Popcorn is a great snack that is low in calories, sodium and sugar, high in fiber and is a whole grain. A serving of popcorn (3 cups popped) has 3.5grams of fiber which is equal to the fiber content in one ounce of almonds,1 cup of brown rice or 1 banana. Plus it’s easy to make with the kids for parties or as an on-the-go snack! Although microwaving popcorn is the most common way to make it, you should consider alternative preparation methods to make it even healthier. If you choose to use microwavable popcorn, look for an organic one that does not contain diacetyl. This chemical is used in artificial butter flavoring and when heated, has been proven to be hazardous to our health.
One alternate mode of preparation to microwaving popcorn is popping popcorn on the stovetop (an almost lost art). WhirlyPop makes an inexpensive stove-top popcorn popper, complete with an old fashioned crank handle. The popcorn made on the stovetop has a much richer flavor and results in less non-popped kernel waste (called old maids). Try popping it with a small amount of grape seed oil. This polyunsaturated vegetable oil has a light neutral flavor and a high smoke point, which makes it suitable for frying, or in this case, popping corn. Grape seed oil also contains beneficial compounds such as linoleic acid (an omega 6 fatty acid) and Vitamin E. Please keep in mind that popcorn is not recommended for children under 4 years of age due to its potential choking effect.
Another substitute to the stovetop and microwave is the hot air popper, which requires no oil at all! Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup vs. oil-popped popcorn with 55 calories per cup. Look for organic kernels, and pop some corn for a fun-filled family night at home everyone will enjoy! Give blue popcorn a try -which pops up super white. Give an example of a healthy butter substitute to make….
Check out these tasty popcorn recipes.
We work with registered dietitians and nutrition scientists to provide nutrition education and healthy eating tips to help create future healthier generations through good nutrition. SuperKids Nutrition does not provide medical advice, medical nutrition therapy, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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