How to Prepare Cheap and Healthy Snacks – Part 1

Health Secrets

Crispy baked sweet potato – yummy!

Do you want to lose weight? Take snacks between meals.

No, this is not bull or hype but from personal experience. Taking snacks keep you from overeating during the major meals, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner – that’s my secret of keeping my weight at a constant 66 kilos (give or take 2 to 3), over the years. It’s as steady as my heartbeat (of course, I also exercise a lot).

Not only does it keep you from overeating, a healthy snack gives extra nutrients to your diet. According to the Journal of Nutrition (Feb. 2010, issue) approximately 97% of Americans take snacks, providing another 24% of their daily calorie requirement.

Is a healthy snack necessary for seniors? You bet!

As we get older our nutritional needs change because of loss of appetite and certain medical conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol level, arthritis or heart disease. All these require diet prescription making it necessary to take healthy snacks to maintain a balanced blood glucose level.

And, hey, preparing your own healthy snack can boost your self-confidence, your sense of independence gives you purpose, not to mention the little bit of exercise from the activity.

Are you ready to rock and roll? Here’s an easy, cheap and healthy snack you can do right now – crispy baked sweet potato fries:


Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries:

–  One or two pieces of medium-size, washed, sweet potatoes washed;
–  Corn starch;
–  Olive oil;
–  Salt, pepper, and spices (cayenne pepper, paprika or curry powder). You may use garlic, too;


– Preheat over to 425 deg F;

– Slice potatoes into thin strips (like the fries those serve at McDonald’s). I don’t skin my potatoes, but you can with yours if you prefer it that way.

– Toss the potato strips into a mixing bowl, or a baking sheet;
– Sprinkle liberally with cornstarch and add two tablespoons of olive oil (or enough to lightly coat the potato strips);

– Add salt, pepper, and spices (half a teaspoon per potato), and shake to have an even mixture;

– Put the mixture on a non-stick baking sheet, and arrange the potato strips, parallel to each other, single layer;

– Bake for 15 minutes, then flip them on their sides to assure even baking all around (use a flipping tool so you won’t get burned);

– Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until fries are crispy (they’re done when the surface changes from shiny orange to matte with a puffed texture);

– Remove from oven, and let it cool to serving temperature.

Now you have a healthy snack. Take it with a smoothie, i.e., banana or avocado and you have a snack fit for royalty.


Health benefits of sweet potato:

The health benefits of sweet potato can fill a good size book, but this short synopsis will give you an idea why it is a perfect snack item.

Sweet potato is full of vitamin A (beta-carotene), and a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorous.

On the more mundane side, serving sweet potato to your friends or during small and informal gatherings enlivens your social interaction, while helping other elderly people stay active and energized.

Please help other senior citizens by sharing this or subscribing to my newsletter to get a weekly update about the exciting, often bittersweet, life of the elderly