February is National Snack Food Month, but that doesn't mean you should cave in to candies and chips.
Many people don’t know the difference between a “healthy snack” and a marketing ploy. In our busy lives it is so convenient to eat on the run, but what to eat?
There’s a lot of confusion out there, and the labels on the boxes don’t help. Let’s throw out the boxes! In this time, we have amazing access to information through the web.
Kaiser Permanente has some great programs you can access online, for FREE. An easy place to start is to “fill up on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other healthy options. You'll also find out how to cut down on processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.”
A great way to start is to “Eat Clean”. You may have heard this term before but what does it mean?
“Eating Clean” is a way of living. It is used a lot by bodybuilders and other competitors and has now come into the mainstream, as it is a successful way to drop and maintain weight.
“Clean” foods are those that are not processed. Examples are fruits, vegetables, grains, fish and meats. The saying goes “If you can catch it, kill it or pick it, you can eat it!” You want your snack to be made up of at least two food groups, such as a grain and a protein, or a fruit/veggie with a protein.
Some tips from Kaiser:
- Find healthier substitutes to high-fat snacks.
- Make snacks interesting: Dip fruit in yogurt or nutbutter, sprinkle in cinnamon or nutmeg
- Be prepared: Have food ready ahead of time.
Fun snack ideas:
- Mixed veggies and hummus
- Almond butter and an apple
- Peanut butter and Ezekiel (or other whole grain) bread
- Yogurt (try Greek Yogurt for less sugar and higher protein content)
- Trail Mix
- Almonds, Peanuts
- Mix honey and peanut butter for a dip for fruit, veggies, pretzel sticks, whole grain crackers or rice cakes.
- Frozen berries with low-fat yogurt and almonds or granola
- Top whole grain crackers with low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese, sliced tomatoes or red pepper strips
- Low-fat cream cheese on a whole grain bagel, sprinkle with sunflower seeds and raisins
Kaiser Permanente has opened farmer’s markets outside of their medical centers and clinics.
Kaiser also has many recipes online for the ingredients you try from the fresh market.
Fremont Medical Center and Offices
39400 Paseo Padre Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538
Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., year-round
San Jose Community Farmers' Market
Located in the Kaiser Permanente parking lot at Santa Teresa Boulevard and Camino Verde Drive
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through September (rain or shine)
San Jose Medical Center
250 Hospital Parkway
San Jose, CA 95119
Located between the One North (270 International Circle) and Two North buildings
Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., year-round