When you hear the word substitution, you probably think “it’s never going to taste as good the original.” But these six heart-friendly swaps (for adults and kids) are worth making. Your taste buds won’t even know the difference.
Instead of: Chips and dip
Opt for: Pretzels with peanut butter
Choose lightly salted, whole-grain pretzels. And, ideally, natural peanut butter, as it has healthy fats without the added sugar.
Instead of: A 100-calorie snack pack or an energy bar
Opt for: Homemade trail mix - (Find the recipe here)
Most snack packs offer little to no nutritional value, and energy bars are usually high in sugar and calories. A tastier yet still portable option is a trail mix. The real nuts, seeds, and dried fruit mean more nutrients and less sugar and sodium.
Instead of: Seasoning salt
Opt for: Fresh herbs and spices
Flavor your meals with fresh herbs and spices rather than salt. Another idea? Add a bit of acid—lemon juice, lime juice, or vinegar—at the end of cooking. It enhances all the other flavors in a dish without the sodium.
Three tips for kids
Amp up your kids’ nutritional benefits with these easy substitutions:
Instead of: PB&J on white bread
Try packing: Whole-wheat pita and hummus
Why? More fiber, less sugar
Instead of: Soda or fruit juice
Try packing: Low-fat chocolate milk
Why? Still tasty, but has calcium
Instead of: Chips or cheese puffs
Try packing: Pretzels or popcorn
Why? Same crunch, less fat
Furthermore, it’s no wonder obesity is on the rise when you consider what children are being fed today. Pizza, soda, and baked goods are the top three sources of calories for most American children, which means 40 percent of their daily calories are from fat and sugar.
- Cut back on sweets, fried food and fast food.
- Don’t let kids eat in front of the TV.
- Give kids less fruit juice and soft drinks.
- Make sure your child eats breakfast. Then they are less likely to eat unhealthy snacks later.
- Serve fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.