There’s a reason why potato chips are so popular. That crunchy texture is addictive! We like to watch, at least, one show or movie together as a family each night and I will admit that, on occasion, I may find myself serving out Salt and Vinegar or nacho chips and I rarely feel good about it (or after eating it!).
Don’t get me wrong, I really do believe that occasional indulgences are fine as long as your regular diet is relatively healthy but, especially with Caleb watching us all so closely, I care more than ever about setting a good example. Here are some ways that we satisfy that craving for something crispy on movie nights!
Did you know that movie theater popcorn can contain all (or almost all) of your daily allowances for calories, fat and sodium!? That’s insanity! Sure, it’s tasty but, as I’ve gotten older, I tend to get a headache after eating a few handfuls. That being said, I really love popcorn and haven’t wanted to give it up. What’s my solution? Make it at home! No, I’m not talking about throwing a bag in the microwave. Instead, I make mine in a regular pot on my stove top. It’s super easy, inexpensive and I get to control exactly what goes in it!
I grab a soup pot with a lid and lightly cover the bottom with oil (you choose what you like best!). I then add a single layer of popcorn kernels, put the lid on and set the heat to medium. It takes about five minutes to really heat up, usually, and then the popping begins! I regularly shake the pot to make sure the kernels don’t burn and, within 90 seconds, I’ve got enough for three or four servings of popcorn! You can leave it bare or you can add your own toppings. I will admit that I like a little butter on mine and I add some freshly ground Himalayan pink salt on top. Yummy!
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop
Want a ready-made snack you won’t feel guilty about? Check out Angie’s products! They are gluten and GMO-free and so delicious! There are a wide variety of flavors from which to choose but our favorites are the Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn and the Sweet & Spicy Popcorn.
They are so satisfying and taste so fresh! You will have a hard time closing the bag – I promise! So many of my friends have a love/hate relationship with Angie’s because it’s so good that it’s hard to have self-control! Buy one bag and split it with your family so that you don’t eat it all yourself!
I’ve noticed this line being sold at regular grocery stores but you can also find them at Whole Foods, Costco, BJs and other big box stores! The good news is that, in addition to the regular and large-sized bags, I’ve noticed individual snack-size bags too!
Happy Munchies Rice Cakes
While the rest of the family is chowing down on popcorn, we can’t just ignore poor Caleb! At 7 months old, he’s not quite ready to tackle the kernels but I have found a great alternative! The Happy Family organic brand makes a line of rice cakes called Happy Munchies for babies who are able to use their gums to mash food. It’s great because they encourage self-feeding and help improve hand/eye coordination. Plus, I’ve tasted them – they are delicious!
Currently, there are three flavors (apple, carrot and blueberry & beet) that are all lightly sweetened with real fruit juice concentrate and are free of artificial colors and flavors. Caleb likes all of them but I think he has a slight preference for the apple which has the following ingredient list: “organic white rice, organic whole grain brown rice, organic apple juice concentrate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin b1).” I can live with that!
Fruits and Veggies
I feel like this goes without saying but, just in case anyone is feeling a little critical, I was not suggesting that we just skip the snacks nature provided for us and head straight for the carbs. Of course, foods like carrots, celery, apples and pears can offer delicious crisp flavor while nourishing our bodies. It’s just that, sometimes, you just want something else.
I’m still learning and this isn’t an exhaustive list. I’d love to hear from you! What do you enjoy munching on that is a little bit naughty but healthier than your standard potato chips?