Summer can be a perfect time for healthy eating habits with promises of fresh fruit, low-fat smoothies, and other treats that are ideal snacks for a day at the beach or lounging by the pool.
With the temptation of syrupy popsicles or sugar-filled energy drinks around every corner, we wanted to provide you with some snack ideas that will reinforce your healthy eating habits for yourself and your family. So take a look at some of these nutritious treats!
Healthy Eating Habits: Fabulous Fruit Features
Fruit is always a winner, and it is also a hit with the kids.
While fresh fruit is always preferable, if you use canned fruit, make sure it’s canned in water and not syrup that is swimming with sugars and excessive calories.
Following are some great ideas for incorporating fruit into perfect snack ideas:
- Freeze grapes—this makes them a fantastic snack when on the beach or at a sporting event.
- Fruit salads: There are so many variations! For example, you might want to select your favorite berries, add yogurt and sweeten it with honey. Feel free to experiment with different types of low-fat yogurts.
- Fruit bowls: Forget the potato chips. For a nice, light appetizer—or even a meal in itself—try a fresh fruit bowl. Feel free to mix and match fruit of different colors and textures. A fruit bowl is also a perfect dessert for summertime.
- Fruit salsa: As long as you take it easy on the chips, a fruit salsa can be a healthier alternative to other snacks. Try combining cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and oranges enhanced with lemon juice and cilantro to provide a flavor-filled excursion.
- Melons: Does anything shout “summer” like a nice slice of cool, fresh watermelon? If watermelon isn’t your favorite, that’s okay; there are plenty of other varieties, such as cantaloupe or honeydew, to choose from.
Yogurt is a great choice; just make sure you’re making a low-fat and low-sugar variety. Some ideas to add a new twist to this old favorite include:
- Yogurt pop: Freeze your favorite flavor and create a “yogurt pop”
- Smoothies, smoothies, smoothies!: These are a quick and easy way to get calcium and have a delicious treat as well.
- Combine yogurt with fruit: Try Greek yogurt over fresh pineapple and add a few almonds for additional texture and a dash of protein.
- Parfaits: This is a wonderful dessert when you crave something fresh with a hint of sweetness.
Why vivacious? Because not only do they pack a nutritional punch, but they also make you feel full, which means you’re less tempted to indulge in unhealthy treats.
But you don’t have to go with the plain vegetables and dip (and be careful with that dip! Some are loaded with enough calories to “undo” all the health benefits of your veggie snack). You can add these twists to gain interest—and even kids will love them:
- “Ants on a log:” This classic uses celery filled with peanut butter and raisins on top to create a peanut butter “log” with raisin “ants” making a trek across it.
- Make your plate a work of art: Sliced peppers may look like sunflowers. Broccoli like trees. It doesn’t take an artist to see the similarities. Arranging your plate in creative ways will make plain vegetables more appealing. Bonus points if you can get the kids to help you create your masterpiece.
Need More Info on Healthy Eating Habits? Contact Our Providers at Conway Medical Center
Summer is the perfect time to implement healthy eating habits into a schedule packed with camping excursions or beach vacations. If you have children, be aware that you’re helping them establish healthy eating habits that will hopefully last throughout their lives.
We understand that nutritional eating isn’t always easy, especially in today’s hectic environment where food labels can be cryptic and difficult to decipher.
That’s why we offer outpatient nutrition services for our patients who are facing challenges with healthy eating habits. We have a particular focus on those who have been prescribed a special diet by their physician.
Want to know more?
To get started, contact your primary care provider and request a referral to our program. We look forward to meeting you and starting this journey together!