Wednesday, February 20, 2013

February Pin It/Do It - Pin #9: 100 Calorie Snacks

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  

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.  
Some of my 100-calorie Snack Packs:  Pretzels, Honey Wheat Pretzel Twists, Goldfish crackers, sugar-free angel food cake, turkey lunch meat and string cheese, beef jerky, mandarin oranges, apples and peanut butter, chocolate parfaits  . . . get more ideas on

I will admit it was time consuming to count out serving sizes.   When I do it for my own use I will probably count out the first serving of 40 goldfish into a measuring cup, then approximate the rest.  Since I was doing this for work, I wanted them to be exact, so I counted every fish.

I think the benefits of packaging my own snacks make it worth the effort, but a word of warning:  Eating all the broken crackers, chipped vanilla wafers, and crumbs of beef jerky while packaging is counter-productive.


  1. What a project, but I can see this would be money saving over buying the already prepackaged ones and definitely more healthier!


  2. Okay you know I have to have a picture drawn - but what did you put the peanut butter in and the mandarin oranges? This is a wonderful idea!! You have done a lot of work for your coworkers!

    1. The peanut butter, pudding parfaits and a few others were in small disposable containers with lids (Glad?). The oranges were unpeeled and just in zip-lock bags.

  3. What a great idea. And how great are you for doing this for your co-workers??

  4. This is genius … and your coworkers are so lucky to have you!

  5. LOVE this. I just passed on to my coworker friend on our Wellness Committee but I could probably also do this at home. I'm pretty good about portioning out but what a great idea to do it all at once so that you can just grab and go instead of making a baggie in the morning.

  6. Great idea! and I love that you packaged them for your co-workers. Such a nice thing to do!

  7. This is a great idea! I do it with almonds and banana chips, but not with most of our snacks. This would be perfect for when we're headed out the door in a hurry.

  8. This is such a great idea! I work from home, and the mega-snacking can really creep up on me. I'm going to have to take some time to package up my own 100 calorie snack packs.