Healthy Snack Ideas to Get You Through the Day
Let’s talk snacks! While it’s so tempting and convenient to grab snacks from a vending machine or drive-thru, they likely offer little nutritional value and can leave you feeling less than satisfied or even more tired. On the other hand, eating healthy snacks can help you avoid that mid-afternoon slump and keep you satisfied until your next meal.
I like to start my day with a healthy breakfast, usually an Orgain protein shake, egg white scramble, or a bowl of oatmeal, then for lunch I usually have a salad with grilled chicken or salmon. So far so good- I’m feeling healthy & satisfied… but by the time 3:00 pm rolls around it’s game over! Being hungry and finding myself surrounded by only vending machine snacks, stale donuts in the break room, and those super inviting candy jars strategically placed around the office (thanks, Melinda) is less than ideal.
That is why I have an emergency snack kit! I keep my desk drawer stocked with healthy snacks to get me through the day and stave off hunger until dinner time. By being prepared with my own healthy snacks, I can avoid the temptations of unhealthy choices and keep my hands out of the cookie jar! Take that, junk food.
A solid snack should be around 200 calories or less (so watch portion sizes), and make sure it contains protein and fiber to hold you over until your next meal. Most of the snacks in my list require no refrigeration so you can stash them in your purse, desk drawer, or car if you’re on the go throughout the day. If you do have access to a refrigerator or have an insulated lunch bag/ice pack, you can include any and all of the options below in your very own snack kit!
Here are my Top Picks for Healthy Snacks:
- GoMacro Bars
These bars are top-notch healthy & delicious! GoMacro is a family-owned company whose bars are all organic, vegan, soy-free, and non-GMO. With 11 different flavors, you’ll never get bored! They range from 200-290 calories per bar and contain up to 22% of your daily recommended protein. My favorites are the Protein Pleasure (peanut butter + chocolate chips) and Everlasting Joy (coconut + almond butter + chocolate chips). You can find them on Amazon, or in store near you by using their Store Locator, or order online and save 30% + free shipping for first-time customers with code MACRO30.
- Mixed Nuts or Trail Mix
Nuts and seeds are a great source of natural protein, good for your heart, and a source of healthy fats. I love the Simply Almonds, Cashews & Cranberries Trek Mix from Trader Joe’s which has only 150 calories per 1/4 cup. You can buy it in a 1 lb. bag, or a package of ten 1.5 oz snack packs, perfect for your purse! Or make your own trail mix by combining unsalted nuts and seeds with dried fruit. Try almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds!
Roasted chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, meaning they will get, and keep, you full. You can try making your own and experimenting with spices- here’s one recipe to get you started! Or grab a bag from a brand like The Good Bean. One serving has as much protein as almonds, as much fiber as two cups of broccoli, and as much folate as three cups of spinach! With 7 different flavors all under 150 calories, they’re 100% goodness, 0% badness.
- Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
This classic combination makes for a healthy & delicious snack that’s full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. Feel free to use almond butter instead of you’re allergic to peanuts or just to switch it up once in a while. If you don’t feel like dealing with a potential mess, Justin’s makes super portable 1.15 oz. squeeze packets of all 7 varieties of the company’s nut butters!
- Greek Yogurt & Granola
Along with a higher level of protein than regular yogurt, the Greek stuff provides plenty of calcium and probiotics to fight inflammation. I like Trader Joe’s Non-Fat Greek Yogurt which comes in yummy flavors like vanilla bean, strawberry, and mango, and has only 120 calories per 5.3 oz cup. I like to add a little crunch to my yogurt so I often add in a few tablespoons of granola like Nature Valley Protein Oats ‘N Honey Granola. This one does require refrigeration so please don’t leave your yogurt sitting in your desk all day!
- Hummus & Fresh Veggies
Hummus is not only heart-healthy and rich in fiber & protein, but this popular dip has many other surprising health benefits as well. Paired with raw veggies such as carrots, celery, cucumber, and sliced peppers, you’ve got yourself an easy and satisfying snack with tons of vitamins & minerals needed for good health.
Who says oatmeal is just for breakfast? As long as you’ve got a bowl & hot water or a microwave, I say anytime is a good time for a healthy bowl of oatmeal, which contains heart healthy whole grains, as well as iron, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. Quaker Oats also makes instant oatmeal cups for added convenience- no bowl needed, but don’t forget a spoon! With any instant oatmeal packets, just be careful of high sugar content by comparing nutrition labels.
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Tell me in the comments below!