Snack for Energy

Keeping up with the kids is a never-ending job, and unfortunately, our energy doesn't always keep going as long as they do. That's why healthy snacking is important for any mom who wants to stay on her toes, says Boston-based nutritionist Liz Ward, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The best snacks are a combination of carbohydrates and protein, which deliver a one-two punch. "Carbohydrates give you an immediate bit of a rush. They pick up your blood sugar and make you feel more energized," says Ward. "The protein lasts longer. It's sort of a backup" for when the rush of carbohydrates starts to fade."

Frosty, fruit-filled drinks are a quick and tasty way to get a perfect blend of the right energizers, says Ward, who suggests this recipe for a Frozen Fruit Smoothie:

  • Mix 1/2 cup frozen fruit (such as store-bought frozen berries or a ripe banana you put in the freezer), 1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt and 1/2 cup calcium-fortified orange juice in a blender or food processor until smooth, and pour immediately into a glass.
  • The drink will deliver, in 387 calories, 56 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of protein (as many as in two ounces of meat, chicken or fish). It's also high in calcium and folate. For variety, Ward suggests, try combinations of different fruits with any yogurt flavor you enjoy.

Other easy carbo-protein snacks include:

  • Peanut butter and crackers
  • Raw vegetables with yogurt-based dip or cottage cheese
  • Cereal and skim milk.
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