Healthy snacking: not just for the wealthy

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The other morning a popular nutritionist was on a local news channel doing a segment on healthy summer snacks. I didn’t actually watch the segment (the lack of a TV and a laptop with a battery that’s on its death bed prevented me from doing so) but I saw the pictures on Instagram.

Upon seeing them, I sighed and rolled my eyes. The photos were of trendy health food products like raw food snacks, “superfoods”, and other products that cost an arm and a leg. All of them were perfectly healthy, I’m sure, and in fact I’ve tried some of them and enjoyed them – but it irked me to see them touted on TV as good choices for healthy snacks.

It’s media pieces like this that makes healthy eating seem like an elite pursuit only for those who can afford it. Sure, you can be healthy, but you’ll need to drop $10 on daily cold pressed juices, stock up on $16 bags of goji berries, eat $8 bags of raw crackers because heaven forbid Triscuits won’t do, and of course do all this while wearing your $128 Lululemon hoodie.

Ugh.

Healthy is not a luxury for only those who can afford it – it is for everyone. This is the message I’m trying to get across when I reassure people that “normal people” food is just as healthy. Apples, bananas, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, yogurt,¬†and¬†cheese may not be sexy snacks that garner TV views but at least the majority of the viewers will be able to afford them.

20 Comments

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20 Responses to Healthy snacking: not just for the wealthy

  1. SO true Chelsea! Here in KY it makes me so sad when I see what the kids are eating here, almost makes me want to cry, and I know its not for lack of money, especially when more and more farmers markets are taking food stamps, but you are right, it is because it is portrayed in that way, we need to change this, and posts like this can only help!

    • Chelsea

      You’re right – it makes me sad to see the junk food in grocery stores that gets passed off as acceptable snacks too! I wish people could realize that it doesn’t have to be one extreme or another.

  2. Love this! So true — eating healthy does not have to be fancy or gourmet or full of “super foods”, but that’s not the message that gets across in the media. Definitely sharing this!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks Stephanie! People just don’t like to accept that healthy eating is pretty boring – they want a miracle food (or miracle diet) and that’s just not how it works.

  3. YES YES YES. People think healthy eating is so complicated and expensive. In reality it’s all about simplicity and going back to basics. Buying fresh whole foods may be a little more pricey at first but in the long you’re saving so much on medical care by taking care of your health.

  4. So true – and something I often roll my eyes at. I was reading the Travel section of the weekend paper and they were touting all these “good for you road snacks” – like $4 one-serving bags of snacks and bars – and I just wanted to tell them to show a photo of an apple with string cheese or banana with PB and have done!

    • Chelsea

      Yikes! $4 is how much some people spend on food for their entire day, let alone on one snack. I’m teaching a class on shopping on a budget soon and calculated out some snacks for it – a serving of homemade trail mix, a banana and peanut butter, or toast and cheese all equal only about 30 cents a serving! It’s crazy when you compare that to those $4 bars.

  5. This is a great post and I TOTALLY agree! Thank you!

  6. For the record, i think peanut butter and bananas are sexy snacks :-p I definitely agree with what you’re saying here – a lot of people seem to have the idea that healthy eating is expensive and all about pressed juices and raw crackers and all that – totally not the case! Fruit, yogurt, nuts, and all that simple jazz gets the job done just as well.

  7. love this! all so true, my wise one :)

  8. YES! I hate it when people make healthy eating out to be some complicated and expensive thing, when it’s really the opposite. Get back to the basics, avoid all the fancy, shmancy “superfood” powders and what-not, and you’ll do just fine.

  9. YOU SAID IT and you said it WELL!!!!! I couldn’t agree more. Now give me some damn spinach, ;)

  10. Amen. I’m right there with you on this concept. Healthy is for everyone; it’s not some trendy, yuppie right.

    Yesterday my “healthy snack” or as I sometimes call it “snack” was a banana dipped in honey nut peanut butter. I don’t have the means or the funds to get all complicated with goji berries, raw juices or hemp hearts, although I do have a bag of the latter leftover from Blend. Truth: I have no idea what to do with them. It may be crazy but I’m more comfortable with a kohlrabi or cabbage than hemp. Ha.

    • If you’re an oatmeal person you can toss some on top or mix them in (you can’t even taste em’!) OR adding them to smoothies is my favourite!

    • Chelsea

      Hahaha! Like Melissa suggested, you can just add them to your morning smoothies! Or you can toss them into salads, baked goods, etc.

      They may get a “superfood” label and come with a price tag, but I do think hemp hearts are a pretty beneficial food.

  11. LOVE THIS. I can’t believe people spend $10 on ‘cold pressed juice’ on the regular. Don’t they have anything better to spend their money on!?

    • Chelsea

      Right?! Especially since a cold pressed juice still leaves me hungry afterwards. I’ll spend 20 cents on a banana instead thanks lol.

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