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Meal Makeover: Snack Attack

By EatingWell Editors

Great alternatives for lunchboxes and brown bags.

Packaged snack foods tempt us everywhere! It’s all too easy to pop a bag of chips or those cute mini cookies into lunchboxes and brown bags in the morning or succumb to a candy bar around 3 p.m., but with a small investment of time and effort, you can make much healthier choices for yourself and your family. Choose from our list of ready-to-go whole-food snacks, or try some of these ultra-quick tasty recipes (ready in under 5 minutes) to keep everyone going all day long.

7 Ultra-Quick Fun Snacks for Kids

  • Fruity Kebabs: Spear chunks of pineapple, cucumber, orange and/or grapes on toothpicks; include a small cup of sugar-free yogurt for dipping.
  • Happy Trails Mix: Combine equal parts popcorn and whole-grain unsweetened cereal; add a small handful of orange-flavored dried cranberries.
  • Chips & Dip: Pack up a small bag of baked tortilla chips; include a separate container of salsa you’ve spiked with shredded Cheddar cheese for dipping.
  • Do-It-Yourself Mini Stackers: Provide whole-grain crackers, 1-inch squares of sliced roast turkey breast and cucumber rounds in separate containers. Let your child stack her own “sandwiches.”
  • Mini Rice-Cake Sandwiches: Spread peanut butter between mini rice cakes.
  • Taco Bites: Provide separate containers of mini taco shells (preferably trans-fat-free), low-fat bean dip, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and salsa.
  • Ham “Sushi”: Spread turkey-ham lunchmeat with a thin layer of reduced-fat cream cheese. Sprinkle with shredded carrot and roll into a cylinder; slice crosswise into “sushi.”
  • Petite Pitas: Fill mini whole-wheat pitas with hummus, shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Drizzle with Italian dressing; wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  • 7 Ready-to-Pack Healthy Snacks

    • 3/4 cup to 1 cup unsweetened whole-grain cereal
    • 1 ounce peanuts or almonds
    • Small can low-sodium mixed-vegetable juice
    • Small box of raisins
    • Reduced-fat string cheese stick
    • Fresh fruit: in-season apple, orange, pear, banana
    • Low-fat yogurt


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