Plan ahead to make better choices

With planning and a little preparation, you can have healthy foods on hand so that you're ready when temptation strikes:

  • Prepare and pack healthy meals at home for children and/or adults to eat at school or work.
  • Have healthy snacks available at home and bring nutrient-dense snacks to eat when on the go.
  • Before attending parties, eat a small, healthy snack at home. Then at the party take small portions and focus on healthy options.

When a snack fills in for a meal

With today's busy world, healthy meals often lose out to busy schedules. A grab-and-go snack could be the difference between some nourishment and none at all. Try these ideas for healthy snacks that minimize calories and maximize whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They're all around 200 calories.

  • Toast one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin. Top with one slice Canadian bacon, a tomato slice and one slice low-fat American cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon part-skim ricotta cheese over one-half of a small cinnamon-raisin bagel. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired and top with a thinly sliced apple.
  • Layer a 6-inch soft corn or flour tortilla with 2 tablespoons shredded low-fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Microwave until the cheese melts. Slice into bite-sized pie shapes. Dip into some salsa if desired.

Heed your hunger pangs, but forget the guilt. And remember it's easier to choose good-for-you snacks if your refrigerator and shelves are stocked with healthy options.

May. 25, 2012 See more In-depth