Is your favorite afternoon snack as good for you as it is good tasting? At many houses snack time is sometimes full of healthy fruits and vegetables and occasionally alternates to a high carb, high energy quick bite. in other homes, snack time is a calorie and salt filled bag of chips or a sugary handful of cookies. As parents, it is especially important to offer snacks from a variety of food groups. One legume snack that contains healthy amounts of protein is the increasingly popular hummus.
Hummus is an Arabic word meaning “chickpeas,” which in some parts of the country are called garbanzo beans. The complete name of the dip most Americans know as “hummus,” means “chickpeas with tahini” in Arabic. Basil Pesto Hummus is most commonly used as a dip for vegetables or pita breads. It can also work well in recipes as a substitute for sandwich spread, as when it is used in hummus chicken salad.
In addition to being a good source of protein, one serving of hummus also contains 1% of the recommended amount of calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Roasted garlic, red pepper, roasted pine nut, spinach and artichoke, sun-dried tomato, spicy, lemon, jalapeño and basil pesto hummus are some of the many flavor varieties available. Combined with salsa brands that include a sweet taste and spicy fresh guacamole, hummus contributes to a full flavor snack, or even meal, experience.
The latest health studies recommend consuming fruit and vegetables three or more times a day, instead of one or less time a day. Increasing the number of fruit and vegetable servings is associated with 27 percent lower incidence of stroke, 42 percent lower incidence of stroke mortality, and 25 percent lower CVD mortality. introducing young children to a more healthy snack routine can determine what they crave, and promote good eating habits.
Even Christmas parties and Thanksgiving recipes, if approached with an attempt to increase servings of fruits and vegetables, can encourage more varied, and healthy, eating habits. Basil pesto hummus, or any other earthy tasting dip or spread, is perfect paired with high fiber crackers, as well as snap peas, red, orange and yellow peppers, and other healthy alternatives. Holiday gatherings and family reunions do not have to be all about showcasing the best cakes, pies and cookies. These get togethers can also be about introducing friends and family, young and old, to healthy snacking options.