Those 100-calorie snack packs are tasty, convenient, and perfectly portioned for calorie counters -- and they're selling like iPhones on opening day. But what's nutritious about a handful of Cheese Nips or Oreo Thins (even with no creamy centers to lick)? Instead, try these 10 far healthier 100-calorie treats. Stash them in your desk drawer, fridge, or car -- wherever hunger pangs hit you. The best part: Most will curb your appetite for hours because they're high in filling fiber or satisfying protein.
1. Midmorning Fill-Up: Just add hot water to a 100-calorie packet of McCann's Instant Cinnamon Roll Irish Oatmeal, which smells ahh-mazing and comes sweetened with Splenda. No doughnut guilt, and there's a bonus: 3 grams of filling, cholesterol-fighting oat fiber.
2. Peanut Butter and Crackers: Make sandwiches out of six All-Bran Multi-Grain Crackers (45 deliciously crunchy calories) and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut butter (45 smooth calories). You'll get about 2 grams of fiber and a little healthy fat.
3. Apple Mousse: Mix a half cup of unsweetened applesauce (50 calories) with 3 tablespoons of fat-free nondairy topping (45 calories), and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Make a batch and refrigerate in portable snack cups. Supplies 20% of your daily vitamin C and counts as one serving of fruit. Sweet.
4. Veggies and Dip: Flavor ready-to-eat veggies from the produce section -- which have almost no calories -- with a dip: 2 tablespoons of hummus (60 calories) or light ranch dressing (80 calories). For the veggies, think broccoli and cauliflower florets, baby carrots, snap peas, pepper strips, baby squash -- all of them filled with fiber, vitamins, and protective phytonutrients.
5. Cafe Mocha: Stir a packet of Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot Chocolate mix (60 calories) into hot coffee for an instant afternoon pick-me-up that only tastes decadent. It actually delivers 30% of your calcium, 6% of your iron, and even a gram of fiber. Add a splash of milk for more goodness. Compare that to 200 calories for the smallest Starbucks Caffe Mocha (2% milk, no whip), with 6 grams of fat.
6. Mexican Potato: Microwave a medium potato and slice in half (80 calories). Save one piece for tomorrow. Mash the other half inside the potato skin and top it with 2 tablespoons of salsa (10 calories). Eat the whole thing, including the skin. Warm, spicy, satisfying and 2 grams each of protein and fiber, some vitamin C, plus a little iron.
7. Finger Food: Munch edamame like nuts. 1/2 cup of these quick-cooked frozen soybeans (about 95 calories) makes a great nibble. That’s why they're a staple at hip bars -- which probably don't care that they're serving you 8 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and lots of minerals.
8. Snack on a Minimeal: When you're starving but trying to hold back, try this: Wrap a Morningstar Farms Vegan Burger (100 calories), a tomato slice, hamburger pickles, and a little mustard or ketchup in lettuce leaves instead of bread. The 10 grams of protein will keep you filled till it's really mealtime.
9. Happy Hour Combo: Mix 1/2 cup of tomato juice (22 calories) with 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 drops of Tabasco sauce, and a dash of lemon juice. Serve over ice with a celery stick and about a dozen dry roasted peanuts (about 60 calories). Have a second "drink" if you like -- no biggie!
10. Healthy Confetti Crisps: If chips are your downfall, make a batch of these RealAge crisps and divide into 6 portions (95 calories each). Munch through a bag while sipping your club soda and lime. Remember to enjoy the good fat from the olive oil and the fiber and vitamins in the veggies -- these taste so good, you may forget they're healthy.
6 servings, 95 calories each
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup each of peeled and thinly sliced purple potatoes, carrots, and parsnips
Mix the oil and seasonings together, add the vegetables, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20–25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.