Heart-Healthy Pecans Provide Nutritional Snack Alternative
The new school year is right around the corner and for parents looking for nutritious snacks for their kids, pecans make a great on-the-go alternative for an after-school snack.
After-school snacks need to be quick, easy, and nutritious. But when extra-curricular activities pile up, parents struggle to find healthy snacks that are mobile and remain fresh throughout the day. Pecans offer a great solution, and can even be combined with other snacks such as trail mixes, yogurt, and salads to boost healthfulness.
"A handful of pecans pack important vitamins and minerals that kids need to stay energized throughout the school day or for homework time," says Vickie Mabry, executive director of the National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA). "Pecans take longer to digest than other high carb snacks and they're a natural source of protein, which makes them a perfect snack to curb hunger until dinner time."
Pecans are considered heart-healthy when incorporated into a well-balanced diet and are high in antioxidants. Pecans contain no cholesterol or trans fats and are capable of lowering total blood cholesterol when eaten in moderation. One serving size of pecans equals 19 pecan halves or ¼ cup of chopped pecans (which have the same nutritional value plus convenience when using pecans in recipes).
For some added variety, pecans may be mixed with several different variations of spices and flavors. Here are a few snack recipe suggestions featuring pecans: