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Fuel Yourself With Healthy Snacks

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Fuel Yourself With Healthy Snacks

We love that our senior living community in Monument is so vibrant. Regular activities and social opportunities help residents stay as busy as they like, but if you're going to stay active throughout the day, don't forget to fuel your body with healthy foods at mealtimes and during snacks.

While there's always a place of moderation reserved for heavier desserts and snacks, such as decadent chocolate cake, reach more often for whole foods and lighter options that give you the nutrition you need without unnecessary sugars or calories. Here are some great snack ideas you can easily partake of in your assisted living apartment.

1. Dried or Fresh Fruit

Fruit is nature's way of providing a perfect and convenient snack — it even comes wrapped, so you don't have to fuss with snack bags or extra paper. Keep apples, bananas or oranges handy for a quick pick-me-up during the afternoon, or carry a bag of dried fruit with you to appease the occasional sweet tooth. A bag of trail mix that combines dried fruit with seeds or nuts lets you hit a sweet-and-salty craving with a snack that's also high in protein.

Remember that fruit does have a lot of natural sugar in it, so talk to your dietitian or doctor about incorporating it in a healthy way to any special diet you might have.

2. Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled is one of the healthiest ways you can prepare an egg because it forgoes any butter or grease used in other cooking methods. A boiled egg is only around 80 calories, but it has approximately 6 grams of protein and offers essential vitamins including A, D, B-12, B-6 and iron.

Eggs do come with a high dose of cholesterol — 62 percent of daily values for many people — so talk to your health care provider about eggs if that's a concern.

3. Jerky

Jerky is an easy way to get lean protein into your diet or curtail your cravings for meat between meals. The act of making jerky does sometimes increase the sodium content of the food, and store-bought brands can include a lot of unhealthy preservatives. If you love the meaty chew of a good jerky, opt for natural brands or homemade varieties when possible.

4. String Cheese

Want your protein in a stick that's easier to chew than jerky? String cheese offers a soft, simple snack with plenty of nutrition, and if you opt for low-fat or light versions, you can get the dairy goodness without as many calories.

5. Popcorn

A cup of air-popped popcorn only holds about 30 calories, assuming you don't drench it in butter or salt. That means you can enjoy a large bowl of this high-fiber favorite cruncher without exceeding a 100-calorie snack limit.

Keep popcorn on hand in your assisted living apartment to enjoy with evening television or to stave off mid-afternoon hunger. If you do want a little bit of flavor, sprinkle a moderate amount of sea salt over your kernels or mix in a couple of teaspoons of melted butter.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt is another low-calorie food with a big nutrition score. A single serving of plain yogurt nets you about 100 calories, but you'll get 18 percent of your daily calcium intake and around 20 percent of your vitamin B12 needs. Plus, yogurt is super-high in protein; a serving can net you as much as 17 grams. Mix in your favorite fruit or granola for even more healthy goodness.

Snacking doesn't have to revolve around potato chips and cookies. Training your palate to enjoy healthy snacks helps you fuel your body for a more enjoyable day and a healthier lifestyle.