Snacks for holidays can be healthy

As we enter into our wonderful Holiday Season, many of us will be attending parties, having guests over and entertaining in our homes, as we enjoy the company of our loved ones, family, and friends. We will also be enjoying many holiday meals, special desserts, and “treats” placed on nearly every table within our reach. And, if you are like me, you also will be enjoying snacks between those great meals, even though you may not be all that hungry or in need of any more food at that time. I always truly enjoy this great time of year with family and friends and my favorite meal always has been a great turkey dinner with dressing.

Following are some suggested items that I consider to be healthy treats that we should be aware of, not only at this special holiday time, but throughout the year as well. See what you think of my favorite “Great Eight” healthy snack items that are low in sugar and also have some healthy dietary fiber.

– Homemade Trail Mix – just mix 2 cups of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts with 1 cup of Original Fiber One Cereal, and start snacking on this irresistible high protein, low sugar, and high fiber trail mix.

– Quaker brand 25 percent Less Sugar Granola Bars – only 5 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber per bar.

– Fiber One brand 90 Calorie Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – only 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber per bar.

– Fiber One Honey Squares Cereal – only 3 grams of sugar and 10 grams of fiber per cup serving – eat as a cereal or right out of the box as a snack.

– Jif or Skippy brand Peanut Butter – only 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein in a 2-tablespoon serving. Great on healthy Triscuit or Wheat Thins brand crackers.

– Thomas’ brand “Light” muffins – one muffin has 8 grams of dietary fiber and only 1 gram of sugar – great with butter, peanut butter and sugar-free jam.

– Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts – only 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving (about one handful of 40 peanuts or so).

– Emerald brand Cocoa Roast Almonds – only 1 gram of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving (about one handful).

All right, you are not getting off that easy. Here are two bad Christmas jokes. How does Santa Claus clean up his sleigh after Christmas? He uses “Comet” cleanser. What is the favorite subject in school of Santa’s elves? Of course, it would be the “Elf-abet.”

I wish for you and your family and friends a most blessed, happy, and safe 2013 Holiday Season.

Editor’s note: Dr. Jim Surrell, author of “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet,” has his practice at the Digestive Health Clinic at Marquette General Health System. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at