It is always nice to have out a candy jar on your desk at work or in your home when people drop by your house or guests arrive from out of town. For many people an available candy jar is a major temptation and can be a downfall in an otherwise healthy day of eating. If they make one trip, they are likely to make a second or third. Before they know it they have consumed needless calories that likely go unaccounted.
Instead of having around a bowl of chocolate or jelly beans, consider putting something healthier in your jar. You will still get takers without having the constant temptation in front of you to eat chocolate all day. In fact, it is never a good idea to keep something that you would consider to be a temptation readily available on your desk or on your coffee table. Of course you should buy and stock food that you enjoy, but there is no need to torture yourself. So, pick options that are things you will enjoy, but will be able to eat in moderation.
Mixed nuts are an excellent snack, as they are not only a source of protein, but also fiber. If possible avoid salted varieties as they tend to make you want more than just a couple.
A dried fruit and nut combination is a wonderful source of compact energy. You can easily create your own mix or buy a pre-made mix. Be creative if you are making your own and use a variety of fruits and nuts.
Yogurt covered raisins or cranberries are a twist on the chocolate covered variety. They are still sweet and somewhat like candy. You will still want to eat only a couple of these as you would candy.
If you have never tried eating a date by itself, you need to! At room temperature dates are soft and sweet. Buy the pitted variety to make eating them easy and guest friendly. Dates are like natures candy!
Pretzels are a snack easily grabbed a couple at a time! Once again, it is worth seeking out unsalted pretzels in order to minimize your sodium intake.
Shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds are a tasty snack that can be found in the bulk section of many grocery stores. For maximum health benefits, sunflower seeds are best eaten raw, but pumpkin seeds (pepitas) do not have a pleasant taste when raw. If you buy and eat them roasted, choose the unsalted seeds.
Since all of these suggestions are not individually wrapped you will want to provide a small spoon or tongs to retrieve the treats from your bowl. If you do not provide one, hands will be placed in the bowl and contaminate the rest of the snacks in the bowl. Though some co-workers or guests will immediately pass by your healthy candy bowl, others will be excited and appreciate your healthy options!
Susanna Watters is a writer and cook. She enjoys writing about recipes, cooking tips, dieting and kitchen safety. Susanna recently wrote about her favorite recipes using sunflower kernels.
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