Healthy Snacks

BANNER_Healthy-Snacks

Is snacking good for you? That depends on how you snack.

Explore this Guide:

 

Healthy snacking means you still have to count the snacks you eat toward your daily calorie and nutrient intake. Otherwise you’ll be eating more than you need each day.

 

There doesn’t seem to be a direct correlation with the frequency you eat, the intervals you eat, or the times that you eat with health or weight loss. Diet health is more about what you eat and how much you eat.

 

So snacking is bad when it makes you eat more than you need during the day and when your snacks fill your daily diet with way too much of something, like too much sugar, sodium, or fats.

 

But snacking is good for you when it helps you eat less overall and when it helps you intake more healthy foods like veggie sticks.

 

What Nutrients Do I Need Each Day?

 

Our bodies need nutrients to function and to live.

 

There are even daily amounts of each nutrient that we are supposed to eat each day.

 

Nutrients Daily Recommendations
Fruits 1-2 cups
Vegetables 2-3 cups
Grains 5-8 ounces (5-8 slices of bread or 2 1/2-4 cups of rice or pasta)
Proteins 5-6 1/2 ounces (5-6 1/2 eggs or 5-6 1/2 tablespoons nut butter)
Dairy 3 cups

 

You need these nutrients every day. Healthy snacks can help you meet these daily nutritional requirements.

 

It is a tempting part of our food culture to grab carbs, starches, and sugars when we feel hungry or snackey. These foods might make you feel immediately full or energized, but they’ll make you feel more lethargic in the long term and you’ll get hungry again sooner.

 

Learn to stop thinking of breads and starches as the main way to get full and energized. The actual way to get satisfied and energized is to have a portioned and balanced diet.

 

Prepare for Eating Healthier

 

There are some things you can do to make eating healthier snacks on a regular basis easier.

 

Get reusable storage containers and bags for your snacks.

 

Get containers to organize the produce in your fridge better.

 

Get bento boxes and pack yourself a snack each day even if you’re at home. Bento boxes are a great way to help with portion control for snacks.

 

Get used to snack prepping. Make your life easier by setting aside time to prepare your healthy snacks to make them just as accessible as a bag of chips.

 

You can also have your snacks for the day in a bento box, divided food storage container, or portioned out in different baggies. This can help you better visualize your snack portions and keep you from overeating on snacks each day.

 

If you have a grab and go equivalent with healthy options packed inside then when you’re hungry and need to snack on something, you can skip the preparation and just grab your snack container full of healthy options.

 

Healthy Snack Ideas

 

One of the best ways to make a snack is create a combo snack pack.

 

A healthy snack has a blend of grains, produce, and protein.

 

Grains that make great snacks:

  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Bread
  • Granola
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn

 

Produce that makes great snacks:

  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Berries
  • Raisins
  • Dehydrated fruit chips
  • Apples
  • Sliced peppers
  • Mini tomatoes

 

Protein that makes great snacks:

  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Cheese
  • Healthy dips
  • Peanut butter
  • Nut butters
  • Pepperoni
  • Tuna
  • Deli meat
  • Tuna salad
  • Chicken salad
  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate chips
  • Boiled eggs
  • Jerky
  • Chickpeas
  • Seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Edamame
  • Dark chocolate
  • Salmon

 

Pick 1 grain, 1 protein, and 2 produce items and your snack combo is complete!

 

1. Cheeseboards

cheeseboard

 

Snacking on a cheeseboard doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need are a few things you love that would normally go on a cheeseboard and you have yourself the perfect healthy snack blend!

 

The most common cheeseboard combo snack includes grapes, cheese slices or cubes, and healthy crackers.

 

2. Dip with Healthy Dipping Options

dip-and-healthy-dipping-options

 

Your dip doesn’t have to be the healthiest dip choice in the world if you’re pairing it with healthy fruits and vegetables you wouldn’t normally snack on.

 

But there are also plenty of healthy dip options out there that are incredibly delicious.

 

There are endless recipes for equally healthy and delicious dips like hummus, aioli, salsa, baba ghanoush, guacamole, and so many more.

 

3. Mini Sandwiches

mini-sandwiches

 

Make yourself some yummy and healthy mini sandwiches to eat as quick and easy snacks!

 

A standard sandwich usually includes 2 slices of bread and some kind of interior. But all that bread makes your snack a bit closer to a meal.

 

If you want to spend less calories and get more healthy fruits and vegetables into your day, try using slices of cucumber or apple as the bread of your mini sandwich.

 

For examples, you could get 2 flat slices of apple and put nut butter and granola in the middle for a tasty and wholesome snack.

 

4. Make Your Own Trail Mix

trail mix

 

Have you ever had a problem where your bag of trail mix ends up with a pile of one thing leftover at the end because you don’t like that part of the trail mix as much as the rest?

 

Don’t waste a single part of your trail mix by making your own personalized trail mix blend.

 

You can add only the nuts you like, some seeds, dehydrated chips, and a little treat of your choice.

 

A lot of trail mixes have M&Ms, but maybe you’d rather have coconut shreds or chocolate chips. It’s all up to you!

 

5. Healthy Cookies

healthy cookies

 

Believe it or not, healthy cookies do exist. The trick is to experiment with different healthy cookie recipes until you actually find one you like.

 

Healthy cookies sneak healthy ingredients into the recipe while minimizing or avoiding the use of unhealthy ingredients like tons of sugar.

 

All you have to do is take a chance on some healthy cookie recipes until you find one that tastes delicious and successfully works with healthier ingredients.

 

6. Healthy Mini Muffins

healthy mini muffins

 

Mini muffins or muffin cups can be a great way to easily make some healthy snacks.

 

With a baking tray of small cups you can make breakfast cups with scrambled eggs or whole grain cups with oatmeal.

 

Not only are healthy mini muffins good for you and easy to make, but they are also easy to grab and eat on the go.

 

7. Fruit Cups

fruit cup

 

Fruit cups are so easy to put together.

 

Just get all your favorite fruits together and chop them up the way you like best. Then add them to your favorite cup or bowl and you have a cheap, delicious, and healthy snack.

 

To really make your fruit serving delicious, you could even add a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or a little bit of condensed milk.

 

Now your healthy snack has turned into a healthy dessert!

 

8. Wraps

wraps

 

There are lettuce wraps, tortilla wraps, roll ups with just cheese and your favorite deli meats, and so much more.

 

Wraps can include anything you like to eat in wrap form. And wraps don’t have to be big.

 

Make some healthy mini wraps to snack on when you just need to eat something light but with lots of nutrients wrapped up inside.

 

9. Chia Pudding

chia pudding

 

Just because you’re trying to make healthier food choices, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a delicious cup of pudding.

 

Chia pudding is a great healthy alternative to sugar-dense puddings, and are equally delicious.

 

There are also thousands of chia pudding recipes available online with every flavor imaginable.

 

10. Energy Balls

energy balls

 

Energy balls are an easy no-bake snack you can quickly make yourself.

 

All you need is a blender to blend the recipe together. Then form balls with your hands and store them in a container in the fridge.

 

Energy balls are often made with nut butters, pretzels, oatmeal, granola, and chocolate chips.

 

11. Smoothie Drinks and Smoothie Bowls

smoothie bowl

 

Smoothies are a delicious way to sneak superfoods into your diet.

 

You can even dress up your smoothies by creating delicious smoothie bowls!

 

The key to a great smoothie bowl is the thickener. A good way to thicken your smoothie for a smoothie bowl is to add lots of frozen banana chunks.

 

Then add whatever you want on top like, granola, shredded coconut, a drizzle of your favorite nut butter, or some chopped up fruits.

 

12. Healthy Ice Cream

healthy homemade ice cream

 

Did you know you can make healthy ice cream?

 

Blend up frozen bananas along with your favorite fruit, freeze it in the fridge, and you’ll get a delicious fruity ice cream!

 

13. Homemade Granola Bars

homemade granola

 

Homemade granola and homemade granola bars aren’t nearly as difficult to make as you might think.

 

Granola bars make such an easy snack, but store bought granola bars often have a lot of preservatives and things you just don’t need in your daily diet. Especially when making your own homemade granola bars is so easy.

 

You just need to mix a granola mixture with a sticky wet mixture (like honey and peanut butter) and format them in a baking tray. Then you bake the tray and enjoy your healthier, customized, homemade granola bars.

 

14. Fancy Toast

fancy toast

 

Take an extra moment to make your toast a little fancier than normal.

 

Instead of settling for a simple spread of butter, get out the nut butters, fruits, nuts, and anything else you like to decorate your toast.

 

For instance, you could spread some nut butter, and then create a pattern with sliced strawberries and bananas.

 

You can make fancy toast with more than just bread too. You can do the same thing with your favorite flavors of rice cakes!

 

15. Healthy Homemade Chips

homemade chips

 

Chips are fun and tasty but they can be expensive for your wallet and for your health.

 

Bypass the expense and the calorie guilt by making your own chips at home.

 

Homemade chips are just thinly sliced and baked potatoes. But you can also do the same thing by thinly slicing other foods and baking them in the oven.

 

16. Fancy Popcorn

popcorn

 

Popcorn is a really great snack. It’s very low on calories so you don’t have to feel guilty about eating lots of popcorn.

 

Make your popcorn a little more interesting by adding some flavoring.

 

You can flavor your popcorn in so many ways. You can make both sweet and savory popcorns! If you need ideas, there are plenty of flavored popcorn ideas online.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids

 

Children love snacks. Many kids are also picky eaters, or like to eat in smaller amounts throughout the day rather than eating large meals.

 

Whatever kind of kid you have, no doubt you’d love to have some great healthy snack ideas for them.

 

Kids and teenagers need lots of healthy nutrients for their growing bodies. So make sure you’re providing healthy, nutrient-rich snacks for them throughout the day.

 

They need calcium, fiber, protein, and complex carbs so they can grow up healthy and strong.

 

Healthy snacks will also give your kids more energy and help them feel less moody throughout the day.

 

Healthy Snacks to Buy

 

Not everyone has time to make homemade snacks all the time. Luckily, there are still plenty of healthy snacks to buy.

 

When buying healthy snacks, it’s important to keep an eye out for certain things.

 

Something can be labeled as “healthy” on the outside of a box while hiding ingredients you want to avoid.

 

Make sure you look at the serving size. Sometimes the serving size is much smaller than you would realistically want to eat. You want to buy snacks that have a serving size that makes sense for the realistic snack portions you’ll want.

 

Make sure you check the Nutrition Facts. On the Nutrition Facts label, you want to have less saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, and added sugars. Meanwhile, you want higher numbers for fiber, vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium.

 

On the Nutrition Facts label, you’ll also find a column for % Daily Value or % DV. This tells you how much of the daily amount you should have of each nutrient is present in this snack. A 5% daily value is considered low and a 20% daily value is considered high.

 

Nutrients Daily Value Daily Value Goal
Saturated Fat 20g Less than
Sodium 2,300mg Less than
Dietary Fiber 28g At least
Added Sugars 50g Less than
Vitamin D 20mcg At least
Calcium 1,300mg At least
Iron 18mg At least
Potassium 4,700mg At least

 

Under Daily Value Goals, “Less than” means that you should try and have less than the Daily Value listed in grams. “At least” means that you want to have at least that much or more each day.

 

Trans fats and sugars don’t have Daily Values because it’s not recommended that you make consumption of trans fats or sugars a priority in your daily nutrition.

 

Healthy Snacks For Work

 

The trick to getting healthy snacks for work is preparing snacks ahead of time in useful containers like bento boxes, food containers, and reusable snack bags.

 

By having handy snack containers you can turn healthy snacks that need some preparation into healthy grab-and-go snacks.

 

You can even take a moment during the weekend to prepare a week’s worth of snacks in your containers so during the week you can grab your prepared healthy snacks and go.

 

Healthy Late Night Snacks

 

Every once in a while, you need a late night snack.

 

You might have to stay up late to finish a paper or get work done, and need an extra picky-me-up to get you through the night.

 

When you’re tired and hungry it might be easy to reach for sugary foods and caffeine to keep yourself energized when it’s late.

 

But there are healthier options out there for you than a bag of sugar and sodium packed chips and caffeinated sodas.

 

In fact, some snacks can even help you sleep better.

 

Snacks that help you sleep:

  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Honey
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Cherries
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain toast

 

Ideally, try and keep late night snacks to around 200 calories or less.

 

You don’t want to eat too much in the middle of the night because laying down when your stomach is full of starch-heavy foods can make it difficult to sleep or cause uncomfortable indigestion.

 

Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss

 

Want to lose some weight? Then you want to fill your pantry with snacks that can help with your weight loss goals.

 

These will include snacks that can boost your metabolism, give your body the nutrients you need, and have low calorie levels.

 

Vegetables are the best healthy snacks for weight loss.

 

Fruits are the second best healthy snacks for weight loss.

 

Proteins are the third best health snacks for weight loss.

 

Try to exclude grains from your snacks as much as possible. Grains are still an important part of your daily diet, but when you want to lose weight, you want vegetables and leafy greens to take the main stage.

 

Popcorn is the best low calorie snack. So when you really need to munch on lots of snack, try to pick some popcorn or vegetables.

 

Healthy Sweet Snacks

 

You don’t have to forsake your sweet tooth to be healthy. There are plenty of healthy snack options that are sweet too.

 

Here are just a few sweet healthy snack ideas you can use to keep your sweet tooth satisfied:

 

  • Healthy baked goods like muffins, bars, loaves, cakes, and cookies
  • Nut butters
  • Honey
  • Oatmeal with sweet add-ins like berries and fruits
  • Berries
  • Fruits
  • Yogurt with sweet add-ins like berries and fruits
  • Healthy ice cream
  • Jams
  • Sweet salads
  • Dried fruits
  • Sweetened popcorn
  • Bark bars
  • Dark chocolate
  • Chia puddings

 

The Best Snack Containers to Buy

 

Eating healthy snacks often only works if you are prepared for healthy snack prep and storage.

 

With these storage items you can organize and keep all your produce fresh and easily pack your snacks for later.

 

image of stasher reusable bag

Stasher Reuseable Bags

 

image of divided food container

Prep Naturals Glass Snack Storage Containers

 

image of food storage

Airtight Storage Containers

 

pantry organizers

Stackable Pantry Organizers

 

fruit storage

Produce Countertop Storage

 

produce storage

Produce Fridge Storage

 

In Conclusion,

 

You don’t have to give up snacking to be healthy.

 

There are more than enough healthy snack options available to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy snack choices.

 

You want information on nutrition, sickness, health, fitness, and overall wellness, but many sites geared toward these topics are full of opinions rather than straightforward facts.

 

You don’t want to hear about the latest trends, you just want to know the simple facts around health.

 

Here are some of the best health websites to give you the facts you need:

 

You can also subscribe to most of these websites to get updates and newsletters to help you live your healthiest life.


Sources


Carmy: Run Eat Travel. “Easy Healthy Meal Prep Snack Ideas,” by Carmy.

LifeHack.org. “25 Healthy Snacks for Work: Decrease Hunger and Increase Productivity,” by Julia Whelan.

Delish. “44 Healthy Snacks That Will Get You Through The Work Day: Say bye to mid-day hanger,” by Madison Flager.

Healthline. “33 Healthy Office Snacks to Keep you Energized and Productive,” by Lizzie Streit.

FDA.gov. “How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label.”

SleepAdvisor.org. “The 17 Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Your Diet,” by Raina Cordell.

Comments are closed.