“Change the vocabulary,” she said. “That’s not a snack. It’s junk.”
The popular food guru will share her tips on healthy, balanced snacking at the CrossRoadsNews’ Aug. 4 Family & Back-to-School Expo at the Mall at Stonecrest.
Reid takes the stage at 1 p.m. on the main stage in front of Sears.
“I like to drive home how we make snacks – that we’re making small plates based off as many food groups as possible. Crackers and cheese, that’s not a snack. It’s a carb, loaded with salt, fat, artificial colors and preservatives.
“Don’t think Snickers. Don’t think Twix,” she said. “Think whole-wheat crackers and grapes.”
And when you’ve got your snack act together, put those little goodies right on “kid level” in the fridge, Reid says.
That way they can see and reach what you want them to have: sliced fruit, washed fruit, low-fat string cheese, yogurt, carrot sticks, hummus.
Her No. 1 tip for parents: “If you don’t want them to eat it, don’t buy it. That causes battles.”
The East Atlanta mother practices what she preaches with her two boys, ages 7 and 2 1/2.
“I’ve made a discussion at our house around food,” Reid said. “A lot of edible stuff at the grocery store is just not food.”
An example: frozen meals.
To Reid, frozen meals are worthless because they lost nutrients when they were precooked, lost more when they were frozen, and even more when they passed through the microwave.
“That’s kind of the nail in the coffin,” she said. “If there were anything nutritionally viable left, you just nuked it. Just take 10 minutes and cook yourself something.”
Teaching people to cook is Reid’s passion.
She demonstrates dishes and shares her knowledge at the Sevananda Natural Foods Market, a food co-op in Little Five Points at 467 Moreland Ave. Reid’s classes are at noon on second Saturdays monthly, except in August.
The class costs $15 for Sevananda members and $20 for visitors.
She also conducts demonstrations at churches and community organizations and does one-hour lunch-and-learn sessions at a number of Atlanta companies.
Reid goes by the moniker “Life Chef” because she teaches people to have healthy relationships with food and to let food fit their lifestyles.
She has been a chef at the Dish Restaurant, the Food Studio and Nikolai’s Roof, and the vegan restaurant Lush. She also has catered through Bold American Catering and has worked as a private chef with an upscale staffing company for private estates in Atlanta. Reid teaches at the Viking Cooking School in Buckhead.
She also works with families who want to eat better and people with health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancers and obesity.
Follow the Life Chef
Chef Asata Reid can be found on Facebook and Twitter. You also can reach her at 404-95D’LISH (404-953-5474). For classes and recipes visit www.lifechef.net; for videos, www.youtube.com/chefasata.
When snacking, try to pull in something from each of the main food groups: fruit, vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, says Life Chef Asata Reid.
Here are some of her snack suggestions:
Multigrain Cheerios + yogurt-covered raisins + toasted pumpkin seeds
Veggie chips/straws + wasabi peas + sesame sticks + shredded coconut
Popcorn + banana chips + peanut butter chips (or peanuts) + dark chocolate chips
Banana chips + almonds + dark chocolate nibs + dried cherries
Rice crackers + garden veggie cream cheese + sliced turkey
Apple slices + peanut butter + Craisins
Carrot/celery sticks + hummus + multigrain crackers
Low-fat cheese + multigrain crackers + cherry tomatoes
Whole-wheat mini pitas + hummus + olives & grape tomatoes
Multigrain crackers + marscapone cheese + grapes + honey
Whole-wheat tortilla + peanut butter + banana + agave nectar
Whole-wheat tortilla + low-fat cheese + turkey breast + spinach