Itís that time of year again: College students are coming home in droves for the holidays. The past week or so, Iíve been getting mass text messages from my friends at home, all stating, ďWhen are you getting home?!Ē In high school, I had a large group of mainly chorus/band/musical theater friends, and pretty much every weekend they would all come over to my house to make dinner, play board games, watch movies, or just hang out. My mom loved having them all here, and my house is removed from civilization, so we didnít have to worry about being too loud. Perfect, no?
Well, kind of. The only problem was that they would all come with snacks in hand, and not healthy or green snacks: Coca-Cola, Sprite, frozen chicken wings, brightly colored candy, store-bought cookies, potato chips–the list goes on. To this day, I find unopened bottles of Sprite in the pantry and freezer-burned boxes of frozen buffalo chicken in the recesses of my freezer. Now, you may have guessed, but this kind of food is not really up my alley. Nor did my mom particularly like having these things in the house. So, this year, while planning for my friends to visit, I made a plan: Trick them into being healthy.
Iím sure many of you have the same problem. But rather than allow your friends to bring gross, unhealthy, chemical-filled food, just tell them that you’ve got snacks this time. What Iíve learned is that when you surprise people with healthy food, they usually like it better than the alternative. So, here are some ideas for great healthy snacks!
First of all, instead of getting generic chips, go to the health food store aisle and find Taro chips. Rather than buying store-bought cookies, make your own with whole wheat flower or brown rice flower instead of white, and with Sucanat instead of white sugar. They will taste a million times better! For drinks, if people want soda, buy Izze sodas, which are made with natural fruit juice and are simply delicious!
Rather than making hot chocolate, try something a little less sweet and processed: Hot cider. For those of you who donít know how to make it, itís really quite simple. Just put some cider in a pot and put it on the stove on medium heat, and wait until it is the perfect temperature. For flavor, put in some cinnamon sticks and cloves, and, if you really like spicy hot cider (like me), add in some cinnamon, clove and ginger powders. When hot, strain it into a cup. People love it, believe me. My friends have started asking me to make it, rather than hot chocolate. Yum!
Note to self: If you want to be healthy, trick your friends into being healthy, too.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.