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.

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.

¿, and try our interactive supermarket to compare nutritional values of your favorite groceries

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