Pico de gallo salsa

It’s been a long day. You didn’t really have a chance to eat much for breakfast as you raced out the door to work. Lunch would have been a really tasty salad, full of healthy vegetables and chards of a great cheese, but it was cut short by the call from the office to meet with parents. You are starving as you enter the staff meeting about the newest reading series your school will be using. And then, as you collapsed into your seat just a few minutes before the start of the meeting, it is as if someone has read your mind.

“Before we get started,” the principal announced, “Why don’t you all stop up front for a little treat from the parent organization.” A table loaded with fresh guacamole dips, red pepper hummus, southwestern salsa, and Greek yogurt veggie dip awaited the staff. Various kinds of chips, pretzels and vegetables made the snack table even more appealing. Maybe this long day was going to finish up better than it started.

Finding snacks that are healthy, as well as having a healthy amounts of protein, can be key to having the energy you need to make it through the longest of days at work. Most Americans, 90% to be exact, don’t eat enough vegetables, including nutrient-rich beans, on a daily basis. In fact, most people only eat about one cup of vegetables per day; and most only eat about half the recommended amount of beans per week.

While many people tend to load up on carbs and high sugar foods, we would be a much healthier society if we instead concentrated on vegetables, legumes and other good sources of protein. Fresh guacamole dips, for example, can include avocados and tomatoes that are so tasty you might be tempted to eat them with a fork and skip the less healthy chips altogether. Different flavors of hummus can also provide a great vegetable dip that will encourage you to dip vegetables instead of chips as well.

Dietary Guidelines from 2010 encourage Americans to eat more vegetables and beans. These two food are full of nutrients and can help you maintain a healthy weight. In addition, vegetables and beans may even reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and inflammation. Obviously, children as well as adults should attempt to eat a more healthy selection of foods. Whether you are planning a more healthy afternoon snack for your children when they come home from school, or you are given the opportunity to snack yourself before a meeting at the end of a long day, fresh guacamole dips, salsa, yogurt dips and hummus can provide both taste and nutrition.

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