Food Column: Study snacks done right

Amber GIbson

Midterms are upon us and will be looming straight through finals. If you’re looking for good food to fuel your late-night studying, read on. No more eating the entire package of Oreos while swigging milk straight out of the half-gallon jug. No more downing energy drinks or indulging in high-fructose corn syrup-laden sweets. Instead, these snacks will give you brain power and keep you feeling full. Oh, and they’re also really yummy.

Somersault Snacks: Sunflower seeds and toasted grains are the main ingredients in these crunchy little biscuits. Not a chip and not a cracker, these are something different. You can take your pick of savory (salty pepper, Santa Fe salsa, or sea salt) or sweet (cocoa or cinnamon) flavor. Each features a different adorable character, from the salty pepper pirate to the cinnamon crunch surfer girl. They’re all great, but cinnamon is my favorite by a hair. Although almonds are considered ultra-nutritious, sunflower seeds have half the fat, more protein and lots of vitamin E. Plus, they aren’t nuts, but seeds, so even those allergic to nuts can enjoy these. The best part? One biscuit is just 10 calories, so I’m handing you carte blanche for mindless snacking. Only thing is, they aren’t available in stores around here yet, so you’ll have to order online at

Goji Gourmet: Are goji berries still good for you if they’re baked in cookies? These are. The small, soft goji cookies come in four different flavors: cherry cacao, chocolate chip, ginger walnut and orange mint chip. All of them are studded with the antioxidant-rich Himalayan berry. Made with organic ingredients and buckwheat honey instead of refined sugars and preservatives, these bite-sized cookies are only 25 calories each. Do the math. You can eat a whole small bag of eight for the same amount of calories as an energy bar. But cookies seem more decadent and satisfying. You can find them at natural food stores in Chicago, including Freshii Water Tower Place and Chicago Health Foods.

Yogurt: Mix in your own toppings, like dried fruit, nuts, cereal, granola or chocolate chips for a personalized parfait. I prefer to start with plain yogurt, since flavored yogurts are often sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (Yoplait). Don’t be fooled by low-fat yogurts either; they often contain the same number of calories, just swapping fat for sugar. Unfortunately plain yogurt is not available at retail locations on campus, so unless you want to smuggle some out of the dining halls, you’ll have to head to Jewel or Whole Foods.