Plan ahead for no-guilt snacks

(NC) -- Snacking is now an inherent part of today's lifestyle and can be beneficial when used as a strategy for healthier eating.

Thinking through your snacking needs ahead of time is advised however – and keeping a variety of healthy choices on hand to meet those needs, will lessen the tendency to impulse snack on less desirable choices such as processed and salty snacks, sweets and baked goods. Tried and true snack staples include: fresh fruit, such as grapes, low-fat yogurt, cut up veggies and hummus, whole grain crackers and unsalted nuts of all kinds.

For a heartier snack or mini-meal, create tasty snack combinations. For example, why not toss some California grapes and walnuts into your favourite yogurt? Or, make a fresh trail mix with nuts, cheddar cheese cubes, fresh grapes (instead of raisins) and chocolate or carob chips.

Did you know that California grapes make a fabulous frozen dessert? Forgo the ice cream and sodas for a lighter treat that tastes just like a mini-sorbet.

To make frozen grapes: Rinse grapes and pat dry. Put whole clusters in a bowl or pick the grapes off their stems, and place them on a cookie tray before putting them into the freezer. After two hours, they are ready to eat. Any uneaten grapes can be stored in the freezer in a plastic bag or sealed container, and enjoyed later.


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