10 Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks for the Hectic Holiday Season

The hectic holiday season just got a whole lot healthier thanks to these 10 grab-and-go, nutrient-packed snacks. Our 10 good-for-your-family ideas feature our favorite new Chobani yogurt drink, lots of fruits and veggies, nuts, and muffins and bars made with whole grains. All provide the protein, fiber, and health-enhancing nutrients that we all need when we’re running in a million different directions.

Healthy snacks on the go w/ Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

We created this blog post in partnership with Chobani and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

1. Drink Chobani

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Quench your thirst and fuel your body with Drink Chobani™. This new, smooth drinkable yogurt is filled with flavor and an impressive 14 grams of protein designed to keep you rejuvenated when you’re on the go. It’s available in four delicious flavors including Straw’Nana, Mix’t Berries, Mango, and Apple Veg and made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients and real fruit. Drink Chobani™ has a third less sugar than other yogurt drinks*. {*Drink Chobani™ beverage: 22g sugar; other adult yogurt drinks: average 33g sugar per 10 oz. serving.}

Drink Chobani via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Each serving also contains 25% of your daily requirement for calcium.

Drink Chobani

2. Veggie Quiche Patties

Veggie Quiche Patties via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

Made with enriching eggs and a few handfuls of Swiss chard, these adorable portable savory snack bites are one of our favorite dashboard dining delights 🙂

3. Homemade Muffins

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

To say our Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are one of the most popular recipes on Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen would be an understatement. This recipe has been around since our first cookbook, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers, was published in 2004. OK. Now we’re dating ourselves. Made with bananas, whole wheat flour, and other goodness, you’ll definitely want to cook up a batch this week.

4. Homemade Granola Bars

Our Grab-and-Go Granola Bars are made with whole grain oats, dried fruit, and walnuts, and they’re the perfect snack when you’re on the move. You can easily bake up a batch, freeze, and then nibble as needed.

5. Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches

Apple Nut Butter Sandwiches via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Slice a sweet, crisp apple into thin rounds (crosswise). Spread nut butter on top, sprinkle with a few raisins, and put two rounds together for a circular sandwich that’s perfectly packable.

6. Holiday Trail Mix

Made with oat squares cereal, unsweetened dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds, this festive trail mix is as easy to make as it is to eat. Pack along in zip-top bags when you’re craving something crunchy.

7. Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The holidays go hand-in-hand with spiced nuts. The only problem is that most of the recipes out there call for lots of sugar. Our makeover is different because it calls for just a quarter cup of brown sugar. Enjoy each delicious, lusciously toasted walnut when you need something nourishing.

8. Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snack

The beauty of hard boiled eggs is their convenience. Now you can find them pre-made at the supermarket. But whether you make them yourself or buy them ready-to-eat, you’ll be getting 6 grams of high-quality protein every time you pop one of ’em into your mouth.

9. Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is nature’s healthiest fast food. Stock your kitchen with  Clementines, bananas, apples, and grapes so they’re always at the ready.

10. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

Place a slice of deli turkey or ham and a slice of cheese on a plate or cutting board. Spread evenly with hummus, add a veggie down the middle—baby spinach, a green bean, or a bell pepper slice—and then hit the road running.

Tell us what you’re snacking on this holiday season.


Entertain on a Budget: 4 Healthy Recipes Made with Pantry Ingredients

When the holidays roll around and you find yourself cooking for family and friends, you may also find that your wallet gets skinnier by the day. From elaborate parties to unexpected guests, the food cost associated with hosting a holiday party can add up quickly. To the rescue, we have 4 healthy holiday appetizer recipes that you can whip up in minutes with the help of inexpensive ingredients sourced right from your pantry.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

If you’re like us, your pantry is probably overflowing with canned, bottled, and packed ingredients that you may have forgotten about.

It’s time to shop your pantry to save money at the holidays.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy #pantry #budget

Janice has the biggest and most well-organized pantry you’ll ever see! Last week, we invited some friends over to watch us in action as we sourced ingredients from the pantry and created 4 healthy holiday-inspired  appetizer recipes:

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites
Holiday Rice and Tuna Cakes
Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts
Butternut Squash Soup Shooters

The Boston Globe was there too, and their article on budget-friendly holiday entertaining will be published soon!

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes from the Pantry via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

{We partnered with Bumble Bee to create some of these recipes and were compensated for our work. All ideas and content is our own.}

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Holiday Recipes - Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #holidays #recipes #healthy

Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites

Pantry Staples: 
* Two 5-ounce cans Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna with Sundried Tomatoes & Olive Oil (or any other fun tuna flavor)
* 1 jar light mayonnaise
* 1 box small, round low-sodium whole grain crackers
* 1 small jar roasted red peppers

Easy Assembly:
Drain and flake the tuna. Place in a bowl with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and stir to combine. Top 21 mini whole grain crackers evenly with the tuna mixture. Decorate by arranging thin slices of roasted red pepper strips (1 ounce) over each of the tuna bites.

Nutrition Information per 3 cracker bites: 160 calories, 10g fat (1.5g saturated), 240mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 8g protein


Watch us cook up our Sundried Tomato Tuna Bites. Click the PLAY button below.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we all consume at least two seafood meals a week. For pregnant and nursing women, that recommendation is even higher at two to three seafood meals a week. This “recipe” featuring canned tuna gets you one step closer to the goal of eating 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week.

Read more

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts – Lower in Sugar But Packed with Holiday Flavors

Most of the sugar-and-spice roasted nut recipes that we’ve seen online call for half a cup to a cup of sugar, so the healthy attributes of the nuts (good fats, fiber, antioxidants) get sabotaged. Our “candied” walnut makeover has a hint of sweetness from just 1/4 cup brown sugar and lots of flavor from cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

It’s impossible to eat just one of these nuts. They’re “more-ish,” because you always want more. Nuts are not low in calories, which is why we recommend a 1/4-cup portion, but they’re packed with good nutrition, so we encourage you to add a handful of nuts to your daily diet all year long. If you’re curious about nut nutrition, tune in to Cooking with the Moms, podcast #284.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

From holiday parties to a hostess gift, our better-for-you spiced walnuts are easy to make and impossible to resist.

Make a batch, pack into Mason jars, and add a ribbon for good measure.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #walnuts #nuts #holidays

… or place into bowls and serve ’em up that way.

Cinnamon-Spiced Roasted Walnuts
This recipe has it all: sweet, spicy, slightly salty, and oh-so crunchy. It's also versatile, because you can easily swap the walnuts for pecans or almonds. As for baking up these beauties, keep a watchful eye, because the nuts can go from golden to burned in a matter of a minute or two!
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 16
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pound walnut halves (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly oil or coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. For easier clean up, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil and then coat with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together the egg white and water in a large bowl until well blended. Add the walnuts and toss to coat evenly with the egg white mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and ginger, and sprinkle over the nuts. Toss until well coated.
  4. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the glaze is crisp and golden brown, 15 minutes. Toss and cook 3 to 5 more minutes until even more golden, as desired. Remove from the oven, toss, and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: (1/4 cup), Calories: 200, Fat: 19g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 7g, Sodium: 75mg, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 5g

 What’s your favorite, go-to holiday food gift?

4 Ways You Can Be A Snacktivist + The Snacktivist’s Handbook {Podcast #295}

On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we chat with Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD from Real Mom Nutrition about healthy snacking for kids and her new e-book, The Snacktivist’s Handbook. Read on for Sally’s guest post and a giveaway of the new book.

The Snacktivist's Handbook via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #kids #snacks #nutrition

Click the Play button below to listen to our Healthy Snacking interview with Sally.

I’ve got nothing against snacks. Kids love them. MY kids love them. And frankly, I wouldn’t be able to get through the day without a snack or two either! They’re an excellent way to get more good nutrition between meals.

But the reality is that kids today are snacking more than ever before—and on the wrong stuff. Research tells us that chips, cookies, crackers, sugary drinks, and other highly-processed foods are among the most common snacks for children. And no wonder: These kinds of munchies are regularly doled out in youth sports, in school, at camp, at church, and so many other places where kids gather. Seems like kids can’t do anything these days without getting a packaged snack to go along with it.

Several years ago, I started a campaign on my blog Real Mom Nutrition called Snacktivism. It’s a grassroots effort to improve the culture of snacking for kids. It’s about rethinking snacks, about finding a choice that’s good for our kids’ health and habits. It’s not about banishing cupcakes and cookies—it’s about putting them back to where they belong as special occasion foods. I created resources for parents to work in their own communities, so they could have conversations with teachers, coaches, and preschool directors and come up with solutions together. I just compiled those resources, plus a whole bunch more, in a new e-book called The Snacktivist’s Handbook.

I wanted to give you a sneak peek into the e-book with some concrete tips so YOU can be a Snacktivist too:

Read more

7 Protein- and Peanut-Packed Tailgate Appetizers – A Healthy Makeover

Give your tailgate party a healthy makeover by adding flavor, protein, good-for-you fats, and crunch to everything from cheesy nachos and quesadillas to hummus and pizza. The all-star ingredient in our 7 winning tailgate recipes is peanuts, and you won’t believe how versatile they can be.

We created this post for PLANTERS and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks

1. A Big Pot of Chili

Serve up a big pot of chili on game day and set out a topping bar with cilantro, shredded low-fat cheese, plain Greek yogurt, and chopped PLANTERS Sea Salt & Vinegar Peanuts. Chili is synonymous with big flavors, so those sea salt/vinegar peanuts are guaranteed to add even more pop.

Why peanuts? Well, for starters, one ounce boasts 7 grams of satisfying protein. And a handful also brings nutrients like manganese (important for bone health) and vitamin E to the table.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks #nachos

2. Nachos

Top baked tortilla chips with black beans and low-fat shredded cheese. Heat in the oven until the cheese is gooey and melted, and then garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, PLANTERS Chipotle Peanuts, guacamole, salsa, lime, and plain Greek yogurt.

3. Quesadillas

Give quesadillas a vegetarian twist with peanuts and pinto beans. Fill whole wheat flour tortillas with low-fat shredded cheese, pinto beans, corn kernels, and chopped PLANTERS Chili Lime Peanuts. Serve with salsa and guacamole on the side.

Healthy Tailgate Appetizer Ideas via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #peanuts #snacks #hummus #vegetables

4.Hummus with Vegetables

Stir chopped PLANTERS Smoked Peanuts into your favorite hummus for crunch, extra protein power, and an unexpected flavor twist. Serve with your favorite vegetables:  baby carrots, celery sticks, bell peppers, English cucumber, and cauliflower.

Read more

Making Holiday Pizzelles with my Dad + New Recipe for Coconut Almond Pizzelles {Recipe Redux}

Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies made with flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and flavoring. I gave these tasty treats a healthy makeover by replacing half the flour with almond flour, switching to coconut oil, and decreasing the sugar by a third.

Coconut Almond Pizzelles via Maealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

When I think of baking cookies I think of my mom. She stills makes amazing cookies at least twice a week. However, when I think of pizzelles it’s all about dad. A very dear family friend, Lucy, used to send pizzelles over to our house on the holidays and dad always said how much he loved them. One year she gave him a pizzelle iron, and from then on, he started making them at every major holiday. I love his pizzelles and have always wanted to learn how to make them.

Read more

How to Pack a Healthy Back-to-School Snack Bin in the Pantry and Fridge {Podcast #292}

We created this post for Planters Peanuts and were compensated for our work. All opinions are our own.

From lunchbox snacks to after-school nibbles, place nutrient-rich foods in your pantry and fridge to encourage your family to make smart, sensible food choices.

How to pack a smart snack bin via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snacks

Snacks can play an important role in the nutritional well being of your family or they can sabotage good intentions. To boost the nutritional GPA of your daily snack routine, stock your kitchen with wholesome nibbles—things like fresh fruit, sliced veggies, cheese sticks, and peanuts—that everyone will love.

The Pantry

Choose a shelf in your pantry that’s accessible to the entire family and stock it with better-for-you snacks. Fill a plastic bin or bowl with smart snacks like peanuts, dried fruit, homemade Peanut Date Snack Bars, whole grain pretzels, popcorn, no-sugar-added applesauce, fruit cups and pouches, freeze-dried vegetables, and whole grain crackers.

Planters Peanuts Nutrition via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

The Plan:

Block off time for you and your family to write up a list of their favorite wholesome, grab-and-go snacks. Hit the supermarket with list in hand and then ask everyone to stock their own snack bin. You can set up one snack bin for the entire family or individual bins for each family member.

Add peanuts to your shopping list. They provide staying power, so they’re an ideal addition to snack time. With 7 grams of protein per ounce and nutrients like manganese (important for bone health) and essential nutrients such as niacin and vitamin E, nibble on a handful to help hold you (and your kids) over between meals.

To hear more about packing a smart snack bin for your family and to get our recipes for Strawberry Peanut Overnight Oats and Soba Noodles with Peanuts, Carrots, and Snow Peas, tune in to this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast. Click the arrow below to listen.


How to pack a smart snack bin via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #snacks

These are our Peanut Date Snack Bars. They get their subtle sweetness naturally from dates and the addition of just 3 tablespoons of honey, and each satisfying bar has 6 grams of protein.

Read more

Healthy Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse – a makeover of classic mousse

If you’re looking for a fall-inspired afternoon snack or special treat for after dinner, try our healthy pumpkin mousse makeover made simply with canned pumpkin puree, frozen banana for natural sweetness, low-fat cottage cheese, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and a tasty topping of crushed gingersnap cookies, hemp seeds, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Yes Please!

Healthy Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #pumpkin #snack #dessert

Healthy and delicious team up for this nutrient-rich pumpkin mousse. The secret ingredient is cottage cheese, delivering body, a luscious texture, and a healthy helping of calcium and protein. The “sprinkles” on top bring a hint of sweetness and lots of crunch to every spoonful.

Healthy Gingersnap Pumpkin Mousse via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #pumpkin #snack #dessert

Every fall, we take an intern (or two) under our wing for a semester. A few weeks ago, we met Brett and Ben, two nutrition seniors from Boston University. About an hour into the internship, they helped us develop this recipe, and they were more than willing to sample a few bites. Expect more meal makeover magic from these two dietitians-to-be in the coming weeks 🙂

Read more

Toll House Cookies get a Makeover – Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies {The Recipe Redux}

These Almond Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with almond flour, coconut oil, unsweetened shredded coconut, and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. They’re a gluten-free makeover of the chocolate chip cookies from my childhood.

Gluten-Free Almond Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies via Mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen #GlutenFree

Here at Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen we participate in The Recipe Redux monthly blogger challenge. This month’s challenge:  Stir up some of your earliest culinary recollections and share a healthy recipe and the accompanying story about one of your first cooking memories.

Growing up, I often helped my mom make Toll House Cookies, and I always polished off a few warm-from-the-oven treats with a cold glass of milk. For The Recipe Redux, I decided to give these classic cookies a gluten-free makeover by replacing the wheat flour with almond flour, and I also swapped out mom’s Crisco for coconut oil.

Read more

Next Page »