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54321 Go! (recipe included)

While watching the local news last evening, I saw a most interesting ad.  A mom and her two children were exchanging questions and answers.  The son asked for some chips and his mother’s reply was, “Have a banana”.  The daughter asks for a soda, and the mom provides bottled water.  The son asked for his video basketball game. His sister replied, “Go outside and play the real one”.   A couple more exchanges followed, and the summary was to practice 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

I discovered that CHI Health is a major partner in a local group building a healthier community. The numbers refer to a daily plan:

  • 5 fruits and vegetable
  • 4 glasses of water
  • 3 dairy
  • 2 hours of computer and/or TV time
  • 1 hour of exercise

You can even follow them on Facebook.

It is an excellent plan to begin a new year.  Fruits, vegetables, water, and dairy group foods are healthy choices for snacks.  Snacks are part of everyone’s day.  I like snacks to count.  They should provide nutrients not just calories.

What is a nutrient?  Nutrients are substances that the body cannot make.  They must be provided by food choices.  Vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, fat, carbohydrate, and protein are nutrients.  Snacks that provide both a protein and a carbohydrate are what we call, "nutrient rich".  The following list provides some examples:

  • Peanut butter with whole grain crackers or bread, or spread on apples or pears
  • Light yogurt with a fruit
  • Light cheese stick with vegetable or fruit
  • Unsalted or lightly salted nuts with baby carrots
  • Tuna, salmon, beef, or chicken slices or salad on a whole wheat mini bagel
  • Edamame soybeans on a tossed salad
  • Hardboiled egg with whole grain toast
  • Reduced fat graham crackers or reduced vanilla wafers with fat free milk
  • Homemade trail mix (combine favorite dry cereal or granola with dried fruit and unsalted nuts or popcorn) with fat free milk

In the winter, I enjoy hot chocolate, but I find the prepared hot chocolate packets to be so sweet or filled with hydrogenated oils.  Several years ago, a friend shared his recipe for homemade hot chocolate.  Give it a try. Enjoy your snack with a taste of chocolate.

Hot Chocolate

  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 5 packets (1-1/2 tsp.) sugar substitute (I used Splenda)

Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Store in a jar. Use one heaping tablespoon of mix per eight ounces of hot water.  Stir.

Makes 8 servings
Serving size: 1 tablespoon of mix

Nutritional Content:
Calories: 36
Carbohydrate: 6 grams
Fiber: 0
Fat: 0
Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 48 milligrams
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

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