A typical outing to the movies might look like this: you buy your tickets, choose your popcorn and drink combo (large, why not?!), maybe a choc top or a box of Maltesers to go with it (let’s splurge, it’s the weekend!), and by the time you finish your movie, you hardly remember eating all that food. Are we right?
Over time, we have come to associate movie watching with snacking. It’s hardly surprising, considering that most advertisements involve actors eating and drinking in front of the screen! We’ve even started to associate watching movies at home with popcorn and other snacks.
Now, we’re all for indulging in a ‘movie snack’ every now and then. However, if you’re frequenting the movies weekly, or enjoying a home snack and screen session most nights during winter, all these ‘empty calories’ will start to add up. And, you might be shocked to learn just how energy dense these foods really are. Popcorn feels ‘light’, but a large box contains 400 calories – the same amount as a main meal! Furthermore, snacking whilst distracted makes it incredibly hard to enjoy the tastes and flavours, and to stop when you’re satisfied.
If you plan to stay indoors and watch a ton of movies this winter, let us offer you some healthy options to counterbalance your occasional treats.
Roasted chickpeas are a great crunchy snack, full of fibre and flavour. You can buy them from supermarkets in different flavours – just look out for The Happy Snack Company in the health food aisle. Or, try this homemade recipe and create your own flavours.
400g canned chickpeas, drained
Olive oil spray
Savoury: curry powder, smoked paprika, rosemary or chili powder, and dash of salt
Sweet: cinnamon and a dash of honey
Place chickpeas on a lined baking tray. Spray with olive oil spray
Add seasoning of choice and bake in oven on 180 o C for 30-40 minutes
Provides 4 serves approximately 140 calories per serve
Popcorn at movie theatres comes dripping with butter, and in excessive portions. For a healthier option, make your own plain popcorn or buy a single serve lightly-salted popcorn bag by Cobs, available in most supermarkets.
Turn this nutritious vegetable into a crunchy snack by roasting them in the oven. Simply lay kale on a lined baking tray, spray with olive oil spray, add a seasoning on top and bake in the oven on 180 o C for 10-20 minutes or until crispy.
Vegetable sticks are such a versatile snack that you can get really creative with. They’re also low calorie and full of fibre, vitamins and minerals – so you can munch away mindlessly if you like! Try vegetables like celery, cucumber, carrot and capsicum with additions such as cottage cheese, light hummus (i.e. Pilpel), or 100% peanut butter.
Another lower-calorie snack full of fibre, vitamins and minerals that you can get creative with. Try apple slices with a small amount of 100% peanut butter, frozen grapes, or to impress your guests/movie partners, bring a tub of strawberries dipped in dark chocolate.
A few high fibre crackers paired with vegemite, 100% peanut butter or cottage cheese is another nutritious snack option that will help fill you up quickly.
Make these low calorie, low sugar alternatives to lollies. You’ll need plastic moulds to get the shape you prefer.
1 packet Jelly lite
1 tablespoon gelatine
½ cup of water
Mix all ingredients into a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds
Pour into the moulds and set in the fridge for 1 hour
Wherever possible, water will always be the best fluid choice over soft drinks.
Now that you’ve got some healthy snack alternatives to try, you can enjoy a movie night more regularly without it having such a large impact on your health and weight. And promise us that when you do decide to indulge, try to eat slowly, enjoy it, and share the box with someone else!