(NAPSA) - Snacks can serve as minimeals-delivering important nutrients that help students make it through a busy school day. They can also add an element of fun to school lunches when paired with the right sandwich. Did you know that 51 percent of potato chips are eaten with a meal?
For especially great taste, pair sandwiches with a snack that offers complementary flavors. For example, sour cream and onion potato chips are delicious with egg salad sandwiches. Baked tortilla chips spice up PB&Js. Cheese curls add pizazz to tuna sandwiches. Nacho tortilla chips complement turkey sandwiches while salt and pepper potato chips add extra crunch when served alongside BLTs. Dill-flavored chips are tasty with ham sandwiches, while pretzels are good with cheese. Have barbecue-flavored chips with a baloney sandwich or peanuts as an accompaniment with a bagel and cream cheese.
To help make school lunches tastier and more fun, try these additional snack-making ideas.
When making a sandwich, add a crunchy element. Vary the bread, using different types of grain. Whole grains are preferable. Add a layer of lettuce, cucumbers or crunchy greens. Use natural crunchy peanut butter, which has no sugar but plenty of fiber. Add diced celery to tuna fish.
Use low-fat mayonnaise to cut calories. Kids don't usually taste the difference.
Round the meal out with fresh fruit or vegetables such as carrot or celery sticks or some pickles.
Add a snack for later. Nearly all potato chips-America's favorite comfort food-are trans fat free. While they do contain varying amounts of fat, most people don't know that chips also contain 8.8 mg of vitamin C and a generous 362 mg of potassium per one-ounce serving and seven percent of the RDA for iron.
Peanuts or other nuts make a really nutritious addition to a lunch box. Recent studies indicate that regular consumption of nuts and peanuts are healthy for your heart.
Peanuts as a snack are a nutrition powerhouse; one-fourth cup provides nine grams of protein, zero cholesterol, five grams of unsaturated fat, 3.3 grams of fiber and 245.5 mg of potassium, an important mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure.
Pretzels are another great snack. The enriched flour found in many pretzels contains folic acid, a form of folate. Folate is a B vitamin that reduces the risk of some serious types of birth defects when consumed before and during pregnancy. Studies are now investigating its ability to decrease coronary heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.
More than just a "fun food," snacks can add nutrition to a diet balanced with daily activity and exercise.