6 Ways to Bulk up a 100 Calorie Snack Pack

100-calorie-snacks-ftr

Do you use those 100 calorie snack packs to help you get through the day? I have recently started using them and I have to say, they really stink. Parade magazine released an article that talks about how we can help to boost them up so you are left feeling less… empty.

Their advice is:

1. Go bananas. I always found that it takes longer to eat a banana when it’s sliced thick and frozen; as a result, I feel fuller, too. That said, I discovered that a third of a banana is a deliciously satisfying companion to a 100-calorie pouch of Nutter Butter Bites. Sure, it adds an extra 63-or-so calories to your snack — but it’ll stave off hunger pains more effectively than that second pouch of cookies. Plus, with the added fiber and potassium, you won’t feel guilty about it.

2. Dive in. I know it says “crisps,” but I was still half-hoping to find cream in the middle of those Oreo Thin Crisps. No such luck, but that’s OK. There’s a healthier way: Pair them with your own healthier rendition of cream — vanilla yogurt. Scoop out a third of a 6 oz. container into a small bowl and return the rest to the fridge. With the full-fat variety, that’s around only 50 calories more — but you get calcium, protein, and a satisfyingly rich taste. Now dip and enjoy.

3. Add berries. No wonder it’s a favorite add-on for Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., director of The Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior and author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet: A half-cup weighs in at around just 40 calories, and is chock full of antioxidants. According to her research, meals (and snacks) with higher volume are more filling than those with lower volume. And you can easily boost that volume with high-water-content, low-calorie foods, such as vegetables and fruit. I think blueberries are especially tasty with one of those bite-sized cupcakes you now find everywhere, from fancy bakeries to Walmart.

4. Cut it up. This works great with 100-calorie-portioned brownies or granola bars. Simply cut them up into six pieces before eating. Why? You may be less likely to hunger for more: According to an Arizona State University study last year, students given a bagel cut into quarters ate less at lunch 20 minutes later, compared to students offered an uncut bagel before the meal.

5. Get nutty. I love Chips Ahoy! cookies. But the 100-calorie-pack Thin Crisp variety merely feeds my craving for the real thing — which is why sometimes it’s worth just going for it. (Two normal-sized cookies weighs in at just 106 calories anyway.) But there’s a way to bulk up the crisps, too: Smear a small dab of peanut or cashew butter on it. A teaspoon (for the whole pouch of crisps) will set you back a little over 30 calories — but the addition of good-for-you fats, as well as the satiating protein and thick texture, are well worth it.

6. Mix it up. A 100-calorie pouch of almonds offers a nice dose of good fats and protein. But I often feel it needs a little somethin’-somethin’. Lisa Talamini, chief nutritionist with Jenny Craig, suggests tossing your almonds with a cup of popcorn and a tablespoon of cranberries. Presto! For a mere extra 50 calories (30 for the popcorn; around 25 for the cranberries), your standard-issue healthy snack transforms into a delectable — and even healthier — gourmet treat.

Sounds good? Head on over to Parade and check it out!

Steve

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