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Not that the following pictures have anything to do with smart holiday snacking, except that the nephew pictured, Riley, is big on snacking (as any 3yr old should be), and this was taken at Thanksgiving just last week. You’ll see he’s enjoying the first snack on the list – a crisp apple – thanks to his Nonna (my mom).

Riley, his apple and his Nonna (bad camera phone pictures, sorry!)

Riley and his mommy, my older sister, Kate.


Funny Faces

Seriously, could we BE more related?!

Riley with his Chewie (that's me)


Now that you’ve indulged in massive amounts of cuteness, here’s a great short list put together recently by REAL SIMPLE, that I got in my email. They’ve rounded up the perfect snacks to take on the go this time of year. Great for those days you have to do holiday shopping after work, or a Saturday morning you find yourself running errands all over town.  Rather than stopping somewhere to stuff your face full of greasy, fatty burgers (which I’ll admit, sound amazingly good, and I’ve had a few in as many months recently), pack these budget-friendly items suggested by Madonna Behen to keep your energy up when you’re away from the roost.

  • Apples. Though tasty, peaches, pears, and oranges can be messy to eat, and bananas get mushy. Apples can withstand a lot more abuse.
  • Protein-rich raw, unsalted nuts, such as almonds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Tote these for their sheer indestructibility and relative indifference to air exposure.
  • Dried fruit. To keep the sugars in fruits like raisins from crystallizing, empty a few handfuls into resealable bags. (Toss the less airtight boxes.) For items like mangoes and apples, seek out those with no added sugar, to keep calories down and crunchiness at bay.
  • Vacuum-sealed tuna packets or tuna-salad kits (complete with mayo and crackers). Like Lunchables, but for grown-ups.
  • Celery sticks, baby carrots, olives, cherry tomatoes. These veggies can withstand a fair amount of jostling and time away from the refrigerator.
  • Packets of plain instant oatmeal. Empty one into a travel mug before a flight, ask an attendant for boiling water, and you have a quick breakfast with no cup necessary.
  • Drinkable yogurt or single-serving containers of applesauce. Punch a straw through the foil and it’s a spillproof, no-utensil healthy snack.
  • Dried ginger. A sweet snack that can also help keep motion sickness at bay.

Great, all-natural snacks like fruits, nuts and protein-packed tuna will prevent the 3pm splurge at the drive-thru, while keeping your daily calorie count in check, not to mention your wallet! Thanks to the REAL SIMPLE crew for keeping us on track this holiday season!

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