Season your winter with healthy snacks

Does winter’s colder weather make you want to stay in and lie low? If you’re ready to curl up with a blanket and a book or a movie, you’ll want to stock up on snacks. Here’s some delicious comfort food made with in-season produce that will keep your mouth and body healthy year-round.

Eat seasonally

While more fruits and vegetables are in season during spring and summer than in winter, some produce thrives in colder temperatures.


Many of these fruits and vegetables not only make taste buds happy but also give you something crunchy to munch on. That crunch usually packs high water content that may help to rinse cavity causing sugars and bacteria away from your teeth.

•  Carrots are even sweeter during these months. 

•  Celery is delicious raw with hummus or as an addition to soup. 

•  Kale is an one of the better-known superfoods and can be enjoyed in many different ways. (Check out the baked kale chips recipe below!) 

•  Juicy apples and pears are great raw, or try them warm and broiled with cinnamon ricotta.

Nuts! A healthy year-round ingredient

Not only are nuts high in calcium for strong teeth, but they also stimulate saliva production to help prevent tooth decay! You can use nuts to add crunchiness to any dish and avoid cavity-causing carbs – try them in place of croutons next time you want to add some crunch to a salad!

Try these easy recipes at home

Apple pie smoothie

Get your mouth-friendly apples, almonds and yogurt all in one delicious drink.  


¼ cup milk (also delicious with milk substitutes such as unsweetened soy, oat or almond milk!)

¾ cup plain yogurt

1 frozen banana

1 red apple (peeled and pitted)

2 tablespoons oatmeal

5 raw almonds

¼ teaspoon cinnamon 

Optional: For an extra dose of vitamins, iron and folate, make it green! After adding your liquid, add a handful of sweet fresh spinach leaves. Your smoothie will change colors, but the flavor will remain sweet and fruity.


1. Chop the apple into bite-size pieces. Add everything to a blender in the order of the ingredients.

2. Blend away! Start your blender on low and then slowly ramp it up to full speed. After you make sure everything is mixed well, pour and enjoy! 

Smoothie pro tip:

The order in which you add the ingredients matters! For a silky blend, first add liquid to your blender, follow by any fibrous foods, such as spinach and other greens. Next, add ice and frozen fruits and vegetables, and then any fresh fruits or veggies you’d like to use. Finally, top it all off with your favorite nuts and seasonings.

Baked kale chips

Unlike fried, starchy chips, these baked chips pack a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. And they’re also crunchy and savory, so you won’t want to stop at just one.  


1 bunch fresh kale (dinosaur or curly)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Optional add-ins:  chili powder, curry powder or nutritional yeast for a cheesy touch and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids!


1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.

2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

3. Wash and remove the kale leaves from the stems and tear them into bite-size pieces.

4. Dry the kale pieces thoroughly with a salad spinner or a couple of paper towels and lay them evenly on a baking sheet.

5. Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt to season and add any optional flavorings

5. Bake 10-15 minutes until edges are brown. 

Pear-walnut crostini

Indulge your sweet tooth with this stellar mix of flavors while getting the oral health benefits of cheese, nuts and fruits. 


1¼ cups ricotta or cottage cheese

2 pears, peeled, pitted and sliced

¼ cup walnut pieces

Coarse salt

Ground pepper

1 teaspoon honey

Whole-wheat crostini pieces (store-bought or make your own)


1. Spread ricotta or cottage cheese on the crostini.

2. Top each piece with several pear slices and a few walnut pieces.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Drizzle very lightly with honey. 

5. Enjoy!