Tag Archives: snacks

Healthy Pecan Recipes

Healthy Pecan Recipes for National Pecan Month

It’s National Pecan Month. Ditch heavy pecan pie for lighter ways to love the nut with these healthy pecan recipes.

First up, make these Pecan Pie Energy Bites for snacking on the go.

Pecan Pie Energy Bites
Image and Recipe for Tastemade

 

Whip up Spiralized Apple Salad with Citrus Dressing with pecans for extra crunch.

Spiralized Apple Salad with Citrus Dressing

 

This Maple Pecan Crusted Salmon uses a maple marinade to flavor the fish.

Maple Pecan Crusted Salmon

 

Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Granola is a great replacement for your favorite candy bars.

Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Granola

 

This Triple Berry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans is a perfect springtime lunch.

Triple Berry Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans

 

Whip up this Clean-Eating Cranberry Pecan Quinoa for a healthy picnic dish.

Clean Eating Cranberry Pecan Quinoa Recipe

 

Add flavor and crunch to bland chicken with Honey Pecan Chicken.

Honey Pecan Chicken

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Deciding on a Balanced Diet

Eating a Balanced Diet

Focusing on a balanced diet is one of the best ways to make healthy eating a part of your life.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The USDA sets Dietary Guidelines for Americans regularly to help guide balanced diet choices. While these guidelines can seem complicated, there are key takeaways from them you should know.

The Importance of Healthy Eating

Healthy eating helps prevent and slow the onset of diseases, like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Include in a Balanced Diet

A healthy and balanced diet, which for most people is around 2,000 calories a day, includes a variety of:

  • Vegetables, including a variety of dark green, red, and orange veggies, legumes, which include beans and peas, and starchy veggies, like corn and potatoes.
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits, like apples and oranges, which are the perfect serving  size.
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grain.
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy (like milk, yogurt, and cheese) or appropriate substitutes.
  • A variety of foods high in protein, like lean meats, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans,  soy-based products (like tofu), nuts and seeds.
  • Oils (like canola, olive, peanut, and soybean) or naturally occurring oils in nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados.

Limit in a Balanced Diet

  • Added sugars should make up less than 10% of your daily calories, which can be hidden in processed and prepared foods, like soda, cereal, cookies, and more.
  • Limit saturated and trans fats, which should make up less than 10% of your daily calories. Foods high in these include butter, whole milk, and palm oil. Replace with unsaturated fats, like canola and olive oil whenever you can.
  • Limit sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day. Processed foods, like pizza, and canned soup and sauces can be high in this salt.

A Balanced Diet with MyPlate

MyPlate replaced the food pyramid as the guide to making sense of servings. It helps you look at your plate and strike a balance with each meal.

This chart can help you divide your own plates appropriately: MyPlate

Fruits and veggies should make up about half of your plate, with just over a quarter filled with whole grains, and protein should be under a quarter. (A few ounces of meat, a piece about the size of the palm of your hand, is a good serving size for most people.) Also work in a small serving of dairy through milk, cheese, or yogurt to round out your meal.

Making Smart Choices

Combine these guidelines with smart choices, and you’ll be well on your way to eating a balanced diet. And making these smart choices doesn’t have to be difficult. There are lots of tips and tricks that can help you make a balanced diet a part of your daily life.

Tracking Your Food

Then, you can target the number of servings you should be getting of the different food groups.

These can help you figure out calorie counts and limit sodium and sugar.

This can help you understand how balanced your diet and food servings are and set and reach food goals.

Making and Meeting Food Goals

  • Start small.

Making small changes in your eating habits can have long-term effects:

  • Switch to high fiber, low-sugar cereals.
  • Give up soda with flavored sparkling waters.
  • When you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water before you eat something.
  • Plan for all of the places you go in life:
    • Instead of eating out for lunch at work, start planning and meal-prepping ahead of time, and avoid the vending machines.
    • If you know your kids aren’t making great food choices at school, get them involved in packing lunches they’ll love ahead of time.
    • When you know you’ll spend the day at the mall, carry snacks and a water bottle, eat a healthy breakfast or snack before you head out, and skip the food court. If you just can’t avoid a meal or a snack while you’re out, find the healthiest option. Load up a sandwich with veggies, get frozen yogurt without all kinds of extra sweet toppings instead of ice cream, and choose hot tea or unsweetened iced tea instead of a frappachino.
    • Check menus for calorie counts when you’re eating out. Ask for salad dressings and sauces on the side, avoid fried foods, and keep in mind that alcoholic drinks can be full of calories.
    • Many communities have community gardens. Join in and help out to get moving and to grow things your whole family can enjoy in meals.

Results and Rewards

  • Don’t beat yourself up when you have missteps.

Everyone struggles with giving up the foods full of sugar and salt that they love, so it’s important to stay positive and get back on track.

  • Plan your cheat day.

Many people have found that planning a weekly cheat day can help them stay on course knowing they can treat themselves later. And once you get used to a balanced diet, you’ll find that you’ll cheat in smaller and smaller ways, even on the day you’re allowed to.

  • Find healthy ways to treat yourself.

For example, do you love watermelon or raspberries? Splurge on the healthy treats you love. Enjoy a piece of dark chocolate each day or a glass of red wine each week. Another option, reward meeting your goals with a treat that isn’t food-related, like a new outfit, book, or manicure.

Up Next:

Now that you know the value of a balanced diet, learn to prepare before you go grocery shopping and shop smart to meet your goals.

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Healthy Peanut Recipes

Peanut Recipes for National Peanut Month

It’s National Peanut Month, and there are plenty of healthy peanut recipes to make the most of the popular nut in your diet.

Thai Peanut Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Bowl is a great substitute for Thai takeout.

Thai Peanut Chicken Zucchini Bowl

Thai Peanut Chicken And Zucchini Noodle Bowl

 

Make Homemade Peanut Butter with your food processor to ditch store-bought.

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter

 

This Peanut Coleslaw will be a perfect side for upcoming spring barbecues.

Peanut Coleslaw

 

Get a taste of the world at home with this hearty West African Peanut Soup.

West African Peanut Soup

 

Peanut Tofu Bowls are a great way to go meatless without losing flavor.

Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowl

 

Spicy Peanuts are a great snack to munch on during afternoon slumps or on game day.

Spicy Peanuts

 

Thai Chicken Chopped Salad with Peanuts is a light lunch as the weather warms up.

Thai Chicken Chopped Salad with Peanut Dressing

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Ditch the Unhealthy Snack Food

National Snack Food Month

It’s National Snack Food Month, and we want to help you snack smart and ditch processed snacks with healthy snack food recipes.

First up, skip the snack aisle and make Clean and Fudgy Dark Chocolate Frosted Brownies.

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Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

If you’re a dipper, you have options with these 29 Healthy Hummus Recipes.

29 Healthy Hummus Recipes
Image and Recipe via Dr. Axe

 

Make Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pops that your kids will love after school.

Healthy Chocolate Pudding Pops
Image and Recipe via Make the Best of Everything

 

Skip the grocery store granola bars with these homemade Strawberry Oat Bars.

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Image and Recipe via My Fussy Eater

 

Ditch the store-bought bags for this Healthy Trail Mix that’s easy and tasty.

Healthy Trail Mix
Image and Recipe via Mom Spotted

 

You’ll feel like you’re eating candy with Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt Bark.

Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt Bark
Image and Recipe via My Fussy Eater

 

Skip cookies and eat No-Bake Loaded Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites on the go.

No Bake Loaded Oatmeal Cookie Energy Bites
Image and Recipe via Cotter Crunch

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National Slow Cooking Month

National Slow Cooking Month

January is also National Slow Cooking Month. Your slow cooker can make meals easier.

First up is Super Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip that’s perfect for game day.

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Super Skinny Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 

Whip up an easy app with these Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks

 

Choose Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes for a great side without effort.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

 

Make bowls, tacos, and more with this Slow Cooker Mojo Pork.

Slow Cooker Mojo Pork
Image and Recipe via Iowa Girl Eats

 

Keep snacks simple with Slow Cooker Applesauce.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

 

Toss the takeout menu and make this Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef instead.

Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef

 

Dessert is done ahead of time with this Slow Cooker Granola Berry Crisp.

Slow Cooker Granola Berry Crisp

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Smart Holiday Snacks

Healthy Holiday Snacks

This week, we had some healthy holiday snacks for your get-togethers.

First up are simple Healthy Pomegranate Chocolate Candy Cups.

Healthy Pomegranate Chocolate Candy Cups

Healthy Pomegranate Chocolate Candy Cups

 

This Candy Cane Nice Cream is perfect for the whole family.

Candy Cane Nice Cream

 

Whip up these Healthy Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Star cookies for Santa.

Healthy Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Stars

 

This Skinny Peppermint Fudge is perfect as a gift or for holiday parties.

SKINNY PEPPERMINT FUDGE

 

If you prefer savory snacks, make these easy Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels.

Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

 

This Warm Gingerbread Breakfast Smoothie is easy and delicious.

warm gingerbread breakfast smoothie

 

Throw together Gingerbread Glazed Roasted Nuts for party finger food.

Gingerbread Glazed Roasted Nuts

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Avoiding Snacking Disaster

Secretly Healthy Snacks

We’re finishing up our month of secretly healthy recipes for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month with secretly healthy snacks.

Skip the milkshake and go with this Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie instead.

Vanilla Mint Green Smoothie

 

If you’re always craving the crunch, try these 30 Healthy Chip Recipes.

30 Healthy Chip Recipes

 

Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Snacks will please your toughest kid judge.

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Homemade Fruit and Vegetable Snacks + Video Recipe

 

This Vegan Avocado Chocolate Pudding is the perfect after-school snack.

Vegan Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Image and Recipe via Apollo and Luna

 

Make one of these kinds of Sweet Potato Toast for the perfect easy brunch.

Sweet Potato Toast: 3 Ways

 

Whip up Raspberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies for a delicious treat.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking

 

Get a simple and satisfying dose of veggies with Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas.

Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas

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