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Healthy Snacking Options

"Substitute unhealthy snacks with nutritious alternatives"
By: Vanessa ValenzuelaHealthy Snacking Options

For kids and young adults who spend the whole day in school or office, the word “baon” doesn’t just involve a main meal—in between snacks and knick-knacks should also be prepared. This is to prevent the children from buying junk food or “sitsirya” from the nearest convenience store.

Here are some suggested healthier substitutes to the usual snacks:

  • Veggie sticks are crunchy and refreshingly filling. Simply wash, peel, and slice carrots, cucumber, singkamas (turnip), and celery stalks and place them inside a sealed bag or plastic container;
  • Boiled corn, camote (sweet potato), saging (banana) na saba, and peanuts are also great in-between treats;
  • If your child loves fast food French fries, give him or her camote fries or banana cue cooked in some brown sugar instead. Make sure you use healthy oils for frying like canola oil. Drain freshly fried banana or camote in paper towels before packing them into containers.
  • Does your kid love cakes and pastries? Give him our good old native rice cakes like puto, palitaw, kutsinta, suman, and sapin-sapin. These are mostly made of steamed ground rice while commercially baked cakes and pastries contain a lot of fat.
  • Replace white bread with wheat bread. White bread is made of refined flour, which quickly brings your blood sugar levels up.
  • If your child has a sweet tooth, satisfy his cravings with fresh fruit slices like pineapple, mangoes, papaya, and bananas.
  • Instead of soda drinks that pack in a lot of sugar, give them fresh juices like homemade calamansi (calamondin) or dalandan (Philippine orange) juice sweetened with some brown sugar or honey.

You love your family. You want to make sure they eat healthy yet delicious meals even when they’re not at home. Nowadays, it’s so easy for them to trade your home cooked meals with fast food and commercially packed items so you’re challenged to bring your cooking up a notch.

Get into the habit of trying something creative and new when preparing their baon to make sure they bring home empty lunchboxes. Read healthy cooking suggestions in magazines, blogs, and TV shows. Make sure that your meals don’t just taste good, but also look good to entice your loved ones to eat them.

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