Words on Wellness

Guest Column
Kelsey Salow
Human Sciences Specialist, ISU Extension & Outreach

Snack Smart This Summer

     In the summer, eating several small healthy snacks throughout the day is often more comfortable than having bigger meals. Choose nutritious snacks that give you energy as well as help you with focus and memory. Healthy snacking especially benefits these three groups of people:

     • Older adults tend to prefer to eat light meals or snacks instead of bigger breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. Choosing nutritious snacks helps maintain their ability to live independently. Snacks high in protein and antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, help the immune system to recover from illness and aids in wound healing.

     • Children need the calories and nutrients from snacks to get energy for summertime play and sports. Snacks nourish their growing bodies and minds. In the fall, snacks will help kids feel full so they can focus on academics. Read Snacks for Healthy Kids, store.extension.iastate.edu/product/4605, for more information.

     • Pregnant women have varied appetites, depending on the woman and stage of pregnancy. Snacks can provide quick, easy nutrition for both mother and baby. Smaller snacks rather than larger meals may help reduce the nausea or heartburn some women have during pregnancy.

Here are some easy, healthy snacks:

     • Fruits and vegetables

     • Whole-grain crackers and cereal

     • Low-fat cheese, Greek yogurt

     • Hard-boiled eggs, unsalted nuts or peanuts

     • Want a cool summer snack? Enjoy a smoothie!

Making Salad Safely

     Salad is a popular summer dish. However, it is also linked with foodborne illness. There are ways to prepare salad safely so that friends and family do not get sick. Salad food safety tips include the following:

     • Wash your hands! Always wash hands before and after preparing any salad ingredient.

     • Don’t rewash lettuce that is already prewashed in the package. This can introduce contaminants that were already eliminated.

     • Use a different knife and cutting board for each ingredient. If you intend to keep salad ingredients separate for people to make their own, you won’t have contaminated all ingredients.

     • Keep salads cold in a refrigerator, in a cooler, or over ice. Don’t leave out at room temperature for more than two hours. Warmer temperatures (40-140 degrees) can cause bacteria to grow on food and promote illness.

     • Make sure salad is served with a utensil and not bare hands. Hands carry viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. It is best to use clean and sanitized salad tongs or forks.

     • Visit “Produce Basics” (spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/cook/produce-basics) for tips on how to select, store, and wash many types of salad ingredients.


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