Settling down in front of the TV is a beloved American past time, and thanks to at-home streaming services like Netflix, TV has become more than just a Saturday night hobby. Getting ready for a night camped out on the couch takes some preparation if you want to get the most out of the experience. Whether you’re watching Rick and Morty or binging the latest season of Orange Is the New Black, the right snacks are essential for the optimal viewing experience. Why not make them healthy snacks?
Don’t settle for potato chips or an unsatisfying candy bar that’s over before it’s even truly begun; it’s time to master the art of TV snacking.
There are two facets of TV snacks that must be met for maximum pleasure: They have to be easy and quick to make (no more than 5 minutes of prep time) and they have to meet you halfway between healthy and delicious.
Healthy Snacks Idea #1: Home-popped Popcorn
You might think that buttery, calorie-loaded popcorn is one of the worst snacks, but it’s actually quite healthy when prepared properly. You don’t even need your own popper to prepare; just put three to four tablespoons in a brown paper bag and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
A cup of popcorn without butter is just 31 calories! Just lightly season with your preferred seasoning and prepare to munch and crunch with delight all evening!
Healthy Snacks Idea #2: A Cheese and Fruit Plate
Sounds fancy, right? Fruit and cheese are great healthy snacks. You can slice up an apple and use snack cheeses that are already wrapped in serving size portions, or you can buy a block and cut up your own.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try pairing different fruits and cheeses like fresh pears and brie.
Healthy Snacks Idea #3: Pizza Bagels
Grab a pack of bagels from the supermarket, add some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese. Pop them in the oven and toast at 375 degrees F for 3 to 5 minutes. For some extra flavor, try everything bagels instead of plain.
Healthy Snacks Idea #4: Peanut Butter and Apples
Peanut butter is actually healthy in the right quantity. Scoop two tablespoons into a small bowl and slice up an apple to enjoy as a sweet treat. If you prefer your TV snacks more on the savory side, then grab some celery, lightly dust with salt, and dip into the peanut butter for a delectable contrast.
Healthy Snacks Idea #5: Roasted Chickpeas
If you like nuts, then roasted chickpeas are a great reduced fat alternative. Chickpeas are flavorful, high-fiber beans with a subtle taste that is truly brought out with a light coating of olive oil and some seasoning (rosemary is used in a lot of recipes, but try a mixed blend for some variety!)
You can find a great recipe for your own roasted chickpeas here.
Healthier TV Snacks for Everyone
Whether it’s pizza bagels that double up as a snack and TV dinner for the whole family or a tantalizing fruit and cheese spread for two, healthier TV snacks aren’t nearly as elusive and difficult to make as you might think.
The best way to make healthier snack choices is to look for alternatives that have the same consistency as the junk food you love. If it’s crunch you’re after, turn to vegetables. If it’s the sugary goodness of candy, then consider fruits. When it comes to cooking, you can ditch the butter and margarine in favor of healthy oils like sunflower or olive.
You don’t have to completely kick junk food to the curb, either. Sometimes, we just need to evaluate our portions and make sure we’re actually eating the recommended serving size of our favorite snacks instead of finishing a box in one sitting.
We hope these five snacks will put you on a path toward healthier eating in front of the TV. Happy viewing!
About the Author
Katrina is on the content team at www.householdappliancejudge.com. She can be found around the web writing about health, nutrition, relationships, family and other lifestyle concerns. Katrina enjoys cooking, comedy and spending time with her adorable (but exhausting) young family.