Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Smart snacks

Snacks have become like a fourth meal, dietitian Jennifer Motl says, yet people often aren’t mindful of what they munch on. That can be a real problem, since one study shows that our daily calorie intake from snacks exceeds the calorie content of a Big Mac. (Yikes!)

In Sunday’s Health Living section, Motl will offer advice on how to make snacks a healthy part of your diet. For now, here’s a short list of ideas for health-enhancing snacks (her column will list more):

  • Banana flip drink: low-fat milk blended with ripe banana
  • Low-fat cottage cheese mixed with pineapple tidbits (canned in juice, not syrup)
  • Baked tortilla chips and guacamole
  • Whole-grain toaster waffle spread with applesauce and cinnamon
  • Whole-grain crackers and Swiss cheese
  • English muffin with melted mozzarella
  • Low-fat mozzarella cheese stick plus fruits such as grapes, kiwi, plum, or other juicy fruit
  • Bowl of whole-grain cereal plus low-fat milk (or soy milk)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • avocado, sliced, on whole-grain bread
  • Peach-raspberry parfait—fresh or frozen fruit topping plain yogurt and granola
  • Tuna or salmon salad on rye crackers
  • Cherry tomatoes, olives and Feta cheese
  • 2 or 3 squares of dark chocolate