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SALLY SQUIRES LEAN PLATE CLUB SNACK OPTIONS

Often, similar looking products vary widely in calories, sugar, fiber, fat and more. Compare some of your favorite foods and see how, as you shop, you can bring home healthier choices.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Snacks are often synonymous with junk food, but they can provide an easy way to boost key nutrients with few food battles.

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Start with popcorn. It's a whole grain that few kids can refuse. Try Orville Redenbacher'sOriginal Gourmet Popping Corn. It comes in convenient 100-calorie snack packs and has no artificial colors, flavors or trans fat. How big is a 100-calorie pack? Six cups, with 2 grams of fat. For the same amount of calories, you get about 16 small pretzels.

Go blue. One choice: Tostitos Blue Corn Natural Tortilla Chips. Their natural blue color is attractive to kids. They also count as a whole grain. Seven chips have about 140 calories and 6 grams of fat but half a gram of saturated fat and no trans fat. Team with bean dip, salsa or guacamole for a partial serving of vegetables. Or mix seasonings into Cabot No Fat Sour Cream for a quick dip; two tablespoons have 20 calories.

Get nutty. Nuts are high in protein and pack healthy fat. Because they contain about 160 calories an ounce, measure nuts into individual plastic bags. A few good choices: Blue Diamond Salt & Black Pepper Almonds and Planters Lightly Salted Mixed Nuts.

Say cheese. A growing number of low-fat and nonfat options makes cheese a smart choice. Some options: Alpine Lace Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese provides 25 percent of the daily calcium intake for 90 calories a slice and 3.5 grams of saturated fat.

Waffle a little. The large number of frozen waffles means there is no need to get a waffle iron. Earth's Best Organic Mini Waffles feature the Cookie Monster, sure to be a hit. Each serving has 80 calories. Top with a dollop of fat-free yogurt and some fruit.

¿ Visitwww.leanplateclub.com, and try our interactive supermarket to compare nutritional values of your favorite groceries atwww.washingtonpost.com/supermarket.


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