To handle the hunger of a soccer team, plan ahead with frozen yogurt-fruit pops. In a blender, mix seasonal berries with low-fat yogurt and a little milk. Pour the mixture into ice pop mold trays and freeze. Fresh from the freezer, hand out to your kid's team on game day. You'll be an instant hero. That's just one of the healthy snack ideas from Joan Salge Blake, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
When you're heading to the swimming pool, you need to plan refreshments for those inevitable swim breaks. For a sweet treat, skip the ice cream. Instead, bring along a cooler with an ice pack and a big bag of frozen red seedless grapes. "They're hydrating and filling, thanks to their high water and fiber content," says Blake, a registered dietitian.
Need a new snack to munch on at the office? Roasted chickpeas are a surprisingly delicious, protein-rich alternative to hitting the vending machine. To make them, simply preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse, drain, and blot dry a 15.5-ounce can of chickpeas. Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt, spread chickpeas on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
For nights at the drive-in, microwave a 100-calorie pack of popcorn for each member of the family to bring along to the movies. "Popcorn is high in fiber, and better for you than pretzels or potato chips because it's a source of whole grains," says dietitian Blake. Bonus: The individual servings help provide portion control and prevent fights over a communal popcorn bag.
A day of hiking calls for a substantial snack. Before you hit the trail, plan ahead: Pack a small backpack with a container of hummus, a bag of baby carrots, and a package of whole wheat pitas. This terrific trio is hearty enough to serve as a light lunch on your active outing.
Got tickets for the baseball game? For a classic ballpark treat, bring along a sack of peanuts or pistachios in their shells. Nuts are a great source of fiber and protein. Plus, the process of opening the shells slows down snack-happy adults while also providing some fun for the kids.
Sometimes, nothing but a crispy chip will do. At your next picnic, pair these savory, homemade pita chips with sandwiches. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 4 whole wheat pitas into wedges and toss with 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil. Place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown.
Tired of plain almonds? Take tamari almonds along on your next workout. You'll be in for a real treat. Tamari almonds are roasted in a mellow Japanese soy sauce. As with all nuts, you'll need to watch your portion size: Stick to 15 or so (just under 3 tablespoons) to keep your snack in the 150-calorie range.
When you're headed to a play date at the park, cereal is an easy snack to pack. Take resealable plastic bags filled with your child's favorite. But make sure it's a cereal made with whole grains, says dietitian Blake. Even a frosted shredded wheat cereal works. Although it's glazed with a bit of sugar, it's got a lot more fiber and nutrition than your average cracker or cookie.
Dried plums are known for their fiber, but they also make a sweet, antioxidant-packed snack on the go. Perfectly portable, they're even available individually wrapped, which keeps them extra moist. Take some along when you're shopping or running errands. These chewy treats are a good source of vitamins A and B6.
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