I’m sure for a lot of people, a typical trip to the movies goes a little like this: you buy your ticket, load up at the candy bar, head to the cinema, eat your choc top before it melts, and then drown yourself in the jumbo-sized popcorn sitting on your lap. Am I right?
Before we get started, let’s make one thing clear: a choc-top or a bucket of popcorn isn’t going to ruin your health.
In the context of a balanced diet, enjoying the total cinema experience once in a blue moon is completely fine.
But, if you’re a frequent movie goer, or if you just don’t feel like the impending food coma, you might be wondering what some healthier options are.
So, with that in mind, here are my top seven dietitian-approved picks:
Healthy muesli bar
If minimal effort is what you need, the muesli bar aisle is your game. But, as you’re sure to appreciate, nutrient bang for your buck can differ greatly between brands. So, opt for the bar with the most fibre and least sugar you can find.
Small bag of store-bought popcorn
Popcorn can be a very nutritious choice – but not the kind with lashings of butter and salt. Instead, opt for a plain, air-popped variety from the supermarket in pre-portioned bags to slash the calorie content and avoid mindless movie eating.
Homemade bliss balls
For a healthier sweet fix, you can’t go past a homemade bliss ball. My recipe uses dates, coconut and nuts, so is brimming with gut-loving fibre which can help to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied. Don’t demolish a whole batch, though – only a couple of bite-sized pieces should do the trick.
DIY kale chips
If salty potato chips are your weakness, this one’s for you (disclaimer: it does take a little bit of effort, but you’ll thank me later). On the plus side, you’ll get in a couple of serves of those all-important veggies without even realising.
To make kale chips, simply wash a big bunch of kale and tear it into bite sized pieces. Lay them out on a baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a tiny sprinkle of salt, then bake until crispy. Voila!
Pre-portioned packets of nuts
The trick here is that word pre-portioned. We all know how easy it is to demolish a whole bag! While nutritious, nuts are energy-dense thanks to the heart-healthy fats, so it’s wise to stick to just a small handful (or 30 grams).
Pre-packaged cheese and crackers
Just like nuts, cheese is easy to over-eat, too (just think back to last weekend’s cheese board). But, cheese is still an excellent source of calcium, which is key for strong bones and teeth. So, opt for a cheese & bickie snack pack that includes a couple slices of cheese and some wholegrain crackers to get the best of both worlds.
Last but not least, roasted chickpeas are always in my list of snack suggestions – whether you’re at the movies or not. They’re a great way to get in those all-important legumes that have so many health benefits. Plus, they also count as veggies (#winning).
And there you have it! Healthier snack ideas for your next blockbuster.
For more stories from Mel try: A dietitian’s favourite anti-inflammatory recipes and Why this dietitian refuses to recommend the keto diet.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au, or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.