Up the nutritional value of the movie snacks you choose for you and your kids.
Whether we’re watching at home or in a theater, movies have a way of whetting our appetites. Who doesn’t crave crunchy, salty, or sugary finger food to accompany wild action scenes, raucous comedy or heart-wrenching romance? Scan a flashlight on any theater audience and you’re bound to catch hands, packed with popcorn or candy, mindlessly stuffing snacks into mouths. We reach for movie snacks with automatic abandon, so why not ensure that the calories we’re consuming are reasonably healthy, and still hit the spot? Here are several ideas for movie night snacks that satisfy cravings and pack a decent nutritional punch.
Healthy Movie Snacks At Home
The movie night snacks you serve at home are limited only by your creativity and the contents of your cupboard. Try these ideas for your next friends or family movie night get together, or for a solo screening from the couch:
- Homemade Popcorn—it’s easy to control additives and avoid out of control butter and salt when you make popcorn at home
- Frozen Grapes—pop them in the freezer earlier in the day and they’ll be ready when the opening credits roll
- Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries—let’s face it, chocolate enhances practically any fruit
- Tortilla Strips and Guacamole—guaranteed to satisfy your crunch and salt cravings, with the addition of healthy fat
- Salted Nuts—equal parts protein and crunch
- Granola—breakfast makes a quick transition to a whole-grain, healthy snack
- Trail Mix—store bought or homemade, you’ll get protein and healthy fats from nuts, plus sweet-tooth-satisfaction from dried fruits and bits of chocolate, peanut butter, or yogurt chips
Healthy Movie Theater Snacks
Movie Theater concession stands can quickly send your appetite spinning, with endless options and far-from-subtle suggestions to supersize everything. Navigate your concession stand cravings by choosing from among the following movie snacks, which are the best available options on the menu at most theaters:
- Small Bag of Popcorn—but lay off the added butter and salt
- Good & Plenty—if you can’t do without candy, these are among the lowest in calories and sugar
- Soft Pretzel with Mustard—salty and satisfying, but not calorically over-the-top
- Cheddar Baked Goldfish—a bag of low-calorie little fish will keep snack-seeking fingers occupied
- A Small Slush Drink—in moderation, slushies are OK
- Fruit Snacks—although fat-free, the high sugar content of fruit snacks makes them a treat to enjoy sparingly
What to drink at the movies? Water is your best bet, but if you’re set on having soda, make it small and sugar free.
Movie Night Snacks for Kids
Kids love snacks, so serve healthy movie snacks in your home to keep your kids smiling and their tummies topped up with good nutrition. Try healthy and delicious options like these:
- Apples and Peanut Butter—sweet, satisfying and packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fat
- Popcorn with Seasoning—whole grain popcorn is always a kid-pleaser
- Frozen Yogurt Covered Fruits—pile a bowl full of antioxidant-rich berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.) and top with creamy fro-yo
- Trail Mix—customize a homemade batch with your kid’s favorite nuts, dried fruits, puffed whole grain cereal, and a handful of chocolate chips
- Fruit kabobs—kabobs are a hip treat to make and eat, and fresh fruit is nutritious and naturally sweet
- Pretzels and Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (such as Nutella)—decadent, yet nutritious—just don’t let your kids go too crazy with the chocolate spread
- Cheese Sticks—pulling apart string cheese makes snacking on protein a handful of fun
Have any favorite healthy movie snacks of your own? Let us know in the comments below.