Healthy and Easy Snacks !

6Looking for healthy and easy snacks for after school or on the go?

Here are a few easy recipes for snacks that are both tasty and nutritious!

Great snack foods:

1. apples, cheddar cheese, and turkey

2. hummus, carrots and whole grain crackers (add a little fun by putting the hummus inside small plastic dipping cups and slide dipping cups inside tiny terra cotta pots. Add baby carrots to the top. Your kids will think they are eating their own little carrot plants!)

3. apple slices and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter for dipping (if you don’t have allergies in your family)

4. peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain bread

5. Make your own trail mix using unsalted peanuts, whoe wheat pretzels, raisins and cheerios. (You can also add almonds or M&M;’s as well)

6. Pack string cheese and grapes in small sandwich bags. (Freeze the grapes the night before so that they can keep the string cheese cold if it will be a couple of hours before the snack is eaten.)

7. Save the ranch dressing packets from fast food restaurants to use as on the go dip with carrots and celery.

8. Individual cups of unsweetened apple sauce make great on the go snacks. Sprinkle wih cinnamon fo extra taste and antioxidants!

9. Instead of candy, try giving your children dried fruit instead. (Just limit the amount. Dried fruit can be high in calories and can cause loose bowels!!)

10. ANTS ON A LOG: celery stcks with peanut butter in the iddle toppe with raisins

11. Air popped popcorn (healthier than microwave popcorn)

The Bottom Line…

The bottom line on snacking is to combine healthy fats, lean protein and carbohydrates to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, increase energy and keep you full until dinner.

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Healthy Lunch Ideas For School Or Work

Coming up with healthy lunch ideas can be a daunting task. It’s hard to find new and exciting things to pack for your family’s lunch that are actually healthy.

Remember to have a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates whenever you pack a lunch to ensure your loved ones are full and alert all afternoon. Try to avoid junk food like chips, candy and soda that might cause a 3pm nap!!

Here are a few easy and healthy lunch ideas for school or for work:

  1. Healthy PB&J; (whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and sliced strawberries), applesauce, and reduced fat string cheese
  2. Tortilla Wraps- whole grain tortillas filled with veggies, sliced turkey or chicken and natural cheese rolled and cut in half
  3. Chicken noodle soup, whole grain crackers, and fresh berries
  4. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, carrot and celery sticks with reduced-fat ranch dressing for dipping
  5. Whole wheat pasta salad (make your own with whole grain pasta, peppers, olives, cubed chicken breast, balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
  6. Low-fat chili in a thermos with whole grain crackers and string cheese (chili can be cooking overnight in the crock pot and ready for the thermos in the morning!)
  7. Whole grain spaghetti and turkey meatballs in a thermos with a garden salad and low-fat dressing
  8. Fresh berries (or other seasonal fruit) with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese and homemade “trail mix” – whole wheat pretzels, raisins, almonds, cheerios, etc or a high fiber granola bar (like Fiber One)
  9. Whole grain english muffin with pizza sauce and shredded cheese (toasted) and fruit
  10. Ants On A Log (celery stick with natural peanut butter and raisins), and a Yogurt Parfait (layer low-fat granola, vanilla yogurt and berries ending with granola on top)
  11. Cranberry-Nut Turkey Roll Ups Spread Flatout bread with 1 tablespoon whole-berry cranberry sauce and 1 teaspoon fat-free mayonnaise. Top with 3 ounces thickly sliced deli turkey breast, 1 leaf romaine lettuce, and 1 teaspoon chopped pecans. Roll up and serve.
  12. hummus and veggies in a flat out wrap

Remember, have some fun with lunch. Pack a colorful napkin leftover from a party or write a love note. Lunch is an important time to refuel the body and the spirit to help finish the day well!

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Fast and Healthy Breakfast Ideas To Keep You Focused And Alert All Morning Long!

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, what are some healthy breakfast ideas that are also quick and easy? After all, who has time to fix a complete meal each morning before the kids catch the school bus and your husband runs out the door?

Here are a few tips on how to choose a healthy breakfast:

1. Breakfast should include at least 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein

2. Avoid refined carbohydrates that have little to no nutritional value like high sugar cereals or bagels and muffins made with large amounts of sugar and/or white flour.

Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

1. Fiber One (or other high fiber granola bar) and a glass of skim milk

2. Natural Peanut Butter on a whole wheat bagel (made with at least 50% whole grain flour), sliced fruit and a glass of skim milk

3. Whole Grain English Muffin or Whole Grain Bagel with 4 egg whites (spray coffee cup with non-stick cooking spray and add egg whites. Cover and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Fits perfectly on the muffin or bagel) and reduced fat shredded natural cheese on top

4. Same as above, but make into a burrito by using a whole grain tortilla and adding a few fresh veggies like tomato and green pepper

5. Instant oatmeal topped with fresh berries or raisins and skim milk

Bad Choices:

Here are a few breakfast items to avoid:

1. Toaster Pastries

2. Doughnuts

3. Coffee Cake

4. Hash Browns or Fried Potatoes

5. Croissants, muffins, bagels made from sugar and white flour

When Eating Out…

Here are a few healthy breakfast ideas when eating out:

1. Buy the egg and cheese sandwich or burrito minus the meat

2. Order fresh fruit and yogurt. (Often it is on the children’s menu)

3. Starbucks now even has oatmeal!!

A healthy breakfast is possible no matter if you are eating at home or on the go. Just remember, ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST! It will help jumpstart your metabolism and keep you from overeating the rest of the day!

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Healthy Grocery Tips On A Budget!

Healthy grocery tips that won’t break the bank! It CAN be done.

Every mom needs a little help when it comes to figuring out what to fix for dinner EVERY night. You want to find healthy foods for your family, but who has the time or energy after a long week of work and chores to spend hours at the health food store?

You CAN buy healthy foods for your family at the regular grocery store (and not spend a fortune) if you know what to look for!

Below are some great healthy grocery tips that I use myself to help make the trip to the grocery store quick, easy and (nearly) painless:

  1. When buying bread and pasta check the list of ingredients. Look for the words “Whole Grain” as the first ingredient. If you see “wheat flour” or “enriched flour” as one of the first couples of ingredients, then this is mostly refined white bread with some whole grains added.
  2. Buy lean meat, fish (especially oily fish like salmon) and poultry when it is on sale and freeze it for future use.Try to limit deli meats, hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats due to high levels of nitrates.
  3. Buy organic milk when possible.
  4. Avoid pre-packaged meals that contain high levels of sodium, fat and calories. Try broiling fish and steaming fresh broccoli instead!
  5. Try to spend half your budget each week on fruits and veggies and spend the other half on whole grains, dairy and lean meat. Start in the produce department first and work your way around the outside edges of the store. Most processed and unhealthy foods are kept in the centre aisle. Limit what you buy there!
  6. Stop buying soda or fruit juice that is mostly sugar water! Buy unsweet tea or tea bags to make tea yourself and keep in your refrigerator. If you must buy juice, be sure it is 100% juice and limit the amount you and your family drinks each day.
  7. Stop buying junk food at the store. I have discovered if I don’t buy candy or chips, my family won’t miss them! They will grab a piece of fruit to curb that sugar craving instead. Plus, not spending money on junk food saves money in the budget for healthier foods instead!
  8. Learn to read food labels. Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), bleached flour, enriched flour, and high fructose corn syrup by checking the ingredients on packages.
  9. Buy a bottle of red wine each week. Alcohol in moderate amounts is actually good for adults especially red wine.
  10. Buy healthy cooking oil like Canola or Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

If you can’t afford all organic produce, try buying these fruits and veggies organically since they have the highest levels of pesticides left on them even after washing (according to a study by the Environmental Working Group):


Apples, Cherries, Grapes (imported from Chile), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Raspberries, Strawberries


Bell Peppers, Celery, Potatoes, Spinach (and other leafy veggies)

Also, here is the list of the CLEAN 15.

You don’t have to buy these organically. They are not as prone to damage by insects and have the least amount of pesticides!

onion, avocado, sweet corn (frozen), pineapple, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, cabbage, egg-plant, papaya, watermelon, broccoli, tomato, sweet potato

(CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT TO BUY ONCE YOU ARE AT THE STORE? Check out these great totes!!)

12.  Purchase berries, peaches, mangos and other fruits when they are on sale and freeze in individual baggies for use later in smoothies or on whole grain waffles.

13. YES, you can use coupons and still have a healthy grocery list! It takes some work to pull your list together each week, but stores offer great coupons on things like frozen vegetables, whole grain pasta and whole grain waffles. But, don’t get tricked into buying processed foods just because you have a coupon. Just because a bag of candy is $0.50, doesn’t mean it needs to be in your cart! 
Some things have taken my family longer to get used to than others, but these healthy grocery tips have really improved my family’s overall health and nutrition!

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Healthy Grocery List On A Budget

Want a healthy grocery list without breaking the bank? Start here! Find great buys on natural, organic and other healthy foods at great prices each week.

Here are a few quick tips on saving money:

1. COUPONING-The basic principle is this: a grocery item usually goes on sale once every 6-8 weeks. At that time it is at it’s LOWEST price. This is when you want to buy enough to last you until it goes on sale again. Add any coupons to this and you get the lowest price possible!

EXAMPLE: Cascadian Farms cereal is usually around $3.00 a box. Stores run sales every six to eight weeks and mark it down to around $2.00 a box. Use coupons on top of the sale price and get it for around $1.00 a box!!! Buy 6 boxes to last you until it goes on sale again.

2. WHERE DO I GET THE COUPONS? Sign-up for home mailers, look for online coupons, buy the Sunday newspaper, grab grocery store flyers, pull coupons from the tearpads on the shelves and purchase magazines like ALL YOU. All of these are great coupon resources.

3. Buy produce when it is on sale. Wash it and freeze it for later. The fruit isn’t great raw once it has been frozen. But, it is great to use in smoothies, oatmeal or as a frozen treat in the summer. Vegetables can be steamed or grilled, used in soup or sauces and tastes great!

4. Plan your meals around what produce and meat is on sale that week. That way you can have the most afforable meal possible.

5. Look for in store sales and manager’s specials and be sure to bring your coupon planner with you in case you find an unadvertised deal. As long as the expiration date hasn’t passed, the food is still good. I find great deals on organics all the time! I always buy as much as they have on the shelf.

BONUS TIP: Never go to the store hungry or with your children. Both are easily tempted!

Not sure what healthy foods you should be buying? Check out the healthy grocery shopping tips on a budget and get tips on everything from what produce should be purchased organically to what type of bread to buy!

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