Often we find ourselves in the pre-packaged section of the grocery store.  Basically, it takes up the majority of the store and it is hard not to avoid pulling the cart to these convenience foods.  But healthy does not mean that you have to spend all day in the kitchen.  Sure, if you want foods without all of the preservatives, MSG and the like, then you are going to have to work a little harder.  But your body will be happy that you do, and so will your belly!  Homemade versions of your favorite convenience foods are better for you and they even taste better.

Here are 10 foods that you can make on your own and your body will thank you for it.

1. Salad Dressing: Fast food salads are loaded with calories found in the cheese, meat, bread and get this, THE DRESSING!  Packaged salad dressings are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients and trans-fats.  Often times the fat-free version leaves a lot to be desired.  So start from scratch and try one of these healthy options: Emeril’s Green Onion and Cilantro Dressing, Balsamic Herb Vinaigrette and Fiesta Dressing. Skinny Mom also has a delicious recipe for Skinny Sweet and Sour Dressing!


2. Hummus: This is a great snack with your raw veggies.  I love raw snap peas. The crunch is perfect and it doesn’t have an earthy, pulled-from-the-ground taste. Try one of these recipes: Skinny Buffalo Wing Hummus, Super Healthy Hummus or Black Bean Hummus.


3. Tortilla Chips: The pre-packaged version of tortilla chips are usually fried and carry extra sodium. Who needs to feel bloated AND guilty? Click here for a tortilla recipe from Healthy Food for Living.


4. Popsicles: These are kid friendly and summer friendly, but the best part is that you don’t have to subject yourself or your kids to good for nothing sugar water. For a unique twist, check out this fab roundup of 5 fresh diy popsicle recipes. (photo credit here)


5. Peanut Butter: Store bought peanut butter is often a culprit for added hydrogenated oils that are bad for your body. Making peanut butter is as simple as pushing a button on your food processor, and you have the good feeling of knowing all the ingredients it contains. Try this homemade recipe from the Red Headed Riter by clicking here.


6. Granola Bars: This is a healthy snack that you can grab for breakfast or pack for a snack. Skinny Mom has a great Homemade Lara Bar recipe. Check it out here!


7. Yogurt: Not only does it taste better to make it on your own, but now you know what is going into it. Click here for step by step instructions from Make Your Own Yogurt.


8. Dried Fruit: This is a great addition to your granola or cereal for breakfast.  Or you can just eat it alone as a snack. Taste of Home has a great tutorial and recipe here.


9. Fruit Snacks: Here is one for the kids!  This is a healthy version of an all time favorite. Some boxes claim to be made of 100 percent fruit juice, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton of added sugars and dyes. Make beautifully colored bites on your own. Get the recipe here via Copycat Crafts.


10. Popcorn: Okay, so corn serves little purpose in the nutritional world, but if you fit it into your daily calories, this is a fun family movie night treat that does not have the unwanted extras of the store bought versions. We love adding skinny toppings to our popcorn snack. Check out 6 Healthy Popcorn Toppers For Movie Munchies.