Friday, January 21

Food Spotlight: 100-Calorie Snack Packs

Food manufacturers, in an effort to appeal to health conscious consumers, have begun packaging their products in single serving snack packs. Lining the grocery shelves are 100-calorie packs of Oreo cookies, Chips Ahoy!, Cheese Bits, Cheetos and other snack foods. In theory, this is a good idea. Dividing your favorite treats into smaller portion sizes allows you to indulge a little without going overboard.

Yeah, in theory it’s great. However, like a lot of theories it breaks down in practice.

This first problem with these snacks is the assumption that you’ll only eat one package. It is scientifically proven that protein, fiber and water are the elements in food that give you a feeling of satiation. They fill you up. These 100-calorie snack products are mostly sugar and carbohydrates which do nothing to satisfy your hunger. Chances are you’ll reach for another pack, and another, until finally, stomach still grumbling, you angrily walk down to the vending machine, punch A-7 and retrieve your Snickers bar.

These products are not designed to fill you up. They’re actually a launch pad for other poor choices.

The second, and more fundamental issue I have with these products is that they are a nutritional wasteland. They have very few vitamins, minerals, or other important nutrients. You’re consuming empty calories.

But Dianna, they’re CONVENIENT!, you say. Yeah, I know, that’s the one thing they have going for them. But with a little planning you can have some healthy snack options lying around the house or in your office.

Here’s a list of my favorite 100-calorie snacks. I broke them down in to two categories—snacks for the office and snacks for home. Stock up on some of these and conquer your mid-morning hunger pangs with a healthy choice!

Healthy 100-Calorie Snacks for the Office
  • Half an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
(peanut butter is shelf stable, so you can keep a jar in the office)
  • 6 Wheat Thins crackers with two teaspoons of peanut butter
  • 3 cups of unbuttered popcorn
  • 1 package of Quaker Instant Oatmeal (regular flavor)
  • 1 banana
  • Starbucks Tall Skinny Latte (THAT’S what I’m talking about! And if you walk to Starbucks that’s a bonus!)

Healthy 100-Calorie Snacks for Home

  • Yoplait Light Fat-Free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Fage Non-Fat Plain Greek yogurt plus 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing with mixed raw veggies
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 28 grapes
  • 1 cup blueberries
1/2 medium cantaloupe
  • 15 strawberries dipped in 1⁄4 cup Cool Whip Lite
  • 45 steamed edamame (green soybeans)
1/2 red bell pepper dipped in 3 tablespoons hummus
  • 2 – Sargento Light String Cheese

1 comment:

  1. How about a slider? It's got to have a lot less calories than a full burger.