Hey everyone, it’s a beautiful cold, crisp day outside...snow covering the ground, ice on the roads. Perfect weather for curling up with a good book and a snack, right? But wait! All those New Years Resolutions you made about eating better...what is safe for me to snack on?! In case you’re in a situation like this, I want to share some healthy snacking tips for you.
First of all, don’t be caught off guard. Be sure to keep fruits, veggies and other good-for-you snacks on hand. If the urge to munch hits you, you’re more likely to grab whatever is on hand. I personally like to cut up some carrots or apples, and store them in Ziploc baggies. Then when you’re ready-so is your snack!
Another good way to keep your snacking healthy is by portion control. Yes, those dreaded two words! It really is much easier than it sounds (or looks) though. I have learned that by taking just a tiny amount of a special dessert or snack (such as cheesecake :) and telling myself that I will NOT eat any more, it is easier to say no. Instead of going back for seconds, I take the time to really savor the snack, and usually end up enjoying it more. I also incorporate this into eating meals, baking and cooking! By making cupcakes instead of cake, I automatically provide instant portion control!
Second, I recommend to think “outside the box” so to speak. Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good snack foods. But what about other low-fat (or low-carb, or whatever your diet requirements) foods for snacking? One of my favorites is finding some low-fat crackers and slices of cheddar cheese. Microwave popcorn that is very lightly buttered is another good option.
Another one of my all-time favorite snacks is pretzels. Pretzel sticks, pretzel rounds, mini pretzels, flavored pretzels...however they come, I love ‘em! For any fellow pretzel-lovers out there, I’d like to share a recipe to change up your pretzel munching from time to time. This recipe for Cayenne Pretzels is super-easy, and requires very little time.
1 cup Canola Oil
1 envelope Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (adjust for your taste buds)
2 packages (10 oz. each) Snyder's Pretzel Sticks
In a small bowl, combine all your ingredients except for the pretzels. Divide pretzels onto 2 un-greased baking sheets. Pour oil mixture over pretzels; stir to coat thoroughly. Bake at 200 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cool, and store in an airtight container. Careful, the pretzels get spicier the longer they sit!
Oh, and one more hint...don’t snack while watching tv or participating in an activity that takes the focus away from what you’re eating. Even reading can do this sometimes! You’re much more apt to munch away mindlessly, and then suddenly realize you’ve eaten half that bag of pretzels! So keep your snacking about the snacking!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Snyder’s of Hanover blogging program, for 6,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.