Cami Wells: Choose wisely and keep your snacks healthy | Advice

Chips, cookies, candy and cake are among the most frequently chosen snack foods, according to a national survey done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Most of us eat too many of these types of snacks so try to purchase these foods less often. Kids and adults will be more likely to select the healthier choices when there is less competition. Carefully chosen snacks are a good way to meet our recommended daily intake of fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, lean protein and whole grains.

Cami Wells

Eat snacks only when hungry. Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger, so it’s important to drink plenty of water during the day. Avoid eating snacks out of boredom or frustration; try physical activity instead.

Every person has varying needs when it comes to snacking, depending on activity levels, portion sizes at meals, and work schedule. Here are a few snack suggestions for both kids and adults from MyPlate:

• Build your own. Make your own snack mix with unsalted nuts and add-ins such as seeds, unsweetened cereal, raisins or other dried fruit, and plain popcorn.

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• Prep ahead. Wash and cut up fresh vegetables and portion them into reusable containers so they’re ready to grab-and-go. Many veggies can be prepped like this.

• Make it a combo. Combine food groups to build satisfying snacks: yogurt and berries, apple with nut butter, or whole grain crackers with turkey and avocado. Be creative!

• Choose vibrant vegetables. Colorful and crunchy raw vegetables are a healthy choice. Try dipping broccoli, zucchini sticks, or baby carrots in hummus, guacamole, or a low-fat yogurt sauce.

• Wash and enjoy. Fresh fruit makes a great go-to snack when you are looking for a quick sweet treat. Apples, pears, grapes, and bananas are always easy and fast.

• Keep healthy options handy. Keep nutritious snack options, such as fruits and vegetables, visible and within reach in the fridge or on the counter for a convenient anytime snack.

  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 cups yogurt, low-fat vanilla
  • 12 (3 ounce) paper cups
  • Aluminum foil
  • 12 food-safe wooden sticks

In a medium bowl, combine thawed juice concentrate and yogurt. Stir until smooth.

Place paper cups close together on a baking sheet. Pour juice/yogurt mixture into paper cups. Cover the cups with a sheet of aluminum foil.

Insert stick for each freezer pop by making a slit in foil over the center of each cup. The aluminum foil serves to keep the sticks in place as the juice/yogurt mixture freezes. Freeze pops until firm.

To serve, run warm water on the outside of each cup to loosen each freezer pop from the cup.

Store leftovers in a sealed container in the freezer.

Nutrition information per serving (1 pop): Calories 50, total fat 0.5g, saturated fat 0g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 20mg, total carbohydrates 9g, fiber 0g, total sugars 8g, includes 2g added sugars, protein 2g.

Cami Wells is an Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Hall County. Contact her at 308-385-5088 or at [email protected] Visit the Hall County website at