Here's a few examples:
Mix some leftover chicken with lemon juice and a bit of mayonnaise. Toss with tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and mint. Finish with freshly cracked black pepper.
Got some leftover brown rice? Combine that with apple, cheddar and ham. Drizzle with cider vinegar and olive oil. Or, replace the cheddar with blue cheese and toasted walnuts.
Take those extra green beans from last night and toss with bacon, corn, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing. Eat in lettuce cups. Or, switch the corn for a chopped, hard-boiled egg; drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil instead of ranch.
Use up that roast chicken by shredding a few pieces with pineapple, orange sections, green onions and almonds. Dress with lime juice and mayonnaise. Eat with tortilla chips. Or, substitute mango for the oranges and add toasted coconut.
Suitable for Lunch or an After-school Snack
Baked Tortilla Chips with Healthy Dip-The dip's made by mixing together chopped green pepper, corn, black beans, chopped jicama and salsa. Special Note: Baked chips have half the fat of regular tortilla chips.
To make a quick and easy Spicy Taco Wrap-Rinse off and then mash canned pinto beans. Add a pinch of taco seasoning, then stir in some salsa. Spread on a whole wheat tortilla, top with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese. Roll up. Special Note: Making your own refried-style beans means less sodium than with regular refried.
Three Portable Snacks (for kids or adults)
Kale chips-They're a great source of fiber, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They're also a great sneaky way to get kids to eat veggies (or for adults who don't like vegetables). Try: Rhythm Kale Chips; they come in a variety of flavors (like Texas BBQ and Kool Ranch).
Chocolate milk (in a nonperishable carton or pack) and a Banana-The banana has potassium, which helps to rehydrate, while the protein and vitamin D in chocolate milk helps muscles recover from any sports activity.
Fruit and Nut bars-The best ones are made from whole grains (such as brown rice flour and oats), fruit and nuts and are minimally processed. To consider: Pure, Larabar and Kind feature lines of fruit and nut bars (be sure to check the ingredients). Here are a few basic guidelines from registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix:
Calories: No more than 100-200
Sodium: No more than 200 mg
Protein: 4 g or more
Sugar: No more than 15 g
Fiber: 3 g or more
Fat: No more than 5 g total (with 3 g maximum saturated fat and 0 g trans fat)
Sources: food know-how section-”what we're loving”and Better Now section-”Snack smart”-Better Homes and Gardens, Sept. 2013, food know-how section-“Lunch box refill” and “Ace the bar exam” by Raven Snook-Better Homes and Gardens, Sept. 2012, and “The bite stuff” by Stephanie Karpinske, MBA, MS, RD-Better Homes and Gardens, Sept. 2011