Nutrition

Savvy Snacking

Your daily food choices fuel your body, mind and mood. In order to stay energized all day and combat potential food cravings and temptations, it’s important to pay attention to when and what you eat.

Well-planned, healthful snack choices can help you avoid break room or vending machine temptations and can keep you from overeating when meals are delayed. Kids need snacks throughout the day to meet their increased energy needs for growth and activity. If you are trying to lose weight, snacks can help you stay on track without hunger.

What are healthy snacks? The best snacks include a good source of fiber and some protein. They often include food groups that you may not have been able to fit into your previous meal and can be anything from small portions of leftovers, to mini-breakfasts, fruit or vegetables combined with dairy foods, beans or other proteins.

Here are some unique snacks ideas to try.

  • Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar
  • Homemade Granola Bars
  • Bell Pepper Pizza
  • Cheese and Pretzel Dippers
  • Cucumber, Hummus and Turkey Roll-ups
  • Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers
  • Fresh Fruits with PB2 Dip

For more ideas go to my Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/lindafrd

For kids and big kids alike, it is important to have the snacks ready to go for quick access and no thinking necessary. These are some recommendations for kids, from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as posted on: www.eatright.org.

Here’s the key to healthful food choices: very visible, convenient, effortless and great taste. Follow these seven how-tos for smart snacking.

  • Ask your kids what food group foods they’d like to have on hand. Buy them!
  • “Walk” your kids through the kitchen so they know where these foods are kept.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the counter where kids see it.
  • Wash and cut up veggies ahead, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Use see-through containers, clear plastic bags or containers covered with plastic wrap so kids can see what’s inside.
  • Put nutrient-rich food where kids can reach it, perhaps on lower shelves in your refrigerator, pantry or cabinet. Keep “sometimes” foods, such as cookies and chips, away in cabinets where they’re less convenient to reach, especially for impulse eaters.
  • Buy food in single-serve containers for grab-and-go eating ­— for example, milk, raisins, juice, fruit cups, pudding and baby carrots. 

 From American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed.

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

The summer heat is in the 100’s in San Antonio and all I want to do is stay cool! No muss and fuss in the kitchen–just give me cool, colorful, fresh foods and I’m happy. For a bit of not so guilty sweet, try my fresh strawberry pie. I combined several recipes to come up with my own version. Try a whole wheat pie crust for good fiber and crunchiness. The cream cheese on the bottom of the  pie keeps the strawberry glaze from making the crust soggy. I leave the strawberries whole for best presentation. I love pecans so I put some in the cream cheese and also sprinkle a few around the strawberries before I pour the glaze. Be sure to cool the glaze a little before you pour over the strawberries. You don’t want to melt the cream cheese or cook the berries. But don’t wait too long of the glaze will jell and you won’t be able to pour it. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Ice cream could work but is too sweet and melty for this recipe, in my opinion. Have fun with the recipe! It looks amazing and tastes even better.

LINDA’S FRESH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE PIE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat Pie Shell, baked and cooled. (Found at Whole Foods in TX).
  • ½ 8-oz package Cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon Rind, grated
  • ¼ cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 8-10 oz. Sprite or 7-Up, regular
  • ½ 3 oz box Strawberry Jell-O
  • 20 Fresh Strawberries, cleaned, de-stemmed
  • Whipped Cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-bake pie shell per package directions. Cool.
  2. Clean strawberries and leave whole. Blot to remove water.
  3. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and chopped pecans in food processor. Pulse until whipped and well blended. Set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and sprite in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add strawberry Jell-O to hot mixture and whisk until blended.
  6. Take off of heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. Spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of cooled pie shell. Top with whole berries—pointed side facing up and trimmed side down.
  8. Pour glaze over top of berries.
  9. Refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream dollop on each slice.