They start as routines but gradually grow to become one of the most important family moments. Family Friday night movies are not just about watching what’s unfolding on the screen. They are crucial bonding moments.
Apart from the warm company and a captivating flick, one more ingredient is needed to make the night special – the perfect snacks. But when you think of all the sugar, sodium, and calories your loved ones can consume, you could shudder and take a pass on the movie night.
We wouldn’t want you to break traditions on account of diet, so we checked with the experts and came up with some healthy snack ideas. They are easy to make or access – available in most stores across Mississippi. They are also tasty and suitable for the whole family.
Good old-fashioned popcorn
No movie night can be complete without popcorn. The best thing about popcorn is it is still whole grain! Plus, it can be a healthy, crunchy, and sumptuous snack.
Perhaps you like popcorn the old-fashioned way (made at home) with some virgin olive oil and a pinch of sugar and spice, or prefer flavored health-brand varieties, like dark chocolatey drizzle popcorn, one thing is certain; few snacks can match it.
The thought of bringing home a bag full of candy for the movie night is tempting. But what do you do if your family loves to pop in gummies, chewies, and sours as they watch but you’re trying to cut down on sugar? Give them frozen grapes. Pluck them from the clusters the night before, spread them on a baking sheet, and place them in the freezer.
Unlike candy, grapes are natural, cool, easy to pop in the mouth, and unbelievably sweet! They are an excellent alternative to quench that craving for sugar and are healthy. Grapes are rich in antioxidants and may help improve heart and brain health too. They also boost your mood and attention. What more would you want for the movie night?
Sweet potato and avocado bites
You would want something that’s slightly more filling than frozen grapes.
Instead of preparing tortilla chips with guacamole, use baked sweet potato rounds and pair them with an avocado mix. You can place them in separate bowls so that movie watchers have to pick a chip and scoop some avocado mix. Or you can save them the trouble and serve on a tray with each sweet potato slice with a dollop of the avocado mix right on the top. Besides being filling, sweet potato is a tasty snack that is healthy and packed with nutrients. The health benefits of avocado, on the other hand, cannot be over-emphasized.
A movie night means hours of lying on the couch doing nothing but watching and eating – it could be a recipe for cultivating obesity. But that need not be so. Research shows that people who have nuts as part of their regular diets have a lower risk of developing long-term weight problems.
Dried nuts like cashews and almonds have immense health benefits. They are packed with heart-healthy oils and antioxidants and don’t need extra salt – less sodium!
But there is one precaution to take, especially when you have a visitor sleeping over. Double-check for any nut allergies. Avoid nut snacks if one of you has an allergy because they can be seriously tempting.
If you have a taste for crispy and crunchy stuff, you are not stuck with potato chips. You can try something different- spiced chickpeas. Since they are roasted, they already have fewer calories than most crunchy snacks. Also, they are spiced (not salted), which means less sodium. Thus they are just right to fulfill that craving for crunchy bitings. Not to mention, chickpeas are packed with healthy fiber and provide some protein.
Baked beet chips
It is hard to get a healthier Friday movie night snack than super vegetables like beets. All health experts give beets a five-star rating for health benefits. But people often have a binary relationship with such vegetables – it’s either you like or despise them. So, it is crucial to learn creative ways to prepare and serve them. For example, you could slice some beets and bake them into chip-like crisps. Then pair them with a favorite sauce. Your family will love them.
Fruit with dip
Fruits also have immense health benefits. Like veggies, some creativity can go a long way in making them your family’s favorite movie night snack.
Combine fruits like berries and apple slices with a yogurt or chocolate dip. But you have to ensure that the dip is healthy. For example, you can opt for dark unsweetened chocolate. It has a lower sugar content and still has an amazing chocolaty taste!
To conclude, these sumptuous snack ideas will make everyone get another reason to look forward to the movie night. But they are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more ideas and healthy snacks to try, so be creative!
Also Read: How to Get More Protein Into Your Snacks