Courtney Crozier

Fresh Melon Salsa

1 cup diced cantaloupe
3/4 cup diced honeydew melon
1 cup diced watermelon
1 tsp minced, seeded chili pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs orange juice

In a glass or stainless steel bowl, combine all ingredients. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you're making this salad to serve to young children, you might want to omit the chili pepper. It adds great flavor, but picky eaters might prefer it without the spice.
If you don't have lemon juice on hand, you can use lime juice, or mix and match your favorite citrus juices.

Sweet and Nutty Trail Mix

1 cup raw walnut halves
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Pour all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Toss together until well combined. Scoop 1/4-cup servings into sealed bags.

This is a great pre- or post-workout snack for young athletes. It has a good balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats and dark chocolate, which is full of antioxidants and adds just a little bit of sweetness.
This will keep well for up to 10 days in an airtight container.
If you have a big family, you can make a double batch so that you always have a crunchy, healthy snack on hand.

Blueberry Smoothie

1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup washed, stemmed blueberries
honey to taste
2 cups of ice

Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve while it's cold.

If your refrigerator provides crushed ice, use that in your blender for a smoother consistency.
If you want to add more flavors to your smoothie, use vanilla or blueberry yogurt.

Homemade Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup dried cranberries

In a large baking pan toast the oats in a 350 degree oven, stirring every 3 minutes, until golden (about 9-10 minutes). In the microwave or a small saucepan, heat the honey just until it liquifies. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the cinnamon and almond extract. As soon as the oats are toasted, add them to the honey mixture. Stir quickly to coat everything well. Spread the mixture into the baking pan again and return to the oven for 5 to 6 more minutes, stirring once or twice, until just starting to brown. Allow the oat mixture to cool in the baking pan then stir in the wheat germ and dried cranberries.

Package individually in airtight containers for quick morning snacks.
Add 2 Tablespoons atop your favorite low-fat yogurt for a mid-morning snack.
Be sure to stir the oats every three minutes when they are baking in the oven. If you leave them unattended they are likely to burn quickly.

Tips for Making Healthy Snacks for Back-to-School:

Plan ahead so that you always have healthy food at the ready. With summer is winding down it can be hard to get back into a weekend routine that doesn't involve backyard parties or lounging by the pool. If you like to bring snacks to work or need lunchbox snacks for your kids heading back to school, bake a big batch of a healthy snack, like Sweet & Nutty Trail Mix.

Keep your favorite fruits and vegetables accessible. If fruits and vegetables are at the ready, it will be easier to graze on healthy food when you're hungry instead of turning to packaged snacks. Keep a big bowl you're your favorite sliced fruit or vegetables in the fridge so you can easily pack them in your or your kids' lunch box.

Include a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack. During the summer, there is always so much fresh fruit available that it's easy to meet the 5-a-day recommendation. A lot of people forget that most summer fruits and vegetables are still in season come September and they're the best way to fill up, during meals or in between. Instead of salty snacks, like chips with dip, opt for baked chips or fresh fruit coupled with a salsa that will be filling and satisfying, like Melon Salsa.

Make your liquid calories count. A lot of juice, soda and iced-tea are full of sugar and other ingredients that can interfere with weight loss. Instead of sipping on empty liquid calories, beat the "Indian Summer" heat with a Fresh Blueberry smoothie. A lot of smoothies have a bad reputation for being high in calories, but if you make your own and keep the ingredients simple, they can be a great after-school snack while the weather is still hot.

Fill up on fiber. When you're trying to lose weight and eat less, it's important to eat a lot of protein and fiber to help you feel full. Fiber helps with weight loss and to prevent certain diseases, so opt for high-fiber snack foods like apples, nuts and granola. Because a lot of store-bought granolas can be high in sugar, make your own, Homemade Granola that's high in omega-3s and free of white sugar or flour.