The scent of buttery popcorn wafting your way can definitely make good diets go bad at the movies. In a dark theater you can’t exactly see how much you’re eating. With your attention on the screen, your hand moves from popcorn bucket to mouth and back to popcorn bucket almost instinctively.
You can steer clear of the fatty foods at the concession stand, and the post-flick guilt that comes with them, with a little preparation and some ziplock bags. Just remember to bring your big purse!
Roasted Chickpeas – Toss a can of chickpeas in a tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly sprinkle your favorite seasonings like sea salt, cumin or curry and toss. Spread on a flat aluminum pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Frozen Grapes – Pop a serving of 15 grapes into the freezer a couple hours ahead of time. This snack will last beyond the previews, as each grape takes a while to dissolve, and they are a great refresher.
Fruit chips – Slice a pear or apple as thinly as possible. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 275 degrees for one hour. Then flip and bake for another hour.
Baked Banana Chips – Slice a firm banana and toss in fresh squeezed orange juice. Bake in the oven for one hour, flipping halfway through.
Snack Mix – Toss fat-free popcorn, a serving of pretzels, a handful of dried cranberries, and 3 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips in a gallon size ziplock. The great thing about this snack is that you will have enough to share.
If you end up at the concession stand, you can still make healthy choices. Order kid-sized portions if possible or split regular portions with a friend.
Use this 2 hour opportunity to hydrate yourself, remembering to stash a water bottle in your bag as well.
Even if the on-screen drama makes you shed a tear, your movie munchies don’t have to. Take healthy eating with you wherever you go.
Written by Tresha Render, a freelance writer based in Houston, TX.