Quick, healthy, no-mess foods you can eat without a fork and knife
by Cynthia Stevens Graubart and Catherine Fliegel, R.N.
Toss some fillings into a tortilla, roll it up, and store it in the fridge for whenever you need a handy and handheld bite. Try these quick-and-easy mixtures (if none of them appeal, last night’s leftovers will do).
Start with a generous portion of store-bought hummus, then top it with a layer of broccoli slaw (you can find Dole’s slaw in the grocery store alongside its premade salads) and a layer of baby spinach for a protein-rich, low-fat, high-fiber meal that’s also a great source of folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Photo by Laurel Fan
The Bean Good
Mix canned beans with a dollop of nonfat plain yogurt (Greek-style is especially rich and creamy), some shredded cheddar cheese, and a little salsa. Beans are a low-fat, high-fiber source of protein and iron. Yogurt and cheese add calcium.
Photo by ninjapoodles
Smear on some cream cheese with chives and top with canned salmon, sliced hard-boiled egg, and baby spinach for a wrap filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Photo by Allerina & Glen MacLarty
Spread on a thin layer of prepared pesto (Contadina is our fave) and top with grilled chicken strips (Tyson sells cooked ones that you keep in the fridge; you don’t even have to reheat them), mozzarella cheese, and some salad greens. This wrap’s packed with protein, folate, iron, and calcium.
Toss together grilled chicken strips, broccoli slaw, and sliced almonds with a low-fat sesame-ginger dressing (we like Newman’s Own), then wrap it up. The goods: protein, folate, iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamins C and E.
Photo by startcooking kathy & amandine
These microwavable meals and snacks have less fat and sodium than most other frozen foods, but you wouldn’t know it by how they taste: delish!
Amy’s Organics Pocket Sandwiches
Imagine your favorite gourmet pizza folded up in half. The Vegetable Pie in a Pocket Sandwich is our number one choice.
Veggie Patch Spinach Nuggets
These bite-size, pop-’em-in-your-mouth snacks are a good source of protein from soy, and are high in calcium and vitamin C. We love to dip them in low-fat ranch dressing.
Health Is Wealth Spring Rolls
They’re low-fat — only 1.5 grams per two rolls — and have zero monosodium glutamate (MSG). The all-natural, vegan Thai Spring Rolls are yummy.
Amy’s Organics Snacks
We keep our freezers full of these amazing bite-size snacks. They’re satisfying and wholesome, and all varieties deliver at least seven grams of protein per serving. Flavorwise, Cheese Pizza and Spinach Pizza are tied for first.
Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Pancakes
A warm and filling all-natural treat, with only 80 calories and two grams of fat per patty. A great source of vitamin A, too.
These smart, healthy dipping combos also make terrific snacks for impromptu guests.
Dip: Peanut butter (be sure to choose a brand that’s free of trans fats) mixed with raisins
Dippers: Baby carrots, celery sticks, Stacy’s All-Natural Pita Chips
Dip: Refried black beans (Amy’s Organics makes a good one) or hummus
Dippers: Red and yellow bell-pepper strips, whole-wheat pita bread cut into wedges
Dip: Low-fat cottage cheese
Dippers: Broccoli and cauliflower florets, dried apricots, whole-grain crackers
Dip: Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa mixed with prepared guacamole
Dippers: Cocktail shrimp, baked tortilla chips
Dip:Rondele or Alouette spreadable cheese
Dippers: Asparagus spears, celery sticks, honey-wheat pretzel sticks
Dip: Nonfat vanilla yogurt, sprinkled with cinnamon
Dippers: Strawberries, slices of apple, mini- rice or soy cakes
Dip: Low-fat or nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt
Dippers: Dried dates, cut in half
Cut empty calories by skipping soda (sorry moms, that includes Red Bull) and high-sugar juices. Boost your nutrition between meals instead with these portable potables.
Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Smoothie
The probiotics in yogurt can help you and your family fight winter infections, making the 240 calories and 3 grams of fat in this tasty drink (the Banana Berry flavor is the best) totally worth it.
Dannon Light & Fit 0% Plus Smoothie
With zero fat, only 70 calories, and added B vitamins, this smoothie is a no-guilt snack.
R.W. Knudsen All-Natural and Organic Fruit and Vegetable Juices
A six-ounce glass of the Very Veggie variety is equal to one serving of vegetables.
Odwalla Blueberry B Monster Vitamin & Fruit Smoothie Blend
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants but hard to get year-round. This drink, fortified with energy-boosting B vitamins, is a delicious stand-in. Filling, too!
Horizon Reduced-Fat Milk in Chocolate or Vanilla (in single-serve boxes
Milk doesn’t have to be boring¿drink the flavored kind!
Organic Edensoy Milk
We love these high-protein, eight-ounce drink boxes; the vanilla flavor can’t be beat.
Photo by Ezhar/Ingmar
Four perfect prepackaged, portion-controlled snacks for on-the-go noshing.
Kraft Natural Cheese Sticks
All the nutritional value of cheese, in individually wrapped portions. A step above standard processed cheese slices.
Kettle Valley Organic Fruit Snacks
Each of these dried-fruit bars contains a whole organic apple.
Emerald 100-calorie nut packs
The Cocoa Roast Almonds, with a baked-on chocolate flavor, have no more calories than regular ones. A protein-packed pick-me-up!
Sun-Maid Mixed Dried Fruits
Just a quarter cup equals a whole serving of fruit.
Cynthia Stevens Graubart and Catherine Fliegel, R.N., are the authors of The One-Armed Cook: Quick and Easy Recipes, Smart Meal Plans, and Savvy Advice for New (and Not-So-New) Moms.