Healthy eating has become routine at our house in the last year. Now I have been asked to create and run a fitness program at work, so I'm searching for ideas to encourage healthy eating among my co-workers. That search led me to a Pin of an article called Make Your Own 100-Calorie Snacks on Budget101.com.
Here are the top 5 reasons to package your own snacks:
#5. It saves money. Pre-packaged snacks are expensive. By packing your own, you can take advantage of savings on economy sizes without the risk of products becoming stale because the package didn't get re-closed tightly after each use. Which ties into #4 -
#4. It cuts down on waste. If a bag of pretzels is evenly portioned into ten single-serve bags, you never end up with a few left in the bottom that aren't enough for a portion so they just sit there till they're stale and get thrown out. (Which takes us back to #5 - saves money)
#3. You can customize the portion size to your diet or your family. If you need/want more than 100 calories in each portion - just package it that way.
#2. Convenience - Individual packs are easy for kids to grab after school or, for me, to pack in my lunch.
And the #1 benefit is: Individual snack packs reduce the chances of over-indulging. If I'm having a craving for chips and try to eat a "serving" straight from the bag, chances are I'm going to go beyond what I should have. Even if I put the chips into a bowl, I'm likely to grab a larger portion than I really need to fill the craving. And it ends "grazing" - standing in front of the refrigerator, snacking on a half a slice of cheese, a couple grapes, a bite of leftover turkey . . . while trying to decide what I really want. If the snacks are stacked and waiting in pre-approved sizes, it's easy to choose and get no more than I need.
To teach this frugal, healthy habit to my co-workers, I prepackaged 100 snacks (ranging form 80-125 calories) and stocked the break rooms. The were a hit! Some people just appreciated free food, but many asked questions and expressed surprise at some of the serving sizes. I packaged mostly low-fat, low-calorie options, but threw in a few - like Pepperidge Farms S'mores Goldfish - that illustrated an option for curbing a sweet/chocolate craving without blowing the daily calorie bank.