Friday, September 13, 2013

Healthy Snacking

I have really been trying to be more healthy lately.  Not 100% (I'm not giving up dark chocolate, ice cream, or wine, and I cooked fried chicken for dinner tonight), but I am definitely trying to swap some not-so-great snacks for smarter choices.  And I love snacking!

I would find when I bought fruits and vegetables and put them in the produce drawer, they would go bad because I would never eat them.  The last school that I worked at had a fruit and vegetable grant with a daily snack (ranging from apples to kiwi to snap peas to raw squash).  That gave me the idea to buy ziplock snack bags and make individual portions of carrots.  Then I branched out and made snack bags of carrots, snap peas, grape tomatoes, and squash slices.  I was so proud of them and they helped, but there would always be some that still went bad and I just got out of the habit of making them.  Once I start getting substitute teacher jobs, I will probably make them again to go in my lunch box.

I decided that I would be more inclined to eat healthy snacks if I could just grab and go, so I was inspired by this pin to make a "healthy snacking station" in my refrigerator door, so when I opened the door to get a drink, I could grab a handful of something healthy, too.

I went to Dollar Tree and bought some baskets (and thankfully they fit in my refrigerator door!), and took the handles off.  The first time I did filled them, I poured the bags of carrots and snap peas in the basket and left them in the open.  The veggies did not last very long that way, though, so now I keep them in the bags.  I don't close the bags and they have been ok.  Now I can just grab a handful of something healthy!

Sometimes the fruit/veggies still go bad, but I have been including more fruits and vegetables in my diet now that I have this station.

Here are some snack ideas to go in the healthy snack baskets:
  • snap peas (my favorite!)
  • baby carrots
  • cucumber slices
  • cheese sticks or slices
  • apples
  • grapes (I would keep these in a bag, too)
  • edamame
  • hard boiled eggs
  • yogurt cups
  • watermelon
  • I have even put a jar of pickles in an empty basket, just so it was in the "acceptable snack" area.
Here are some other healthy snack ideas that do not need refrigeration:
  • peanuts, pistachios, pecans
  • grape tomatoes
  • bananas
  • grape tomatoes
  • raisins
  • fat free pudding
  • applesauce
  • dark chocolate squares
  • dried banana chips
  • sunflower seeds
  • rice cakes
  • 100 calorie popcorn bag
  • graham crackers with peanut butter
  • chocolate covered pretzels (not TOO healthy, but one of my current favorites)
There are a lot of other healthy snack options if you are not as picky as I am (broccoli...yuck!).  These are just the ones that I enjoy.

Remember, I still eat ice cream and chips and drink wine.  I'm definitely not perfect, nor do I really want to be.  Just a little better and get more fruits and vegetables in my life!

What are your ideas?

Read more about my refrigerator organization here.

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