Healthy Food Choices – Snacks On the Road

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,273
    Dietitian Sonya Kaster discusses ways to incorporate healthy choices when snacking on the road.

    Sonya Kaster: Hi! I am Sonya Kaster with the Oliver Foundation and we have been looking at ways that you can make healthy choices on the go.

    So let's take a look at some snack choices. What about all those 100-calorie pack items that you find. And if you actually only consume one package as your snack then that might be a pretty good choice for you. But if you actually go through and eat four or five each time you decide to have them then you are really not saving yourself any calories and spending more money than you mean to. So why not make your own 100-calorie snack packs.

    What you can do is you can get the actual snack size little bags, reusable bags and I can assure you it's very difficult to fit more than a few of your snack items in there. So really great and healthy choice for you; it might be something like your own pretzels that you can make your own 100-calorie snack pack with. Sometimes you just want those favorite tortilla chips that you like, but again, if you are using those smaller type bags then you are really going to save yourself some calories as well.

    Of course, why not use them to also do those sorts of thing like your baby carrots as well as taking apple that's already sliced; in that way, you can have that snack ready to go. What you are going to actually do is take that apple pre-sliced, put it into a little reusable bag and then actually add either 100% orange juice or actually a 100% pineapple juice and that's going to keep that nice and white and crisp.

    Another really great protein pack snack are things like yoghurts or cottage cheese and one of the really great ways that you can have these as a snack and especially for a snack on the go such as go ahead and add that fresh fruit that you have whether it would be berries or strawberries, black berries, blue berries and add it just actually to the top of the yoghurt. You are going to find that's going to be a really great and satisfying snack for you as well.

    Another really protein pack snack is cheese, but you have to remember again that some cheeses can be very high in fat and calories and one of the great rules of thumb that you can use is that the size of three dice is going to be an appropriate serving size for cheese. Coupling that with that fruit, whether it would be an apple, a pear, some grapes as well, then you are going to have a really satisfying snack on the go.

    Of course, everyone likes chocolate and I am not saying that you can never have chocolate again because actually as a registered dietitian, I really believe that all foods fit in moderation. But instead of having one of those really big chocolate chip cookies that you find so often at those mall cookie stores, why not have just a couple of those small little cookies that you can really be aware of how many calories you are consuming. Why not use one of those snack size bags and just use a whole of variety of different types of vegetables.

    We have things like different colored bell peppers; red, yellow orange and green, little mushrooms, we have some broccoli as well, and then of course, we also have some zucchini and squash. But if you like, why not include a little dip as well. Sometimes that helps, especially if you are new to using fruits and vegetables as a snack, may be just have that little bit of dip and again, look at that package; you can use that low-fat or fat-free yoghurts. You can actually season those with all sorts of different seasonings from your pantry or may be use some Greek yogurts or some other fat-free yogurts to use as a dip and those would be a really great snack on the go as well.

    So what about those crunchy, savory snacks that we all like to have every once in a while? If you sit down and you get at home or on the weekends sometime and actually just eat the chips right out of this big bag, chances are you are going to be very unaware of how many calories you are actually consuming. Take them out of this bag and actually put them into a little bowl or again a little snack bag.

    Again, with any time that you do stop may be at a convenience store or in a grocery store and you are buying, but obviously, it's a smaller bag but this bag, these little potato chips actually have 550 calories if you were to eat the entire package. I am quite certain that most people when they buy this bag, they don't exactly share it with the person sitting next to them. They do go ahead and before they know it, they have actually consumed the additional 550 calories just in one snack.

    If you are actually choosing to drink soda throughout the day, if you are picking a 12-ounce soda, you may be anywhere from 150 to 175 calories. So why not instead of choosing those sugar sweetened beverages, why not choose something like water. Go out and find a water bottle that you really like, keep it with you at all times. It's really going to quench your thirst more and it's going to be zero added calories if you choose water as your snack beverage of choice.

    I hope you have been able to find a few tips that you will be able to use in your life not only for you but also for your family. Thank you.