Finding healthy movie theater snacks
Going to the movies is a social experience enjoyed by both young and old. The big screen, surround sound, and busy atmosphere is a treasured American tradition. Unfortunately, for most, going to the movies also means facing the concession stand monster that entices your senses with the smell of hot buttered popcorn, empties your pocket book and adds to your waistline. There is no such thing as healthy movie theater snacks when buying at the concession stand.
Uniquely, concession stands are not required to post nutrition and calorie facts which allows many consumers to be convinced that spending a few more pennies to purchase a giant bucket of popcorn is the better deal. Little do they know that they are actually consuming approximately 3/4 of their daily caloric intake from one large bucket of popcorn, most of which are calories from saturated fat!
The main problem that stems from eating at the movies, is the fact that it’s mindless eating as we are being entertained by the drama unfolding in front of us. Even with the best intentions of stopping half way through whatever we are eating, the film distracts us and we are at the bottom before we know it causing massive portion distortion.
Is it possible to eat healthy movie theater snacks? Here are some tips for making a trip to the movies fun and healthy!
Never go hungry
The best way to avoid temptation at the theater is to eat a balanced meal or snack beforehand. Eat foods that are high in protein and fiber that will keep you full and satisfied for several hours.
Bring portion sized containers
Carrying in your own containers allows you to divide a large bucket of popcorn into smaller portion controlled movie theater snacks to share with family and friends and focus on the show without over consuming the once-in-a-while movie theater popcorn treat. An added benefit is that it cuts down on multiple germy hands digging into the same bucket!
Choose water instead of soda
The salted popcorn is going to make you very thirsty, but soda isn’t going to be able to quench your thirst. Choose water for a healthier, more satisfying beverage. Your tummy will thank you for it!
Bring your own snacks
Check with your local theater to see what their policy is on bringing in healthy movie theater snacks. Some theaters allow you to bring food from outside vendors (such as restaurants or shops in the same mall or shopping center) or perhaps even from home. Healthy alternatives you can bring may include:
- Trail mix, made with nuts and dried fruit
- Dry cereal
- String cheese
- Air-popped popcorn, flavored with olive oil, sea salt, Parmesan cheese, chili pepper, or garlic powder
- Whole grain crackers
- Baked potato chips or tortilla chips
- Finger food fruits and veggies like grapes, cherry tomatoes, raisins, bananas, sugar snap peas, etc.
Here are some other ideas for healthy movie theater snacks :