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FIRST-PERSON: Eating healthy snacks

DALLAS (BP)–These days, we are bombarded with information on what to eat and what not to eat from television, newspapers, the Internet, our doctors, mom and other “experts.”

For years we have been hearing that fiber is one of the main ingredients to a healthy diet, but I recently heard on the news that there is now conflicting information about how beneficial fiber is to us.

With so much conflicting information about what’s good for us, it’s hard to know what to do. The most important thing to remember is to use logic, to do the best you can with the information we have and to read labels. Keep your cupboards and fridge filled with healthy foods and snacks, and you and your family will get more accustomed to making wiser choices.

The children in my grandson’s daycare were preparing to have a fruit drink and cookies for a snack one day. When the teacher came to Joshua he said, “My mom says that has too much sugar for me. Do you have some milk and fruit?” As you can imagine, my daughter was both shocked and pleased. Joshua was learning to make healthy choices on his own.

What we will eat is just one of the many choices we face every day. Start early teaching your kids about good nutrition. And teach by example. When our roots are grounded in good nutrition, day-to-day choices are a littler easier to make.

The following recommendations for healthy snacks come from a campaign the San Antonio, Texas, school district has implemented for all the vending machines in their schools. The program is called Fit City/Fit Schools.


— Animal or graham crackers, vanilla wafers.

— No chips.

— Nuts, seeds (plain or spiced).

— Trail mix (plain).

— Fresh, canned or individually packed fruit (in natural juices only).

— Dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries; fruit leather).

— Fat-free popcorn.

— Beef jerky (95 percent fat free).

— Yogurt (nonfat).

— No pudding or gelatin.

— Milk (non-fat, any flavor).

— Juice (all natural, no added sugar).

— Water -– pure.

— No soft drinks.


— Granola bars, whole-grain fruit bars.

— Baked chips, corn nuts, rice cakes, cereal/nut mix.

— Nuts w/light sugar covering; honey roasted.

— Popcorn and nut mix.

— Canned or individually packed fruit in light syrup.

— Fruit-flavored snacks.

— Light popcorn.

— Yogurt (low-fat or light).

— Sugar-free pudding or gelatin.

— Milk (1 percent or 2 percent fat, any flavor).

— Juice, at least 50 percent pure.

— Vitamin or flavor-enhanced water.

— Low-calorie or no calorie soft drinks.


— Cookies, candy bars, toaster pastries, marshmallow treats.

— Regular chips, cheese flavored crackers, cracker sandwiches.

— Candy or yogurt covered nuts.

— Trail mix w/candy or chocolate.

— Candied or sugar-coated dried fruit.

— Butter, butter lovers, or movie style popcorn.

— Pork rinds.

— Regular sugared pudding or gelatin.

— Whole milk.

— Fruit drinks.

— Carbonated beverages with sugar.

    About the Author

  • Tamara Quintana