Category Archives: Food

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.

Put An End To Fast Food & Snacks

It hardly seems fair… it is so easy to gain weight and so very difficult to get rid of it.

Eating is one of the true pleasures in life. It’s a social activity… it’s a reason to gather with friends or family. And you can’t just completely refrain from food… your body won’t tolerate that maneuver and it’s unhealthy to do so anyway.

Life is tough enough and nobody wants to give up the few pleasures in life that they truly enjoy; which is why so many people head further and further down the path to obesity without breaking the cycle.

Recent studies indicate that our body doesn’t even respond to dieting the way it was once thought. When you deprive your body of food and nutrients, your body goes into a bit of a self defense mode. Your body can’t discern between the lean times of a diet and being deprived.

Today your body is also up against a major onslaught of the widespread use of fast foods, soft drinks, and snacks. The make up of fast foods is such that merely one item off of many of menus is the caloric equivalent of an entire meal or more! And not only that, fast foods just leave your stomach screaming for more because they are the meal that doesn’t fill you up. And to pile on even more… most people wash the junk food down with a soda that is nothing more than sugar flavored water. This is truly a vicious, unhealthy eating cycle… that coupled with a inactive lifestyle leads to massive storage piles of fat in your body.

Another threat to healthy eating habits are snacks. Snacks contain way too many empty calories that ultimately end up as fat. Between meal snacks should involve you buying some fruit to take with you… so when hunger strikes you have a healthy alternative to a bag of chips. The important point to remember here is that snacks equate to habits. For the vast majority of people battling their weight, they have trained their mind and body (habit)that they need a ‘snack’ between meals… your body doesn’t… it is only responding to it’s training. The good news is that just as habits can be developed they can be broken.

Healthy Food Snack Recipes To Make Guests

Natural healthy food organic recipes are usually tasty. Nutritionists tell us that there is more nutrition in the cardboard box that packages your cornflakes than there is in your cornflakes. But even if cornflakes were nutritious, they can’t compare with the flavor of strawberries straight from your organic garden.

I’ve spent many happy hours gathering mulberries from the roadside trees, and blackberries, and carob beans, and raspberries, and strawberries, and English gooseberries. Some of these delicious fruit even reached the container because I couldn’t eat them as fast as I picked them.

Of course your healthy food breakfast should have a bit more than just fruit. Vegetables are also great. I used to wander my organic garden and gather whatever struck my fancy. Some of it was suitable for breakfast such as Daikon radish, Florence fennel, purslane, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, nasturtium flowers, pansy flowers, day lily flowers, parsley, garlic greens and so on.

Of course your healthy food breakfast should have a bit more than just fruit. Vegetables are also great. I used to wander my organic garden and gather whatever struck my fancy. Some of it was suitable for breakfast such as Daikon radish, Florence fennel, purslane, Chinese cabbage, cabbage, nasturtium flowers, pansy flowers, day lily flowers, parsley, garlic greens and so on.

Now I have hardly any teeth left I prepare this healthy food breakfast. It doesn’t take me very long at all. I start by drinking 1.2 litres of water.

Into my 1.5litre blender I put three driied shiitake mushrooms, half an orange with the skin still on it, a tomato, a carrot, three florets of broccoli, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons powdered ginger root, 2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast, one apple, handful of raisins, 50ml coconut oil, 600 ml (1pint) water. While it is blending I crack 2 jumbo-size eggs into a glass ready to pour into the blender.

When everything is blended to my satisfaction I add the two eggs and blend for another ten seconds, then drink everything from the blender, to save on washing up.

I finish my breakfast with a good handful of dried bananas. Not only are these cheaper than fresh bananas, but recent research indicates that they are more healthy than fresh bananas.

In the middle of the morning I snack on a tablespoon of apricot kernels, because even if they don’t protect me from cancer, I like their flavor.

For lunch I have 200 gm red cabbage and some fruit. In the middle of the afternoon I drink 400 ml of water, and a mug full of cocoa with dried stevia powder as a sweetener. The cocoa makes me feel good and suppresses any pangs of hunger, just as chocolate does, but the stevia is a better sweetener than sugar.

Children Friendly Whole Foods Snacks

Developing healthy eating habits can seem like daunting task; however, with the aid of whole foods, developing new habits for a healthier diet is simple. Many people believe that healthy eating habits come naturally or aren’t worth the work, but the truth on both account is exactly the opposite. Developing a menu, choosing your foods, and preparing your meals are some things we do every day. Changing the foods we eat is a simple switch that we can all implement no matter how long we’ve been making bad food choices.

Healthy eating habits are simple with the aid of whole foods, and all you need to do is work in a few new foods a month. Developing healthy eating habits begins with the person who makes the meals: you. While you might think you need to spend all day pouring over meal choices, the truth is that you can simply begin by buying a few staple products and working with them to create unique meals your family will absolutely love.

With whole grains, nuts, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and beans you can begin developing your new menu literally right away. If you have a picky family, you can touch briefly on their likes and dislikes before making your list for the grocery store. It’s a great idea to bring your family with you to the store, but make it clear that processed foods will slowly be making their way out of your lives – for good.

Feel free to go over the cons about overly sugary and processed foods with your family before you make the switch. It’s best to start slow, introducing new foods a few at a time as some people won’t take to the thought of different food as well as others. In many cases, you can explain that these foods will taste just the same as their processed brothers do. For instance, whole grain pastas and breads often don’t have different tastes. Coupling that with fresh made pasta sauce from whole foods like tomatoes, onions and unprocessed garlic and you’re family will ensure your family never misses the taste of pasta that’s been stripped of its nutrients again.

Working together as a family to achieve your new diet is a great way to begin developing healthier eating habits. While the rush won’t come all at once, and you’re liable to face a few objects, working together with your spouse and children will ensure that you have smiles at every meal all around the table.

Foods That Speed Up Metabolism

Do you know there actually exist foods that speed up metabolism and burn fat faster? Yes it’s true; you can eat up to slim down. Sounds too good to be true. Actually the truth is our body needs to burn off more calories in order to digest these foods and the more calories you burn the faster you will shed weight. I’ve listed the top 5 foods that speed up metabolism – actually they are snacks. (You’ll love it if you like snacking all day.)

1. Oatmeal: Old fashioned and not the instant sugar filled kind of oatmeal is the best snack to start off a day. Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can also lower blood cholesterol, due to its soluble fiber content. Rolled oats have also long been a staple of many athletes’ diets, especially weight trainers; given oatmeal’s high content of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber which encourages slow digestion, making you feel fuller for longer time.

2. Peanut butter: To lose weight fast one needs to increase the intake of protein and fiber in their diet. While fiber acts as an appetite suppressant, protein burn fat by building lean muscles. Unlike ordinary butter, peanut butter is rich in both protein and fiber. I would not recommend you to buy peanut butter from your local store as they most likely are not natural. The best source would be to prepare it at home.

3. Eggs: Eggs are the most inexpensive single-food source of protein. A large egg yolk contains approximately 60 Calories; the egg white contains about 15 Calorie. The yolk makes up about 33% of the liquid weight of the egg. It contains all of the fat, slightly less than half of the protein, and most of the other nutrients. The egg white consists primarily of water (87%) and protein (13%) and contains no cholesterol and little, if any, fat. The protein in eggs is superior to protein from other sources, and is utilized much more completely. This helps to build muscle which helps to burn fat.

4. Green Tea: Like me, If you are an addicted to tea that the best idea would to replace your ordinary tea with Green tea. Green tea has been associated with many health benefits especially weight loss. A green tea extract rich in polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to be useful for “obesity management”, since it stimulates fat oxidation.

5. Almonds: Almonds and other nuts can be a great snack to munch when you feel like eating. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two good fats. They help one lose weight by inducing body’s metabolic rate as they are rich in protein and essential nutrients such as fatty acids.

As you can see that starving is not the right option to lose weight fast when you can eat your way to burn fat and the foods I mentioned above will also make you healthy as they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

Powerful Low Glycemic Index Foods

I am sure you really want to know about these powerful low glycemic index foods that not only makes you fuller but also keep the fat off forever.

Weight gain can be very discomforting considering the social stigma that comes as a result – but what if I share some fantastic low G I foods that will sure make weight gain a thing of the past!

Why low glycemic index foods?

…because they are the only set of foods that keeps you feeling fuller for longer periods thereby keeping you off from the temptations of unhealthy extra diets that may ruin your weight loss chances.

Another good news – they provide a sustained release of energy in your body, thereby giving you the ability to do more of mental and physical activities. Can you know see why incorporating these set of foods into your diet is a sure bet of losing weight.

Including low glycemic index foods into your meals and making a snack of it, is sure the best bet you can have to lose weight – it has a combined effect, you are not stuffing yourself with unhealthy carbs and at the same time making you not worry about your stomach anymore… how interesting does that sound?

You don’t have to worry about unhealthy eating anymore by making these low glycemic index foods your daily snacks – just take them anytime you feel like snacking up!

Yogurt: Do you know that a container of light yogurt is a great snack either at work or on the go? It is one of the most beneficial low glycemic index foods, because it is packed with calcium that is also good for your bones. How interesting – keeping weight off and having a stronger bones; it can’t be better!

Orange: Though all fruits are low in G I, but orange is special because it is a rich source of dietary fibre. It is great for a mild morning refresher and at the same time comes handy. And going to work – it fits into any suitcase.

Air popped popcorn: Going to see a movie on a Friday night? Air popped popcorn should be your best friend for the night. Just like any other low glycemic index foods, it is low in fibre – thereby stopping the hunger quicker – and also low in fat. You can also enjoy it rich taste by sprinkling some cinnamon or any artificial sweetener.

Veggies: How many times have you heard that veggies are good for your weight loss ambitions? well they are, not only are they very special low glycemic index foods, they are also very rich in vitamins. You can make a small salad out of them to enjoy their benefits to the fullest.

Low Carb Foods

If you are working hard to lose weight, eating low carb foods can help. While avoiding carbs totally is not always the best option, eating a low carb diet can be a healthy way to lose some weight, especially if you decide to eat the healthy carbs. If you are on a low carb diet, sometimes the place where you make mistakes is in the snacks that you eat. You need to learn how to snack healthily so that you can continue to take off those pounds. Here is a look at some of the low carb foods that are great for snacking. You’ll enjoy them, you’ll feel full, and you’ll avoid sabotaging your diet.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit
When you are trying to make sure that you snack on foods low in carbs, one of the best snacks you can eat is cottage cheese and fruit. Cottage cheese is very good for you, providing you with some lowfat dairy, protein, and potassium. Add some berries or other types of fruit for some good fiber, and then you have a great snack.

Nuts or Seeds
Nuts or seeds also are foods with few carbs that are great for snacks as well. If you choose nuts, you will want to eat raw nuts so that you avoid the salt intake. Nuts are full of healthy fats and provide you with fiber. Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds or even sunflower seeds are great for snacks as well.

String Cheese Sticks
Another healthy snack that falls into this category is string cheese sticks. As long as you go with low fat options, you definitely will find this to be a great snack. The cheese is tasty, it is healthy, and it will make you feel full. Other low fat cheese other than cheese sticks are also good snack options that are low carb and healthy for you.

Apples and Cheese
Apples and cheese make a great combination for a low carb snack. The apples are full of great nutrients and fiber. Adding the cheese, such as sharp cheddar cheese, provides you with some good dairy. Just avoid adding too much cheese and packing in the fats.

Raw Veggies
Raw veggies are always a great snack and they are definitely low in carbs. Some of the best raw veggies to gnaw on include carrots, celery, broccoli, and even cauliflower. Peppers are great to snack on too. Add with them a low carb dressing and you have a tasty snack. The celery is great with a bit of peanut butter, which is also low carb.

A Simple and Amazingly Tasty Raw Food

One of the things I always enjoy about late summer in the U.S. is the amount of delicious locally grown fruit and vegetables that are available. This year, I’ve been eating fresh California figs, Colorado peaches and apricots, Blueberries from Oregon and some amazing watermelons and cantaloupes from Colorado.

Most of the time I enjoy these fruits by themselves, but every once in a while I add a little bit of raw organic tahini to them for an extra calcium and fat boost. By far my favorite fruit to eat tahini with is fresh organic grapes. I’ve been enjoying that combination all summer and am happy that my 1 year old daughter also like it.

There are many health benefits associated with eating raw tahini and grapes – here are some of the best. The Health Benefits of Raw Tahini As long as you get raw and organic tahini, it has several health benefits of note.

Raw tahini is a very good source of the following minerals:

  • manganese – to strengthen bones, collagen and connective tissue such as ligaments
  • copper – antiinflammatory and antioxidant that can provide relief from arthritis
  • calcium – great for growing kids and for prevention of migraines and colon cancer
  • magnesium – excellent for heart health and lung health
  • iron – blood builder and booster
  • phosphorus – helps to metabolize proteins and calcium
  • zinc – to increase bone mineral density

Raw tahini also contains dietary fiber which promotes healthy elimination. Finally raw tahini contains two special kinds of lignans (fiber) called sesamin and sesamolin. These fibers have been seen to help lower cholesterol and to prevent high blood pressure. The Health Benefits of Organic Grapes For their part organic grapes are high in:

  • flavonoids – these phytonutrients give vibrant purple color to grapes and help prevent blood clots as well as support heart health
  • phenylic acid – this compound has been found to help protect the arteries from oxidation as well as maintain the heart
  • resveratrol – this nutrient is a great antioxidant and helps keep the heart muscle flexible and healthy

First Birthday Food

For any parent, it’s always wonderful to celebrate their child’s first birthday with a wonderful party. Even if the baby doesn’t understand the occasion yet, it’s sure to be a fun time for him or her. First birthday parties can be either formal or casual. They are usually held in the morning or afternoon.

There are tons of important things to remember when holding a child’s first birthday party. One of the most crucial aspects would be the party food. Unless they have the food catered, many parents find this a very difficult hassle to deal with. It’s because they know they have to cater to two different kinds of people during the party, the kids and the grownups. These two have different food choices, so you can’t serve the same kind of food for these two.

There’s one simple trick you should keep in mind when dealing with this party aspect: keep it simple. With the numerous factors you have to keep in mind during the celebration, it would be really difficult to prepare homemade gourmet dishes. Here are some pointers to remember.

Prepare The Baby Snacks.

If your child’s only a year old, chances are the guests are of the same age or just a bit older. You should get simple but yummy baby-friendly snacks. Crackers, dry cereals and apple sauce are good choices. Other options you can get are:

* Cookies or sweet animal crackers

* Sliced fruit

* Macaroni and cheese (put these in easy-to-hold plastic containers)

* Pudding

* Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

* Pretzels