Tina Miller, MS RD Meijer Healthy Living Advisor, www.meijerhealthyliving.com
Holiday shopping season is in full swing and mall dining can add to your holiday stress while wreaking havoc on your waistline. Take along healthier snacks that travel well. Those nutritious snacks that can easily fit into a purse or shopping backpack will help you stay energized while providing beneficial nutrients that fight stress.
Seven Power Snacks for Power Shopping:
- Apple slices and peanut butter. Pack an apple and a plastic knife (or pre-slice apples and dip in pineapple or lemon juice-OR-you can purchase pre-sliced apples in single serve packs). Pick up Jiff to Go®, individual serving packs of peanut butter. The combination of apples and peanut butter provides carbohydrate for energy, protein and fiber to help keep you feeling satisfied longer. Both apples and peanuts are rich in antioxidants, and peanuts are packed with stress-busting B-vitamins.
- Mini water bottles (i.e., Meijer 12 oz.), easy-to-peel clementines and almonds. Dehydration is a leading cause of fatigue (and shopper crankiness!) So stay hydrated while shopping by drinking plenty of water. Small bottles are lightweight and can easily be refilled at drinking fountains. Refreshing clementines provide vitamin C that can help fight of cold and flu germs which flourish in heavily populated shopping centers. Almonds offer protein and vitamin E to help counter the negative effects of stress.
- Blazing the trail mix: For lasting energy mix up a batch of trail mix using some of your favorite ingredients such as: Mix 2 cups mini shredded wheat squares cereal, 1 cup dried cranberries (raisins, cherries, or other dried fruit can be used) 1 cup of seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) or 1 cup shelled Wonderful pistachios, and 1 cup whole grain goldfish crackers. Portion in individual snack size zip-lock bags. Seeds and nuts are good sources of antioxidants and protein.
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas have everything you need to fight off the temptation for fast food salty snacks. Wash them down with a 100% fruit and vegetable juice box(yes, a box – the perfect portable portion size for juice). To make roasted chick peas:
- Pre-heat oven to 350oF. Drain 1 (15 oz.) can Meijer chickpeas and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 Tbsp. Meijer Olive oil. Stir in 1 Tbsp. McCormick chili powder and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place chickpeas on baking sheet and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes, shaking pan occasionally until the chickpeas are browned and crisp, but not burned.
- Allow to cool. Serve or pack in snack size zip lock bags to go.
- Healthier Granola Bars (look for those with 8g or less sugar per bar, such as Kashi Cherry Dark Chocolate with Almonds) and Horizon organic 1% Milk box. A tasty dose of antioxidants from dark chocolate, dried cherries and whole grains. The perfect high fiber, protein rich snack that helps you resist sweet temptations found at the cookie stand, candy stores and coffee shop!
- Bumble Bee Tuna – open and eat! Tuna salad kits with crackers—or even better yet—Bumble Bee Sensations® Seasoned tuna in individual cans with a pull tab lid (Lemon Pepper, Sun-dried Tomato or Thai Chili seasoned tuna). Pack a handful of whole grain crackers, such as Meijer Woven Wheat Crackers. A satisfying snack with healthy carbs for energy, rich in protein keeping hunger away and loaded with omega-3’s to keep you focused. Don’t forget to bring a fork!
- Peanut Butter (or Almond, Soy or Sunflower Seed butter) and fruit spread on whole grain bread and a banana. Use hearty whole grain bread, such as Meijer 100% whole wheat bread and add a spread with less sugar, such as Welch’s Reduced Sugar Strawberry or Grape Spread. This snack provides disease fighting antioxidants and healthy carbs to keep you energized. You’ll get vitamin B-6 and mood boosting tryptophan from bananas, both of which aid in elevating serotonin levels in the brain (the “feel good” neurotransmitter).
One last important note: Keep your hands (almost) germ free. Bring Lysol® hand sanitizer and/or wash your hands before you eat, especially when eating finger foods like snacks.
Happy, healthy shopping!