March is National Nutrition month! So, rather than reviewing a snack off the store shelf, I thought I would focus on my favorite kinds of snacks. These aren’t nutrition bars, or healthy cookies, or chips. I’m talking about good old whole food. The best way to celebrate National Nutrition Month is to celebrate nutrition the way nature intended!
Whole Food Snacks for National Nutrition Month
Most snacks end up being too high in sodium, saturated fat, or sugar, or even a combination. The fist thing to understand when shopping for a good snack is what I like to call the “politics of packaging.” Yes, basically, the food manufacturers who sell food to us are kind of playing politics with the way they package the food. On the front of the package, they tell you what they want you to hear and what they want you to know. But on the back of the package, they tell you what they are required to tell you, and in many cases what they really don’t want you to know. So you have to look past the front and study the back to really be informed about what is in your snacks. It can be overwhelming trying to find a good packaged snack that covers all the bases. So why not turn to whole food alternatives and get a little creative? Here are some of my favorite snacks from regular, everyday whole foods, that will satisfy your crunchy, salty, sweet cravings, while giving you much better nutrition and support than many packaged snacks:
- Celery sticks dipped in whole sunflower seed or raw nut butter, with at touch of sea salt
- Radishes tossed in extra virgin olive oil with lemon- add a dash of sea salt if you want
- Little Persian cucumbers dipped in Hummus
- Watermelon spears with lime juice
- Fresh shelled green peas with a touch of sea salt
- Homemade zucchini chips, really easy to make on your own
- Raw pumpkinseeds mixed with goji berries or blueberries
- Good old green apples- dip them in almond butter if you want
- Pomegranate seeds
- Unsweetened yogurt with fresh fruit and a few drops of liquid stevia, topped with unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, or nuts
Have a little whole food adventure the next time you are looking for a snack at the store. Try looking at the produce section a little differently. Identify fruits and vegetables that can be transported easily, or made into a nice easy ensemble with other kinds of whole foods. The fresh pack section of the supermarket has more and more great fresh produce prepared for you to enjoy easily, like broccoli florets, cut up bell peppers, fresh peas, cleaned sugar snap peas, and more. Try a new kind of fruit you have never tried before. Head to the Farmers Market and see what they have to offer that is in season. When you start to create stronger whole food snacking habits, you will notice the difference in your overall health and well being down the road. Happy National Nutrition Month!