Healthy snacks NZ
A titbit or two between meals can keep hunger at bay and the kilos under control, so long as you follow the rules.
For some of us, grabbing the odd snack can be the difference between sticking to a sensible eating plan and crashing and burning into a mid-afternoon ocean of self-loathing and regret. But before I start banging on about healthy snacks, there are some facts about the unhealthy options that you should be aware of.
Muffins, for instance, have manoeuvred their way into our diet plans by seducing the weight-conscious with tempting, virtuous-sounding ingredients such as "bran" or "apple and walnut". But next time you're enticed by the excess mixture spilling over the edge of the muffin cup, know that, at about 1260 to 1680 kilojoules a hit, muffin-top spillage is a cruel metaphor for the resulting subcutaneous fat erupting from the top of your jeans.
It's a minefield, a trap for young players - just like those flavoured coffees (a regular white-chocolate skinny mocha is about 1113 kilojoules) and some muesli bars (about 630 kilojoules).
Nutritionally speaking, snacks are vital in weight management because they prevent us from getting hungry, and thereby ensure our metabolism bubbles along. When we get hungry, we lose muscle mass and our metabolic rate reduces. And in doing so, we effectively tell the body to hang on to its energy stores (stored fat).
Eating regularly - three main meals with two snacks in between - helps us to maintain a steady metabolic rate and therefore helps us to keep our weight under control, provided we don't ingest more kilojoules than we burn.
So snack, but snack carefully. Here are my five favourites:
• A punnet of fresh strawberries or blueberries. These are what I call my personal super foods because just digesting them burns about the same amount of kilojoules as you consume in each serving.
• A small tub of low-fat yoghurt with a sprinkling of untoasted muesli on top - it's filling, rich in calcium and packs plenty of fibre.
• A raw carrot dipped in low-fat ricotta. (Avoid the temptation to finish off the ricotta, though - three tablespoons is the limit!)
• Three apple slices with a dollop of low-fat cottage cheese and a mint leaf on top. This ticks all the boxes - easy to prepare, rich in calcium and protein, and delicious.
• What I call my "legume extravaganza": 10 snow peas, 10 sugar snap peas and 10 green beans. Just 210 kilojoules the lot!
Where we often go wrong is choosing snacks that are too kilojoule-dense, with too much sugar or fat. My rule of thumb is to put a limit of 420 kilojoules per snack. That way I maintain my metabolic rate without turning a snack into a meal. It's a useful point of reference: if it's more than 420 to 460 kilojoules, choose something else.
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Chef Nancy Russman's healthy recipes help kids to pack for school — The Courier-Journal
"Kids will eat anything they make themselves; well, they'll taste it anyway," chuckles chef Nancy Russman. Russman has been teaching kids how to cook for two decades at the Family Scholar House's healthy cooking classes.
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