to choose produce in as many colors as possible. Each color represents different vitamins and minerals.
For instance, orange-colored fruits (oranges) and vegetables (sweet potatoes) are high in Vitamin C. Dark Green fruits and vegetables (kale and spinach) are high in Iron.
Fruit can be eaten raw for the most convenience. Bananas are great on-the-go snacks since they are already wrapped in their own peels. Even individual-sized, cut-up fruit is a wonderful idea for a healthy snack.
Vegetables can be sliced up and dipped in sauce. Cherry tomatoes can even be eaten on the go.
Just make sure you wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them if you can.
Snack Foods To Stay Away From
Stay away from any processed foods that contain long ingredient lists with ingredients that are hard to pronounce or you have never heard of.
Ingredient lists begin with the ingredient that is found in the largest amounts and as you get toward the end of the ingredient lists, you will see the ingredients that are minimally contained in the product.
Steer clear of anything that contains MSG’s, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings or high sugar or salt content.
A product might look healthy, but when you look at the ingredient list, you will sometimes find these nutritional no-no’s.
You can actually find some original, basic foods that are healthier than their heavily advertised counterparts.
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You won’t miss potato chips with these yummy options.
Picking a healthy store-bought snack can be confusing, especially when you see phrases like “non-GMO,” “keto-friendly,” and “gluten-free” on the package. Luckily, we’re here to help you make a healthy snacks list, with help from Beth Stark, a Pennsylvania-based registered dietitian nutritionist. The good news: most snacks come with a built-in cheat sheet —the nutrition label — that will help guide you to a nutritious snack rather than one that’s one step away from a candy bar.
Stark recommends paying special attention to the added sugar, sodium, and protein content of any snack you’re considering.
Go for snacks that have no more than 5 grams of added sugar (not to be confused with the naturally occurring sugar contained in fruit and dairy) and keep in mind the recommended daily limit of 25 grams or less of added sugar for women and 36 grams for men. To identify added sugar, look for words like dextrose, maltose, rice syrup, agave nectar, and high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list. Thanks to a new rule from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all nutrition labels will list added sugars by 2020 (to see a side-by-side comparison of the old label vs the new one, click here).
As for sodium, look for snacks that contain 480 milligrams or less. Most people should cap daily intake at 2,300 milligrams.
Once you’ve looked at the sugar and sodium, you’ll want to check for protein, which will help keep you full. “You’ll want to pick snacks like nuts and seeds that are a great source of plant-based protein, and fruit, which is high in fiber,” Stark says.
Check out the healthy store-bought snacks Stark recommends and even buys for her family.
Which products should you pack in their lunchbox and which should be left on the shelf?
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School lunch hits and misses
We give you the lowdown on which lunchbox products are worth putting in your child’s lunchbox and which ones should be left on the shelf.
- Pre-packaged processed snacks
- Cereal and muesli snack bars
- Squeezy yoghurts
- Fruit drinks
- ‘Canteen approved’ logos
- Finding the right balance and lunchbox tips
Pre-packaged processed snacks
You don’t have to look far at the supermarket to find all kinds of pre-packaged processed foods claiming to be great for school lunchboxes, but not all lunchbox snacks are equal.
When we rated more than 200 processed snacks, we found that most of them left a lot to be desired. However, a few did make the grade.
- Kids’ lunchbox snacks – how do processed foods for school-age kids stack up?
Cereal and muesli snack bars
Muesli bars tend to have a healthy image – after all what’s not to like about a bar full of wholegrains and dried fruit? But bars are often loaded with sugars (to hold them together) and fat (to make them taste good). And of course if your school has a nut-free policy, many of the bars you can buy aren’t suitable for lunchboxes.
So we scoured the supermarket shelves to find lunchbox-friendly options, then compared them nutritionally.
- Snack bars – we compare 95 nut-free bars to find the healthiest options for your kids’ lunchbox.
- Plus, we asked the public to taste-test 11 popular muesli bars.
Yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium, and squeezy pouches of yoghurt are a lunchbox favourite. But are they healthy? We took a closer look at 38 different squeezy yoghurts to see if they live up to the on-pack claims.
- Squeezy yoghurts – 5 things you should know.
Crackers are often a lunch box go-to as a savoury recess snack with a topping or some cheese on the side. But while crackers are convenient for school, our research finds that not all crackers are equal when it comes to nutrition.
We recently compared the health star rating of crackers from brands including Arnott’s, Sakata, Sun Rice, Coles, Woolworths and more, and discovered that while some brands received a five-star rating, many others were no healthier than a packet of chips.
- Savoury cracker reviews – we compare more than 300 types of crackers to find which are the healthiest, and which deliver more salt and fat than any kid needs in a day.
While many kids adore fruit juice (despite water being the best drink for them) there are hundreds of brands out there and some are far healthier than others. We reviewed fruit juice poppers, so if your child is hankering for a popper in their lunchbox from time to time, see our list of the best buys on the market.
- Fruit juice popper reviews – we compare 100 drinks from brands such as Berri, Pop Top, Prima and Extra Juicy.
‘Canteen approved’ logos
A swathe of ‘school canteen approved’ and ‘meets school canteen guidelines’ claims and logos have found their way onto the packs of certain snacks sold in supermarkets, most making reference to the National Healthy School Canteens Guidelines and/or at least one of the state-based canteen guidelines.
- ‘School canteen approved’ kids’ snacks – how food companies give supermarket snack foods a health halo by creating their own canteen-approved labels.
Finding the right balance
It’s unrealistic to expect to pack the perfect lunchbox for your child every day, but we’ve put together a guideline of what’s important and what you should aim for in the mix.
- What makes a healthy lunch? – pass the school lunchbox test with our easy, healthy food suggestions.
- Kids in Australia typically start the school year at the hottest time of the year so food safety is a top priority. Keep things cool by using an insulated lunchbox or bag.
- Pack a frozen drink (the best choice is water) and pack it in with the food to help keep it cool until lunchtime, especially for yoghurts, cheese, meats or salad.
- The freezer is your friend – if you pre-make your child’s lunches pop them in the freezer until it’s time to pack them into the school bag. Bread, cheese, vegemite and meats such as ham all freeze beautifully.
- When the lunchbox comes home (hopefully empty), be sure to wash and dry it carefully, and turf out any cracked or broken boxes and water bottles.
- Many schools now have a policy of banning nuts and nut-based foods due to children with allergies. Be sure to familiarise yourself with your school’s policy and learn to read food labels if you’re buying lunchbox snacks.
- Little kids starting school often struggle with unfamiliar lunchboxes and tricky packaging. If you have a new school starter make sure they get some practice opening their shiny new lunchbox before their first day. And if you do include packaged food, consider opening it for them beforehand. Not only will this ensure your child won’t starve, but thousands of kindergarten teachers across the land will thank you.
Supermarkets may have made our life easy with everything available under one roof. But these supermarkets have sneaky ways to make sure that you purchase a lot. They trick you to fall into the ‘SALE’ trap just to keep their goods moving. Supermarket companies decide which products to promote and when. What many of us fail to remember is when we purchase from the supermarket, we are usually buying products that have been obtained in bulk to be resold and have travelled quite a distance.
Supermarkets and Hyper Bazaars are like the giants that may show the glossy picture, but in reality, they are just making a hole in your pocket. Most of the packaged goods may look attractive, but lack nutrients and flavors. We often base our purchases on appearances, price or by merely by its smell. But we feel robbed when we get home and unpack our grocery bags. A mindful shopper will tackle this with useful technique and would be a smart and healthy shopper while saving money in the process.
1. Allocate a fixed amount of cash and do not use cards
When a shopper has a set list and a fixed budget, it is always good to pay with money. You would purchase only those products that you require. You tend to buy fewer processed food and, more nutritious ones. You are inclined to go overboard while paying with the card. It is, in fact, a universal truth that while using an abstract model of payment a person usually goes beyond the set limit.
2. Buy the right product in the right season
Plan your meal according to the fresh fruits and vegetables available during that season. Try to avoid canned or processed vegetables. The newer the product, it would taste better and is healthier since there are no preservatives added. For example, apples may be available year-round but are best and cheap from October to January. Similarly different varieties are eaten only during summer season. Don’t go for canned mango slices which are high in processed sugar, during the winters.
3. Plan ahead
Just like the way we plan out trips, plan your visit to the supermarket too. Make a homework of what items you are in need before you leave home and stay focused. It is a time and cost-effective approach to not browse the aisles but move directly to the aisle you want to pick your items from. Another good strategy is to buy in bulk. Remember to buy goods in bulk that you use regularly. For example tissue paper is something you use all around the year, so buying it in bulk will help you save some bucks.
4. Read before you put it in your cart
Apart from the fresh produce, all the packaged food and beverages have an ingredient statement. As a rule of the thumb, the ingredient in higher proportion is listed first and so on. Make sure you read what ingredients your products contain and if its good for your body or not.
Especially shampoos and conditioners are known to have a long list of ingredients, and you may not be aware of them. Under the name of “ fragrances ,” these companies hide hundreds of ingredients used in the product. So, it is good to have at least a basic knowledge of the ingredients that are toxic to your body. Example, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate found in most of the conditioners these days is a definite NO, NO to your hair. It’s better to stay away from it.
Apart from ingredients, it is essential to note the date of expiry or validity date for your product. Some supermarkets even paste a new validity date over the expired period. So you better be safe.
5. Inquire about the purchase day
Most supermarkets have a fixed day on which their fresh farm products come in. Keep in mind, that you visit the store on the same day or next to get the best and new produce before it vanishes from the aisles.
6. Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry
An empty stomach makes you purchase more. You might pick that food which is of no use. When you are hungry, you might become irrational. You have just food on your mind! Sometimes a shopper may only purchase instant food that is packed with calories and has no nutritional benefit. Hence it is a poor choice to go shopping on an empty stomach.
7. Touch, smell and look before you purchase
This habit goes for all the veggies and fruits we buy regularly. While picking out the best food for your home, make sure you touch, smell and look them. Check if the greens aren’t spoiled from the inside. Fruits and vegetables, in general, must be firm but not too firm. They should be of appropriate size; not too big nor too small. Try to avoid hybrid produce and wash your vegetables thoroughly before you cook them. Sadly, the food we eat today passes through a lot of chemical processing. Embracing as many natural goods as possible is a healthier choice.
8. Check the expiry date
We briefly mentioned the validity dates above. The sad truth is that supermarkets stack most the perishable items reachable and right up front, and those who have more extended expiration date sits in the back. You need to check the expiration date before you put them in the cart.
9. The in-house bakery and free samples are an eye-wash
The in-house bakery items do not hold calorie count. They do more harm than good if you are watching your weight and want to stay away from sugar. Sometimes even the junk food may appear gourmet. The fragrance itself is enough to make you hungry. They attack your senses and crave more food. Branding them healthy may be dubious, and thus you should check before you purchase them.
Spend as much time as you can on reading and checking the produce. Never shop in a hurry, take your time. Nobody will question you. Remember purchasers have all the power to make use of it. Choose right for your family and you.
What are your thoughts about how to wisely shop in a supermarket? Do not hesitate to leave behind your thoughts. We love to hear from you. Also, hit the subscribe to stay tuned with us for our newsletter. You can also follow us on our social media channels below:
When you really think about it, supermarkets are weird places.
The fruit and vegetable sections are always beautiful and vibrant, but venture further into the maze of aisles and you’ll find that most ‘foods’ come packaged in boxes and wrappers, with a long list of scary-sounding ingredients. Unfortunately, these options take up most of the store.
It’s all so… artificial. There’s no hunting, no foraging (unless you count squeezing the avocados in the search for that elusive, perfectly ripe specimen) and no actual legwork aside from pushing the trolley around the store.
It can be overwhelming to even think about searching out the healthiest options, but finding healthy options at a regular chain supermarket is easier than you think. Read on to learn how to avoid the ultra-processed junk lurking on the shelves, and fill your trolley with delicious ingredients that will keep you thriving all week long!
Make a list
Planning out your meals for the week is a lifesaver when it comes to sticking to a grocery store budget. Think about breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks – do you need greens for juicing, or dates for homemade energy balls? Write it all down and pick up everything you need at your local supermarket.
It’s a win-win – your food bill will be lower, your meals will likely be healthier and you’ll be more organised than ever before! Instead of coming home from work exhausted with no clue what to cook for dinner, you’ll be able to choose from your prepared list of meals.
If you’re trying to save money, don’t be fooled by your supermarket’s ‘Free From’ section – you still have to read the labels to see whether the items are vegan or gluten-free, and you can often buy identical products for much cheaper. A jar of vegan pesto can cost a bomb, but making your own with fresh basil and pine nuts is budget-friendly and actually tastes better!
Stick to the edges
The outer edges of the supermarket are where you’ll spot fresh fruits and vegetables, along with freshly baked breads. If you end up getting sucked into the middle aisles, you’ll find yourself surrounded by sugary cereals, salty snacks and processed sauces.
Sticking to the perimeters and avoiding the heart of the store will allow you to fill your trolley with nutritious, healthy foods. If it comes in a wrapper or box, rethink it. Those jarred pasta sauces may seem tempting, but a quick Google search will yield hundreds of simple recipes for homemade options that taste twice as good!
Opting for fresh produce whenever possible will result in naturally vibrant, nutritious meals that leave you full, satisfied and healthy. How’s that for an incentive?
Bring a bag
Recently, there’s been a fantastic shift towards using less plastic and being a little more environmentally-friendly. Supermarkets in the UK are now charging 5p for each plastic bag, and many people are opting to bring their own. You can purchase strong (and pretty cute!) tote bags online or from your local grocery store – it may cost a little more to begin with, but those 5p plastic bags will quickly start to add up if you continue to buy them.
Try taking it one step further by bringing your own produce bags to carry loose fruits and vegetables. There’s no need to use those flimsy little store ones! Don’t be shy about ditching the plastic – you never know who you might be inspiring.
Time it wisely
If crowds of people, screaming kids and long queues aren’t your idea of fun, rethink the time of day that you visit the supermarket. Early risers can rejoice – while most people are still asleep or getting ready to face the day, the stores are usually fairly quiet. It’s the perfect time to tackle your weekly shop, when the aisles are fairly empty and the shelves are freshly stocked.
Another option is to see whether your local supermarket offers a delivery option. Shopping online is great for reducing those impulse buys, and it’s much easier to compare deals and see what’s on offer.
Whether you choose to shop online or in-store, make sure you’ve eaten beforehand – otherwise you’ll be tempted to buy everything in sight!
Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually cheaper, better quality and more plentiful. Many supermarkets will have a seasonal section – if not, Google is your friend! You’ll find rhubarb and asparagus in spring, cherries and tomatoes in summer, pumpkin and turnips in autumn, and squash and carrots during the winter.
Eating in tune with the seasons is so much better for your body and the environment, and a well-stocked supermarket makes it simple!
It can be difficult to eat well in a world full of convenience food, but navigating your local grocery store doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With these simple tips you can take control of your weekly shop and confidently select the healthiest options for you and your family.
The abundance of snacks that contain much sugar, salt, and fat result in health issues among children. Today kids suffer from obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Many have raised concern about the kinds of snacks children consume regularly because these in-between-meals have become such an integral part of their diet. A good choice of snacks satisfies the appetite and provides the child with essential nutrients that lead to more desirable and healthy physical development.
1. Recognize the significance of snacks as a method of ensuring your children absorbs important nutrients in her diet. These bites in between meals can cut the appetite back. Moreover, these snacks may also put a stop to overeating. Kids have lesser capacity for food, and with the busyness of families today snacks may fill out any missed meals. However, most children don’t consume healthy snacks. As such, parents must see to it that the snacks their children consume prove healthy in order to ensure they regularly get the vitamins and minerals their bodies require.
2. The Food Pyramid serves as a good basis for recognizing what comprises a healthy snack. You can find many healthy choices from among the various categories of fruits, grains, low fat dairy products and vegetables. A good mix of snacks will cause high energy levels for children and at the same time prevent unfavorable weight gain. Nutritionists do not recommend high-sugar foods as regular snacks. Check food labels for fat, salt and sugar content when shopping for snacks. Aim to provide your child with a selection of healthy snacks to encourage him to eat them.
3. Various types of snacks prove good for your child’s health. Choosing whole wheat bread over plain white bread for your basic peanut butter sandwich marks a good switch, as is low fat yogurt over ice cream. Throw in a lot of fruits, nuts and vegetables in snacks you prepare. Low fat cereals, rice cakes and pretzels make good, healthy snack options.
4. Create a list of snacks to buy when shopping. Check the recommended serving size of snacks before you purchase them and understand the nutritional contents of foods you buy. A lot of snacks sold in supermarkets have trans fats that have bad cholesterol, especially in cookies and other baked goods. You should also look for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil listed as an ingredient and avoid products that contain this. The American Heart Association recommends consumption of trans fat at no more than 10% of all your daily food intake.
5. A key to reading food labels involves knowing that packaging lists ingredients according to the amount factored into the food item. Therefore, the ingredient topping the list serves as the main constituent. Aside from checking for food ingredients, you must also look at the vitamin and mineral content of packed foods before hitting the supermarket counter.
Filed Under: General How To’s
About the Author: By profession, Ralph Crutcher is a swimmer but enjoys playing football, Golf, and regularly goes to the gym to keep himself fit and healthy. This is one of the reasons; he likes to write about sports and fitness.
These snacks give Cheetos and Skittles a run for their money.
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Over the summer, I traveled to Seoul, the culinary and cultural hub of South Korea. In Seoul, I went to Lotte Mart, one of the largest chain supermarkets in Korea. This store is the motherlode of Korean supermarket snacks at affordable prices, selling everything from Korean cosmetics to jars and jars of every kind of kimchi you could imagine. On top of that, Lotte Mart offers a tax refund for foreigners who show their passports to the cashier, giving your budget more room for buying snacks.
It’s no doubt that South Korea has a ton of affordable snacks to offer, but there’s no need to get overwhelmed by the bounty of Korean goodies to choose from. I tried dozens of the many snacks that were available at this store, and here is the list of Korean supermarket snacks that I think were the most worth the visit to Seoul (or, if you’re not going to Korea anytime soon, a visit to Amazon.com).
1. Tteokbokki Crackers
Starting off with a snack that is based on one of Korea’s most well-known street foods, tteokbokki crackers are a crunchy treat that are tube-shaped and hollow inside, making them light and airy. This Korean supermarket snack holds a well-balanced sweet and spicy flavor that is similar to that of tteokbokki (tohk-bohk-key), or Korea spicy rice cakes. Tteokbokki crackers would be a good replacement for hot Cheetos since they are more mellow on the spicy scale, so you don’t have to worry about the roof of your mouth hurting after eating a whole bag (because you know you’re going to eat the whole bag).
2. White Cookie Pepero
Pepero is a Korean brand that is very similar to Pocky, and one of their most popular flavors is the White Cookie Pepero. The inside is a crisp and flaky biscuit stick, and the outside layer basically tastes like a coating of Oreo filling with chunks of the cookie on top. Do you ever get the feeling that Oreos never have enough filling? Well, this snack gives you the satisfying taste of your favorite part of an Oreo by making the addictingly sweet Oreo cream the most significant flavor.
3. Honey Butter Chips
Instead of picking up some Lay’s the next time you’re craving a crispy potato snack, consider a bag of honey butter chips. Although this flavor combination might sound strange at first, rest assured, it works surprisingly well together and isn’t overly sweet at all. The honey flavor is quite subtle, and the savoriness from the butter coupled with the honey produce a taste that resembles a slightly sweeter version of sour cream and onion chips. This is one of those snacks that gets better with each bite.
4. Crispy Seaweed Snack
These aren’t your ordinary dried seaweed snacks; sandwiched between each slice of dried seaweed are little bits of crispy brown rice. This combination gives off a savory taste from the seaweed and a sweetness from the brown rice, and the crunch makes it super enjoyable to eat while you’re watching a movie or scrolling through YouTube. This crispy seaweed snack also comes in anchovy or almond flavors, and each possesses a different taste that blends well with seaweed.
5. Yogurt Jelly
Getting tired of the same old gummy flavors? Then yogurt jellies just might be the snack for you. This unique type of gummy is based on a yogurt drink that is very popular in Korea, as well as Japan and China. Unlike western yogurts, this yogurt is very liquidy and has a sweet, tart taste that isn’t present in most dairy products. These jellies perfectly mimic this yogurty taste, and they’re finished with a chewy texture that makes them perfect for an on-the-go snack.
6. Honey Butter Almonds
You might be wondering why honey butter is appearing twice on this list, but honey butter is a very popular flavoring combination among snacks in Korea. Exhibit B: honey butter almonds. Unlike exhibit A (honey butter chips), this snack emphasizes the honey flavor, so it’s much sweeter than it is savory, which complements the nuttiness of almonds. Another plus of honey butter almonds is that the flavor comes from a powder that completely coats the almond, so you don’t have to worry about getting your hands sticky.
7. Sunflower Seed Chocolate Balls
Staying with the theme of sugar-coated nuts, these small packages of chocolate covered sunflower seeds are actually much tastier than you might think. This fusion of shelled sunflower seeds and a chocolate coating creates a taste that is pleasantly similar to that of Nutella, and what’s even better is that this Korean supermarket snack is way more convenient than a jar of the popular hazelnut spread. You can carry these sunflower seed chocolate balls in your bag and grab them by the handful any time of the day.
8. Sugar-Free Green Grape Candy
If you are a big fan of green grapes over red grapes and you like hard candy, this green grape candy is perfect for you. With zero added sugar, one piece of this candy has only 10 calories and tastes exactly like a green grape, rather than an artificial flavor. The next time you’re picking up hard candy, instead of going for the Jolly Ranchers, look for green grape candies at your nearest Asian market or buy in bulk if you visit South Korea.
9. Xylitol Gum
Xylitol gum is advertised to help prevent cavities and tooth decay. Xylitol itself is a natural sweetener, so this Korean gum is totally sugar-free. The original flavored gum has a fruity taste similar to that of Juicy Fruit and a subtle minty flavor that tastes sweet and refreshing. Other than the original Xylitol gum, you can choose between multiple flavors like strawberry, blueberry, lime, or apple and order these special bags of gum online in bulk for fresh breath and healthy teeth.
Obviously, I still have my fair share of Korean supermarket snacks to explore, but these are the several snacks that I definitely would buy again, whether online or the next time I visit South Korea. If you like Korean flavors and want to improve your international snack game, then these unique Korean supermarket snacks are worth a try.
A healthy snack bar can be a saviour when you’re out and about. Between meals, at the movies or driving from A to B, a snack bar is the perfect cure for a bad case of stomach grumbles. However, snack bars can also contribute to mindless snacking – they are easy to access, often high in sugar and usually not very filling, which can leave you wanting to eat more and more. This is far from ideal when you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, writes Ellie McInerney.
If, however, you are a true fan of the humble snack bar, there are always healthier options available to you. It’s just a matter of reading the nutrition label and the ingredients list to make sure you’re choosing a bar that’s not just right for your taste buds, but your overall health and wellbeing too.
Remember though, anything fresh is always better than something from a box, so if you’re feeling peckish then a small serve of nuts, a piece of fruit or a protein shake are great options. However, there are some great snack bar options available in your local supermarket.
My favourite snack bars
When choosing a snack bar, steer clear of anything with artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. If it looks like a rainbow, it’s not natural – so leave the brilliant blue cartoon inspired ‘fruit’ bars on the shelf and pick up a box that looks a little more… down to earth.
One of my favourite brands is Carman’s. Carman’s create healthy, delicious snack bars using fruit, oats and nuts with no nasties and all natural ingredients. Just some of the yummy options in the Carman’s selection include the Original Fruit-Free Muesli Bar, Classic Fruit and Nut Muesli Bar, Super Berry Muesli Bar and Deluxe Gluten Free Muesli Bar.
Freedom Foods have a fantastic variety of gluten free, wheat free, sugar free and dairy free snack bars. These are available in most supermarkets in the health food section.
Watch out for sugar
Many snack bars are chock-full of healthy ingredients. Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, low in carbs and high in healthy fats, so choose a bar that’s bursting with almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans. Fruit in snack bars can really increase the sugar content, so be mindful of just how much sugar is in one serve, particularly if there is any added sweetener like maple syrup, cane sugar, coconut sugar etc.
Check out this table for an overview of the nutritional content of just a few of the snack bars available in your local supermarket. Note that many of the snack bars are low in protein, which means they won’t fill you up for long and probably won’t tide you over until your next meal.
Nutritional details of popular snack bars
|Carmen’s Original Fruit Muesli Bar||5.2g||7.7g||23.4g||5.4g||191||1 bar 270g|
|Milo Energy Snack Bars with Milk||1.8g||2.5g||18.4||7.4g||107||1 bar 160g|
|Uncle Toby’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Muesli Bar||2.3g||4.6g||20.1g||5.7g||134||1 bar 31.3g|
|Freedom Foods Crunchola Chewy Choc Chip Bar||2.4g||4.2g||21.1g||4.3||138||1 bar 35g|
|Be Natural Trail Bars Berry||2.1g||1.4g||20.4g||6.6g||109||1 bar 32g|
Source: Nutritional information taken from individual snack bars, March 2016.
To boost your protein intake between meals, try including a protein shake with your snack bar, or try a boiled egg or some sugar-free peanut butter on rice cakes.
Create your own snack bar
If you really want to get smart about snacking, why not create your own snack bar? At the end of the day, the healthiest snack bars are simply a good quality trail mix without any added sugars. To make your own snack bar, grab a couple of handfuls of your favourite nuts and seeds and one or two handfuls of fruit such as sultanas, banana chips, dried apple or dates.
Chop up the nuts, seeds and fruit and combine in a bowl with a dash of honey and some oats (gluten free oats are available online or your local health food store if you are gluten intolerant or sensitive to wheat). Mould the mixture into balls or bars and pop them in the fridge until you’re feeling a little peckish. Simple, healthy and super delicious!
Snack foods you munch on between meals can run the gamut from sugary “empty” calories to worthwhile mini-meals, depending on what you buy at the supermarket. Frequent, mindless snacking on high-calorie foods can lead to weight gain; but if you make smarter choices at the grocery store, keep portions small and know when to stop, snacks can certainly have a place in a healthful diet.
Snack foods and your health
By helping keep your blood sugar on an even keel, the right little bite can fuel you, both physically and mentally, until the next meal. And snacks are an opportunity to boost your intake of fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. They can also help you meet your daily fiber goal, especially if you choose a whole-grain snack, such as popcorn or a healthful granola bar.
If you’re snacking on something processed and packaged, don’t be misled by advertising and flashy label claims. Read the nutrition label. For example, “vegetable chips” may sound healthful, but they’re not necessarily better for you than other chips (potatoes are vegetables, too, after all), and most are high in fat and calories because they are fried.
Picking a Popcorn
Yearning for a crunchy, but healthy, snack? Popcorn can fill the bill. But you have to choose wisely to avoid too much fat, sugar and sodium.
Understanding snack foods
The snack food aisle is rife with products that are high in fat, calories and sodium. Take the traditional potato chip. A standard serving has about 10 grams of fat and 160 calories, with 200 milligrams of sodium. And that’s for just one ounce. If you’re eating chips out of a big bag, there’s no telling how many ounces you’ll have eaten before you stop. In addition, there are seemingly endless flavor variations to entice you. If you can’t resist, don’t go down the snack food aisle. It also helps to not go shopping on an empty stomach.
If you do venture among the shelves of chips and snaps and puffs and pops, do check out the more healthful options. Baked chips are better than fried, for example; they generally have about 1 or 2 grams of fat and 110 calories per ounce. Also, compare brands. You may be surprised at how much the sodium content can differ; even the fat content of traditional chips varies a bit.
Single-serving snack options may seem like a good bet if your self-control is low, but you’ll pay more per ounce (not to mention all that excessive packaging). And they won’t do you much good if you end up eating two or three little bags at a time. Instead, when you’re ready to snack at home, pour an ounce or so of chips from a big bag into a small bowl, close up the bag and don’t go back for seconds. Or you can divvy up a big bag into one-ounce portions ahead of time, packing them in sandwich bags or small food containers.
Some chips, crackers and other snack foods are labeled “multigrain.” But that doesn’t mean they are necessarily good sources of whole grains. “Multigrain” simply means the food contains more than one type of grain, not that it is made up of whole grains. The key is to check the ingredients list to be sure at least some of those multiple grains are actually whole grain. Multigrain Pringles is a good example. The newest variety may sound healthful—or at least healthier than regular Pringles—but its top ingredients are rice flour, vegetable oil, dried potatoes and corn flour; wheat bran and dried black beans make up less than 2 percent of the ingredients. A one-ounce serving of Multigrain Pringles has just 1 gram of fiber—no more than regular Pringles.
Relatively new to the supermarket are chips made from beans. The calories, fat and sodium aren’t much different than other chips—but at least you get about 5 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in a one-ounce serving.
What about pretzels? They were the go-to nonfat snack of the 1980s and 1990s. But they’re usually just refined flour, with little nutrition to speak of— and lots of sodium. You can now find whole-wheat (and other whole-grain) pretzels and unsalted or low-sodium versions, in many stores. Pretzel nuggets filled with cheese and peanut butter cease to be nonfat.
Some granola bars and trail mixes are good snack choices. They may keep you satisfied longer than other snacks. But many are not the nutrition powerhouses they’re often cracked up to be and may have more fat than protein and fiber. Again, read the nutrition labels. Check the serving size first, then the calories, fat, sugar and fiber. In the ingredients list, look for whole grains (like oatmeal or brown rice); nuts, seeds and dried fruit are healthful additions, though they add calories. Steer clear of “breakfast bars” made from sugary cereals, and be wary of snack bars dotted with chocolate chips or cookie chunks and topped with icing. Similarly, some trail mixes are more like candy than health food.
Finally, don’t overlook popcorn. You may be surprised to know that it’s a whole grain. But compare brands, avoiding the high-fat, high-calorie options like “movie theater butter” varieties.
Snack foods: good-to-know facts
Think outside the snack aisle and you’ll likely come up with much more healthful choices. Yogurt can be a pretty perfect snack, especially if it’s low-fat or nonfat and not too laden with sugary fruit (jam); moreover, the protein in the yogurt will help keep you satisfied. Fresh fruit is always a good option—a banana, an apple, a pear, an orange or a baggie full of grapes is the ultimate grab-and-go-snack. Or eat a few rolled-up slices of turkey breast, a handful of nuts or a hardboiled egg. Veggies (like baby carrots or sliced bell peppers) dipped in hummus or peanut butter are other healthful snack ideas.
How to get kids to choose healthy, clean eating snacks? This could be something you have been wondering. Perhaps you have been struggling with it also.
When people are hungry, they grab whatever is the easiest and is at hand. I know I do this and so do the other members of my family.
Grocery stores and commercials are not helpful. Ads are filled with food that we don’t really want our families to eat. Grocery stores put the “bad” foods at eye level and therefore the easiest to grab.
Snacking is important. Many of us grew up (myself included) with the idea that we should only eat three times a day. Our bodies need good food to fuel them and keep them going through the day.
Here are some great reasons to snack:
- Can prevent overeating (snack on whole grains, foods with protein, fruit or vegetables)
- Keeps blood sugar levels steady. This allows for increased concentration and productivity
- Provides nutrients our bodies need to retain energy for our bodies and our minds
How to get kids to choose healthy, clean eating snacks (for big and little kids)
Make snacks easily accessible – place them at eye level for your family members in both your pantry and refrigerator.
Restrict snacking to certain areas of the house – this will keep them from snacking mindlessly. Don’t let them watch tv or be on the computer when they snack.
Let kids pick – letting your children pick the snack they want promotes independence. Of course, all of the snacks are ones that you have chosen!
Offer a variety of good snacks – I keep organic chips, granola bars, organic candy in my pantry. In the refrigerator, I have cut up vegetables and whole fruits. If you have very little ones, cut up the fruit for them and store in plastic bags.
Teach by example – our children want to be like their parents. Make sure you choose healthy snacks and they will to!
Get kids involved in making snacks – An article from A Healthier Michigan states that getting kids involved in preparation of fruits and vegetables gives you a chance to talk to them about the food and leads to excitement for the fruits, vegetables and snacks you prepare together.
Take time to talk to your family about why you want them to choose healthy snacks. Speak at their level and they will understand. It won’t take long before your family is choosing healthy snacks like a high protein trail mix over sugary and fat ladened snacks.
Get in the kitchen with your children. One of the most popular recipes in my home are healthy apple cinnamon muffins. They are full of good for you ingredients. I have them available for snacks and pack them in lunches too. They freeze well too!
I store all of my snacks together at eye level so my family has easy access to them and can choose healthy snacks I feel good about.
Speaking of refrigerators, do you ever have a smelly fridge? Take a few moments to read my 7 tips on how to get rid of the stink!
Print a copy of this Clean Eating Snacks list and add it to your refrigerator.
Are you interested in learning how to cut chemicals and preservatives from your families diet? Join my 10 Day Clean Eating for Healthy Challenge today. Click on the button below to get started.
Do you have any tips on ways to get your family to choose healthy snack? I would love to hear them.