Balanced snacking for the fall and holiday season

With the holiday season fast approaching, now is a great time for parents to encourage healthy eating habits for children – and themselves. In a season often dominated by decadent meals and snacks, it’s important for parents to model healthy eating to keep the entire family on track.

As a start, smart grocery shopping must be a priority. Between family get-togethers and holiday parties, it’s easy to overindulge on treats, so it’s helpful to have healthy, filling snack options, too. Make sure apples and peanut butter, along with in-shell or shelled peanuts, are on your shopping list. These nutritious and kid-friendly snacks will provide families with the energy they need during the busy holiday season and satiate their appetites, making it much easier to resist devouring the entire plate of gingerbread cookies.

Parents can struggle to find snack options that are healthy, portable and hold value. The good news is that they don’t have far to look – peanuts, particularly in-shell peanuts, are a perfect choice. They’re chock full of protein, fibre, essential vitamins and minerals. They’re also cholesterol- and sodium-free. And, according to an article in La Semaine, a quarter cup of peanuts is like having one-to-two daily portions of meat, so you’re left feeling full and satisfied¹.

While nuts are great for a healthy and delicious snack, they have also recently been found to provide benefits to those who suffer from health conditions, specifically Type 2 diabetes. A recent article published in The Globe and Mail discusses scientific evidence that points to the benefits of including nuts in your diet. The new study conducted by David Jenkins, director of the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that eating about half a cup of nuts each day can help those with diabetes lower their blood glucose and cholesterol levels². Click here to read more about this innovative study.

¹ La Semaine, June 11, 2011
² Globe and Mail, July 12, 2011