Monthly Archives: April 2018

Answering Your Snack Foods

Millions of children and adults reach for an afternoon pick up each day. It has been hours since lunch and it will be a while before you are able to sit down for dinner. Do you turn to the vending machine? Do you pack your own snack foods that are more nutritious? You have a lot more choices than you think.

Sure the chocolate cakes in the office machine or the convenient store look great but they are not so great for you. Whether or not you elect to go with a traditional snack food or a more nutritious health food, snack foods have been around for quite some time. They are here to stay and this article will let you in on the history and facts associated with some of those delightful snacks that you love to munch on.

How long have snack foods been around?

Snack foods have been around for quite a long time. Our Neanderthal cousins who had to hunt and scavenge for survival probably did not have much snacking options but that later changed as food became more readily available. People were able to have more than just one or two meals a day. If they became hungry in the afternoons before dinner/supper, they could grab a small bite to eat to help them recharge.

The real demand for snacks came about during the 18th century. Automated processes and parents that both worked created a demand for snacks that were already prepared and ready to eat. Time was in short supply and most households no longer had the luxury of one parent being at home all of the time. Commercial snack foods became a huge hit with parents and children alike.

Should I pack snack foods in my child’s lunch box each day?

When your child is young, the school may advocate that you send a snack with your child everyday for snack time. Even as your child gets older, it may be beneficial for him or her to carry along something to snack on when hunger strikes in the afternoon. It does not have to be anything big. It can be a little granola bar or a bag of nuts. Occasionally you could even give them a snack cake or some other sweet to satisfy their sweet tooth. If your child does not have time in school for snacks, you can always make sure that your kitchen is stocked with healthy, tasty snack foods for them to enjoy when they get home from school.

How much a calories and fat do traditional snack foods contain?

Most commercial snack foods such as Little Debbie products do contain high amounts of calories for what you are actually getting. A single pecan spin has 100 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 16 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein. The serving size is one and it is pretty small. If you are making cookies or granola bars at home the serving size may vary and might include large amounts of sugar. The real key to finding a nutritious snack is to find one that is not over 250 calories per serving. Usually that many calories for a snack signals loads of sugar and fats that are definitely not good for the body on a regular basis.

Are there snack foods found in the grocery store that are fine to use?

Any snack food found in the grocery store is fine in moderation. Moderation is the key though. You need to try to limit how much of the snack you are consuming at one time. Many snack food companies are now making 100 calorie snack packs. They contain the proper serving size and are very delicious. You can also check out items like popcorn or beef jerky as an alternative snack food.

You just need to pay attention to the fat in the popcorn and try for air popped with no butter. When you are snacking on beef jerky you need to pay attention to the serving size and the salt content. Grocery stores are packed with great snacks to fit any lifestyle or diet. You just may have to do some looking at the nutritional information on the package.

Fast Food Meals and Junk Food Snacks

Is there anything easier then pulling through the drive through at Wendy’s and getting what ever their special for the month is? Might as well get the Frosty and chocolate chip cookies while we’re there too, right?

Yes, it’s insanely easy to do this. I can’t think of a better adjective then insanely either. Because it is insane. We are killing ourselves slowly because we are not taking the time to shop for food that taste good, is nutritious and will keep us healthy for years to come.

Maybe not taking the time is what we need to do but finding the time. There is absolutely no excuse for not finding the time to properly shop. Properly means planning out a week of meals and snacks before you go to the grocery store. Better yet, plan 10 days or 2 weeks of meals and snacks.

If you have the food on hand, especially if it’s prepared already, you have no need to ever pull into Wendy’s or Arby’s or what ever your favorite is again.

The repercussions of improper eating are huge. Of course your weight is the number one problem. Add to this high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and a host of other maladies and you get the point.

But do you know what is even more important, the example you set for your children or any other young person who may look up to you. They are learning from you that it’s easier to eat at McDonald’s then it is at home. They are learning from you that it’s OK not to make food plans. They are learning from you that they don’t have to care about their health. They are learning all of this bad stuff from you and what will they end up doing with it. When they are older, they will teach their children the same thing.

To borrow an old worn out phrase, stop the insanity now. Take 15 minutes and plan a week of meals and snacks. Then make your grocery list with the ingredients you need. While you are at it, why not find some coupons and save a few bucks. Add that to the savings from not eating at Taco Bell and you can start a new clothes fund.