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A snack is a portion of food, often smaller than a regular meal, generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.

Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available in the home. Often cold cuts, fruit, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and the like are used as snacks. The Dagwood sandwich was originally the humorous result of a cartoon character's desire for large snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business. Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially-designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).

Beverages, such as coffee, are not generally considered snacks though they may be consumed along with or in lieu of snack foods.

A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a midnight snack.

So, here’s my review of Stacy’s Pesto & Sundried Tomato Pita Chips:

Couple of stats first:

  • calories/ounce — 133.3
  • % of total calories that come from fat – 30%


  1. No trans fat
  2. No cholesterol
  3. High in fiber – you get 11% of your daily recommended fiber in only 1.5oz of food, which is good
  4. Low in sugar

Sabra makes great hummus. In fact, Sabra makes my favorite hummus. Their hummus has a creamy texture that others don’t, and its flavor is fantastic – just the way I like it. Now, when I say those things, I am referring to their “classic” hummus, which is just your basic chickpeas, tahini, oil, and spices, no other special flavors added.

This review concerns their Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and in this case the hummus comes in a single-serving container with a bunch of pretzel crackers to dip into the hummus.

Couple of nutrish stats first:

  • calories/ounce – 70
  • % of total calories that come from fat – 71.4%


  1. I was surprised by how much I liked the pretzel crackers, especially given how they look. To me, they didn’t look too appealing – kind of flat and lifeless. But, they were good. They were crunchy, light and just the right amount of salt. I actually liked them better than the hummus (which isn’t a good thing).
  2. Easy. Super easy. Buy it at the store, stick it in the fridge. Take it out, peel the label and enjoy. Couldn’t be easier. Small enough to fit in probably any bag. Take it to work, take it wherever you go. Very easy – ‘nuff said.
  3. Good nutritional profile.  No cholesterol, no sugar, very low carbs and very low sodium
  4. Most of the ingredients are pronounceable and natural with the exception of these: "Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate To Preserve Freshness."

Andy Bellatti is a Master’s Degree candidate at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. He writes a blog called Small Bites Nutrition. You should definitely check it out. He’s very smart and he delivers useful information with no nonsense.

His site lives up to its description on Technorati:

A nutrition blog full of concise, easy to understand information from a New York University Master’s Degree candidate of nutrition. Practical advice and tips with no sponsors to please. "Bringing fad-free nutrition to the web, one post at a time."

So, that’s Small Bites.

Now, for big taste…

On December 6, 2007, Andy wrote a review of Kettle Bakes Potato Chips. I love potato chips. One of the unhealthy things about potato chips is that they’re fried. So, the notion of a baked potato chip that has a good crunchy texture and a great taste is very appealing to me.

Check out his review. I’ll spoil it by giving you his conclusion:

Tasty, calorie controlled, made solely with real potatoes, low-fat and, as an added bonus, throw some much-needed potassium your way.

Everyone loves the classic - Peanut Butter and Jelly. Let’s turn it into a snack and make it healthier (but still very tasty!).

And, let’s have a little FUN, gosh darnit!



1) Thomas’ Light Multi-Grain English Muffin

  • 6 grams of protein
  • only 100 calories per muffin
  • less than 1 gram of sugar per muffin
  • 0 grams of trans fat
  • These taste great

Like many of you, I often find myself grabbing breakfast on the run. But this can lead to trouble: high fat, high-sugar trouble; muffins, egg and cheese sandwiches, sweet sugared rolls, bagel with cream cheese trouble. Thankfully, though, my latest food find is a quick and simple snack that’s high in protein, not in fat. Its cottage cheese and cut up fruit. I like mine with strawberries and pineapples. I dip the fruit in and use it to scoop up the cottage cheese, but I know many people who just mix it right in, and that’s tasty too. 

Friendship Dairies makes a great tasting cottage cheese using skim milk, so it’s a non-fat product. To my surprise, it tastes just like other cottage cheese varieties made with more fat. There goes the myth that fat-free foods don’t taste good. Friendship Dairies even offers two varieties of cottage cheese mixed with fruit, one has pineapple and the other has peaches, but since I usually use the fruit for dipping, I stick with their plain cottage cheese.

The Good

A serving of non-fat cottage cheese will get you 80 calories; pretty light considering that 80 calories have 15 grams of protein, almost 30% of your daily-recommended intake. Truth be told, I usually eat two servings of this at a time, which doubles your protein intake and is still less than 200 calories. Not only is protein an important component in the growth and maintenance of all your body’s cells, it also takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which means that you feel full longer, which is a good thing to know for anyone trying to shed some pounds. According to The United States Department of Energy, protein helps support our skin, our bones, our blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments since they are made of collagen, which is a fibrous protein. Also, fat is a big thing to look out for with cheese, which is why I’m so psyched that this fat-free cheese actually tastes good!

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We’ve got a special treat for you today.

We recently interviewed Allison J. Stowell MS, RD, CDN, who is a Registered Dietician and part of the Guiding Stars team.  Guiding Stars is a new website that gives you an objective food-rating system which uses a scientific algorithm to show you which foods are most nutritious.  From their About Page: "The more nutritional value a food has, the more Guiding Stars it receives. If a food doesn’t receive a star – it means it doesn’t meet our rigorous criteria."

We asked Allison to tell us about Guiding Stars and to give us a few insider tips for healthy snacks for the summer and for taking on long car rides with kids.


Fruit and Yogurt Low Fat Snack

Get Healthy Snacks Ideas That Fit Your Diet Plan

When you’re looking for healthy snacks, you need to know which types are best for you. Much depends on what type of diet you’re on or what your goal is.

We’re featuring a series of articles on the most popular diets and the best snacks for each, beginning with the low fat diet. If you’re not on a particular
eating plan, read through our suggestions and choose those that make sense to you. What we won’t recommend for any of these diets is unhealthy processed foods.

The types of diets we’ll be featuring:

  1. Low Fat
  2. Low Carb
  3. Diabetic
  4. Vegan
  5. Clean
  6. Paleo
  7. Low Salt

Low Carb Diet Snacks

Quick and Easy Low Carb Snacks

A low carb diet is not an open invitation to consume as many high-fat foods as possible. Instead, you should choose snacks that are high in fiber and nutrients, with carbs that have a lower glycemic index, have protein and heart-healthy fats.

One example of a great snack for low carb diets is celery sticks with peanut butter. Celery offers a lot of fiber; peanut butter is high in protein and has heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Don’t use low-fat peanut butter – it’s loaded with sugar.

Super high in protein and low in fat and calories, edamame makes a great snack. The big box stores now carry individual frozen servings that can be popped into the microwave to steam.

Carrots and hummus make a delicious snack. Use baby carrots or carrot sticks with 1/4 cup hummus. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors such as roasted red pepper, Greek olive, basil pesto and many others.

Nuts are super-healthy and ideal for a low carb diet. Any kind of nuts is okay – just keep in mind that a serving is 1/4 cup.

Meat and cheese rollup – this is an on-the-go favorite. Roll up a slice of cheese or cheese stick in a slice of deli turkey or roast beef.

Cottage cheese with sliced tomatoes – use low fat cottage cheese with cherry or sliced tomatoes. Find the freshest you can, locally grown if possible – the flavor difference is amazing!

Low carb tortillas – if you’ve just gotta have some bread, this is a great alternative. You can use them for wraps, toast them and add butter, use one as a hot dog bun or as the basis for a personal size pizza.

My experience has been that a low carb diet is the easiest to follow. There are so many foods you can eat, and you never have to go hungry…just grab a low carb snack anytime you feel the urge to eat.

Paleo Diet Snacks

Are You Following a Paleo Diet?

Eating paleo is a great way to stay healthy, especially for athletes and other active adults! Here are a few awesome snack recipes and ideas to satisfy even the worst case of the munchies.

Prosciutto Wrapped Goat Cheese

This one is a great snack for before dinner. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 lb. of prosciutto
  • 1 small package of goat cheese
  • 1 oven safe skillet

First, preheat the oven to around 300 degrees. While it’s warming, wrap small pieces of goat cheese with prosciutto and poke through with a toothpick. Place them on the skillet and put it in the oven. Keep an eye on them; it takes just a couple of minutes to slightly crisp the prosciutto and soften the goat cheese. Serve immediately with olives, fruit, and nuts.

Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs

This one’s a great mid-afternoon snack for guests.

First, hard boil a few eggs. Make sure you toss some salt in the water to make them easier to peel. While they’re boiling, heat up some bacon in a skillet. For best results, use thick-cut smoked bacon. When the eggs are done, cool and peel them, then cut them lengthwise. Put the yolks in a bowl, and combine with chopped up bacon bits, guacamole, and a dash of lemon juice. Mash them up, and spoon or pipe back into the egg yolks and serve immediately.

Scotch Eggs

This old classic is as paleo as it is delicious. It’s incredibly simple too. Hard boil a few eggs, and heat up some bacon in a skillet. Remove the bacon while it’s still chewy. Peel the eggs and wrap them in bacon; it helps to use a toothpick to hold in place while you serve them.

Justin’s Peanut Butter and Almond Butter Squeeze Packets

Come on, ’fess up: How many of you can’t buy peanut butter because you know that once you open it, you won’t be able to get your finger out of the jar?

I’m very guilty of the above-mentioned crime, so I was psyched to see that a new company calledJustin’s sells single-serving 100-calorie squeeze packets (.6 oz) of organic honey peanut butterand natural maple almond butter. Now I can have my much-loved healthy snack of peanut butter and pretzels or peanut butter on an apple without having to worry I’ll eat a whole jar. I suggest bringing a packet with you to school or work, along with a small bag of celery, whole-wheat rice cakes, pretzels, or apple slices, for a great mid-morning or late-afternoon snack.

Usually, I prefer almond butter to PB (peanut butter), but Justin’s 100-calorie almond butter is maple-flavored, and I’ve never been a fan of maple-flavored things (though I do like maple syrup on pancakes), so I prefer the honey PB packets. Peanut butter is not quite as good for you as almond butter, because it has less monounsaturated fat (good fat) and more polyunsaturated fat (bad fat), but both nut butters are great sources of protein, Vitamin E, and niacin. Plus, they help you feel full longer and give you long-lasting energy, which is why I particularly like to eat them in the morning (on whole-grain toast) or before I run. (See this Runner’s World article for more info on why PB is a good pre- and post-workout snack.) Also, Justin’s peanuts are USDA Certified organic and tested aflatoxin free, and the butters don’t contain any added oils or refined sugars.

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