Jennifer Welper is an executive chef who helps people find simple, affordable ways to eat healthier.
She knows what stops a fresh orange from being top pick at snack time: The packaging. Discover how she's learned to "unwrap" healthy snacks before she gets hungry, so grabbing a good choice comes easy.
We asked a Mayo Clinic expert: What's the healthiest way to plan a snack?
Jennifer Welper, Executive Chef, Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program: If I put a bowl of grapes on the counter, or a bowl of M&M's, both will get eaten. Why? Because they're there. I think we eat unhealthy snacks because we don't create an environment where that's (eating healthy snacks) quick and easy. If I have a refrigerator full of whole oranges versus a refrigerator full of orange segments that I've peeled already, there's a good chance those are going to be eaten before the whole oranges because it's accessible. Our society drives us to be quick and easy. We want easy things. Opening a bag of chips, that's easy.
Healthier snacking is all about your environment.
It's not like you see billboards that are promoting bananas. So I think a big part of that is what do we see every day? We see commercials for Oreos. If more people in workplaces had fruit bowls, and they had like veggies and dip, I think those would go just as much as candy bars would. But nobody does that.
You have the power to set yourself up right
If you're going to have what I'd call maybe foods you shouldn't have, or naughty foods, keep them out of your visual acuity, essentially. So if you're going in the cabinet to make brown rice, Oreos should not be glaring at you, or Teddy Grahams, or whatever it might be. I think it's our environment and it goes back to that.
Jen Welper is an executive chef who helps people find quick, easy ways to eat healthier.
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