Friday, February 20, 2009

Go Healthy Snacks!

In honor of National Healthy Snack Week, here's a challenge to everyone for replacing what's in your house with healthier alternatives for snack time: go through your cupboards and throw out the following: crackers, chips, candy cereals, cookies, rice cakes, pretzels, "food" bars, cookies, drink mixes, fruit rollups, and anything else processed you can find. Next, move on to the refrigerator. Consider throwing out your milk, yogurt, cheese, and processed meats. Why would you do this? Because there are healthier alternatives for snacks. Now, what can you eat? Don't despair! You really can have healthy snacks that are good for you and are delicious. Here are some ideas:
  • Homemade yogurt or kefir. Start with raw milk, if possible. Here is some information on the dangers of processed yogurts and a great recipe for making your own kefir at home. When your kefir is ready to eat, mix with a bit of agave nectar, maple syrup, or stevia or eat with whatever fruit you have in the house. You can also make smoothies in a blender.
  • If you do not want to make your own yogurt, stick with good brands such as Brown Cow or Trader's Point Creamery (available at Whole Foods - this is the most amazing yogurt I've ever tasted!). Here are some others to check out - Ruegsegger Farms, Sidehill Farm, and Straus Family Creamery.
  • Ezekiel bread (sprouted, organic, flourless) with raw butter, almond butter, and a dollop of organic, whole fruit spread or organic fruit pieces.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables - the sky's the limit!
  • Make homemade dips for your fruits and veggies with olive oil or grapeseed oil and spices from your cuboard, and a variety of vinegars available from the store - apple cider, grapeseed, red wine, white wine, or balsamic. Remember, store-bought dressings are unhealthy as can be - loaded with sodium, preservatives, chemcials, and toxic vegetable oils like soy, canola, and cottonseed.
  • Other good store-bought dips would include salsas, hummus, and bean dips. Best brands are Emerald Valley, Tribe, and Amy's Organics.
  • Naturally-raised, grass-fed leftover meats from dinner the night before - use with Ezekiel tortillas and make rollups or cut up into chunks and make kabobs with cheese
  • Raw cheeses (check your local health food stores or co-ops)
  • Raw nuts and seeds - almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts or filberts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, cashews
Take the healthy snack challenge and see if you can improve your's and your child's health through healthier snacking.

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