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It’s an all-too familiar sensation: the time is 3:22pm, maybe 3:23pm, creeping by horribly slowly and you’re stuck in the office, clock watching several hours early. All it takes is just a little hunger pang, for you to think that a trip to the vending machine is the perfect (and perhaps only!) way to break the tedium. Or maybe you’re a retiree, cooking with grandchildren, wondering how those ingredients could be made just a bit healthier. Here at Ask Granny, we’re only too happy to help with our suggestions of the best healthy snacks.


Your situation might not fit neatly into one of the scenarios mentioned above. You might imagine that you actually have a reasonably healthy diet, only to finally make a list of what you eat in the week, and be shocked by how many sweets and chocolates you consume. Grandparents health really depends on a better choice of snacks, which don’t have the saturated fat, salt and sugar of those nasty vending machine treats.


They may sound like common sense rules, but so many seniors fail to follow them: aim for three regular meals daily, avoid shopping for unhealthy snacks so that they aren’t there in the house in the first place and if you do feel those dreaded mid-day pangs, try having a glass of water instead. As for ideas of precisely what readers of our senior citizens online guide could eat, why not start with fresh fruit? It’s nature’s first convenience food, after all, even coming with its own biodegrade packaging in the case of oranges and bananas.


Making a bad choice of fruit is difficult, given that each one counts towards your ‘5 a day’, although looking for fruits that are locally in season is a good idea, given that they will be at a peak of freshness and flavour – not to mention, cheap! Go to the supermarket, and you’ll find strawberries, grapes and melon, chunks of which are the perfect alternative to the usual dreaded snacks. Or why not pick up something from the dried fruit aisle, such as banana, mango, raisins, cranberries or pineapple? If you’re buying for grandchildren, a small handful is a good serving.


If you need some more snacks to substitute for your usual sweet favourites, then why not take a look at low fat fruit yoghurt or some dry, reduced sugar cereal with some sultanas or raisins? There are plenty of good ideas for healthy savoury snacks as well, from baked crisps, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and unsalted rice cakes to unsalted mixed nuts, homemade popcorn (minus sugar or salt) and celery sticks with a low fat cream cheese filling.


It’s so easy to start the day with good intentions before succumbing to all of those old habits, especially if you’re stressed about something else. But with the right choices, there’s no reason why any reader of the Ask Granny grandparents guide can’t significantly cut down on those potentially life-shortening high-fat treats.