Five More Healthy Snacks

Coming home sure has tested my resolve to eat better. In fact, I would say I've failed miserably these past few days after we transitioned from "visit" to official "vacation." As the vacation portion of our visit won't be over for a few days yet, it seems appropriate to remind myself of some of the many healthy-snack possibilities out there. For more tasty but nutritious snacks, check out the previous Five Healthy Snacks post.

Yogurt: My husband particularly loves this one now that the new season of Burn Notice is airing. Still, you don't have to be a former spy to appreciate the low-fat protein, calcium, and tangy flavor available in yogurt. Buy a brand with live and active cultures for possible immune- and digestive-system benefits.

Vinaigrette-Based Slaw: I made a big tub of slaw flavored with Asian-sesame dressing earlier this week that I at least incorporated into lunches, if not snacks. However, slaws, which can last several days in the fridge, make terrific, highly flavorful snacking fodder. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli, and it's packed with filling fiber and nutrients. If you flavor your shredded cabbage and veggies with a light dressing rather than mayo, it won't weigh you down with excess calories.

Whole-Wheat Bread with Light Soft Cheese: A slice of whole-wheat bread gets you one of those three daily servings of whole grains, and spreading the bread with soft cheese (think Laughing Cow Light or light cream cheese) nets you some protein and calcium. Butter and jam, on the other hand, add only empty calories. Bonus: Being back home means I can finally toast bread again! Toasting makes bread taste better without adding calories.

Cherry or Grape Tomatoes: August is tomato season! Check out your local markets for tomatoes grown in your neck of the woods, which will certainly taste sweeter and more aromatic for not having been picked days in advance to allow time for travel. Luckily, cherry and grape tomatoes, besides being small and poppable, usually taste delicious year round.

Jerky: I've been thinking about trying this snack again all through my year abroad, and now opportunity knocks! Jerky is surprisingly low in fat yet plenty high in protein. Check nutrition labels for jerky (which is available not only in beef but also turkey and soy) that is lower in sodium.

Are there any healthy snacks you particularly enjoy?

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