Health: Popcorn makes a healthy and delicious snack

Not all snack food will make you feel guilty.

| April 2009

One of the biggest challenges to healthy eating is between-meal snacking. Popcorn is a whole grain food that’s low in calories and makes a great snack food. It’s not only economical, it’s also fun to eat. 

One cup of popped popcorn, eaten plain, contains 24 calories, 1 gram of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber.

Keeping healthy snacks on hand is important for the whole family, especially with childhood obesity on the rise.

“Popcorn is one of the best snack foods around.  It's low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it a healthy, nutritious choice for between-meal snacking for kids and adults,” says Elizabeth M. Ward, registered dietitian and author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids.

Sprinkling popcorn with herbs or other seasonings is a fun way to add flavor without adding extra fat and calories. Children love to mix and match a variety of flavors to create their own healthy popcorn creations.

Some ideas include spraying popcorn with low-fat cooking oil such as Kernel Season's Popcorn Spritzer or sprinkling with Kernel Season's toppings, which include White Cheddar, Nacho Cheddar, Butter, Ranch and Kettle Corn flavors. You can also make a trail mix using popcorn, raisins and dried fruits. For a rich taste, sprinkle popcorn with Kernel Season's Chocolate Marshmallow flavor and enjoy it with a cup of hot chocolate. Also, for a healthy alternative to more fattening desserts, add Kernel Season's Apple Cinnamon, Caramel or Kettle Corn flavors to popped popcorn.

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