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Happy healthy snacking

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Let 2014 be the healthiest year by making simple changes to your diet. Incorporate snacks in a smart, healthy way. Smart snacking can help cut down on calories and eliminate weight gain.

Why eat snacks? Snacks help boost your energy between meals and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Snacks should not be eaten when bored or stressed out, but rather eaten when you are hungry. If snacks are planned ahead of time, healthy eating will replace emotional eating.

A healthy eating plan should contain snacks. These mini-meals can be creative such as a tablespoon of peanut butter spread on a medium apple. How about a tri-color veggie snack: carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and green pepper strips with reduced -fat ranch dressing? Other healthy snacks include nuts and seeds. Keep in mind portion control as nuts and seeds are high in fat. Six almonds are a serving size, and a small handful of nuts or seeds is the limit.

Snacks under 200 calories include:

1 cup of tomato soup and 5 whole-grain crackers .

Small baked potato topped with salsa and 1 oz low-fat cheese.

Waffle topped with 1/2 cup blueberries and 2 tbsp. low-fat yogurt.

3 cups of air popcorn and 3 tbsp. of grated parmesan cheese.

Hungry? Happy healthy snacking! Stay fit and fabulous.

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