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July 1, 2011

Quick and Easy Summer Snacks

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

It's summertime and you're out and about more often. No doubt about it, you and your children will snack when you're on the run, and when you're at home.

For the most part, forgo packaged foods and make snacks to take with you when necessary.  It's less expensive and healthier to prepare your own food than to rely on convenience stores, snack shacks and fast food places for nutritious nibbles. 

Think of snacks as mini-meals and you won't need to worry that your kids are overdoing it on sugar, fat, or sodium, or all three. You and your kids need fuel for summertime fun.
Snacks should include foods that you would serve at any meal, not choices like sweetened juice drinks and pile of orange snack crackers.

Stay fuller for longer and maximize nutrition when you combine foods with protein and complex carbohydrate. Here are some delicious, nutritious and simple snack suggestions.

• Trail mix: 1/4 cup each: whole grain cereal and dried fruit, and 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Hood Frozen Tangy Lowfat Frozen Yogurt  topped with berries

• Eight ounces Simply Smart Chocolate Fat Free Milk  and whole wheat pretzels

• Bean dip, hummus, or guacamole with baked snack chips or toasted whole wheat pita bread, broken into chips

• Low-fat microwave popcorn tossed with Parmesan cheese

• Whole grain crackers, string cheese, and mango slices or sliced strawberries

Spinach dip  and whole grain crackers

• Cooked or raw vegetables with low-fat Ranch dressing, and a hard-cooked egg

• Whole wheat pretzels with peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter

• Bowl of whole grain cereal and Hood Fat Free Milk   

• Small container Greek yogurt

• Half a sandwich

• Slice of pizza

• Pistachios in the shell and glass of Hood Chocolate Lowfat Milk  

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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