My Top 10 Healthy Snacks

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on July 22, 2010

I often get asked what kinds of foods I eat in order to maintain my weight. A lot of those questions are about snacking – especially for those of us who have desk jobs and without-fail, get the “munchies” around 3 or 4pm! So I thought I’d put together a list of my top 10 healthy snacks – those that I eat on a regular basis that are filling, tasty but still healthy and low in calories. My general rule for snacking is I try to eat whole foods – so I stay away from most packaged goods if I can help it. But I am including a few of my favorite packaged goodies in the list below for those emergency situations! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope this is helpful to all of you!

Top 10 Healthy Snacks

1) FRUIT! Fruit is an awesome snack – and it’s available year round! Most fruits are high in fiber, sweet, tasty, and filling. In the Fall, I go for Fuji Apples, Grapes and Bosc Pears (but any Pear will do!). In the Winter, I go for Oranges (I love blood oranges), Apples, Tangerines, Bananas (but be careful – one banana can have up to 130 calories). Spring and Summer are awesome, because there are so many options! My favorites for Spring/Summer are: Apricots, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Grapes, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Stone Fruits like Peaches, Plums, Nectarines, Pluots (which is a Plum/Apricot hybrid that is usually sweeter than a Plum).

 

 

 

2) Raw Veggies with Hummus (or other healthy ) Dip: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, Raw broccoli, etc are all good options. I like to eat them with 2-3 Tbsp Hummus. But you can also eat them with Laughing cow cheese, or fat free dressing (~25-35 calories per serving).

 

 

 

 

3) Non-Fat Yogurt with 1/4 cup Fiber One or All Bran Cereal: This is a great snack and very filling. The yogurt gives you lots of protein and the fiber one has (of course) fiber, and is only about 30 calories for 1/4 cup! I like Fage 0% Greek Yogurt – which is only 90 calories but packs over 10g protein! You can sweeten the yogurt with a bit of splenda or sugar free preserves, or honey (but don’t go overboard with the honey – 1 Tbsp has about 60 calories!). By the way – one trap a lot of people fall into is topping their yogurt with Granola. Granola (though it sounds healthy) is actually FULL of sugar and calories. 1/4 cup can have up to 100-150 calories!

 

 

 

 

4) Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds: Yeah, yeah, I know these are kind of a dessert. But dark chocolate (make sure you get the kind that’s like 70% cacao) is full of antioxidants, and almonds are full of fiber and protein! These also satisfy a sweet tooth really well ๐Ÿ™‚ Just make sure you read the label and don’t take more than 100-150 calories (which is probably about 4-7 almonds depending on their size)

 

 

 

 

5) Nuts and Dried Fruit: The key here, is to make sure the nuts you buy are just that – nuts. The package should have one ingredient (maybe two if they roast the nuts with salt). My favorites are Almonds, Walnuts and Cashews. The same rule applies for dried fruit – there shouldn’t be any added sugars or oils on the packaging. I like raisins, dried blueberries and dried cranberries. The one trap people fall into with nuts and dried fruit is they take too much – and end up eating like 500 calories. 1/4 cup of almonds is about 150-170 calories (applicable for most nuts). So I’d aim for about 2 Tbsp nuts and 2 Tbsp dried fruits. That should be filling enough to hold you over until your next meal! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

6) 100 Calorie Packs: So this is one of my packaged snacks on the list – 100 calorie packs! These are great because they are already portioned out – and it feels like you’re eating a lot when you get to finish the bag. The other great thing is – they come in like 1,000 different varieties now. They even have 100 calorie pack hostess cupcakes! So pick your favorite, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

7) 1 Slice of Oroweat Double Fiber Bread (toasted) with 1 Garlic Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge: The great thing about this bread, is it has like 7g fiber and only 70 calories per slice! The Laughing cow cheese wedges are only 30 calories per wedge, and one is more than enough to spread over a slice of bread. I like to toast the bread so it’s crispy, and spread on the cheese while the bread is hot so the cheese gets nice and melty ๐Ÿ™‚ 100 calories and a great snack!

 

 

 

 

8 ) Pretzels, PopChips, All Bran Fiber Crackers (only take about 100 calories worth – for the Fiber Crackers, that’s about 10 of them): This is a good snack if you want something crispy, salty, but you don’t want to eat a bag of potato chips. By the way – PopChips taste a lot like potato chips but are much healthier! These are also all good packaged snack options when you’re on the run.

 

 

 

 

9) Tea and a 2/3 cup of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal: When I’m sort of hungry, but not really hungry – I’ll usually make myself a nice cup of hot tea (black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, splenda, and 1/4 cup of nonfat milk is my favorite). If I want something to munch on, I’ll take a handful of Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal – and depending on how big a handful I take – that’ll end up being ~50 calories.

 

 

 

 

10) Protein Bars: My favorites are CORE Bars, Odwalla Bars andย Lara Bars. They all have > 4g fiber; about ~200-300 calories; and at least 5-6g protein. I love all the CORE Bar flavors, But Raw Cashew and Banana Nut are my favs. My favorite Lara Bar flavors are Cashew Cookie and Peanut Butter Cookie. My favorite Odwalla bar flavors are Chocolate Peanut and Dark Chocolate Walnut.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa July 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Great list! I am a big snacker. I love all of the things on your list but most of the time I am guilty of reaching for the bad stuff instead. I should get into the habit of snacking like you more often! Very good suggestions and very good post.

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anjalim July 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Thank you! You make a great point actually (it’s hard to reach for the good stuff). You’ve inspired me to do a follow up to this post – how to avoid reaching for the bad stuff and going for the good stuff! Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

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Torviewtoronto July 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Useful information and good reminders

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Squeaky Gourmet July 23, 2010 at 4:05 am

great list!

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Carol Egbert July 23, 2010 at 4:15 am

Hummus is my favorite snack. I’m always happy to have some in the fridge. I also make popcorn when I want a quick snack.

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anjalim July 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Popcorn is a great snack! And if you make it without butter – it’s super healthy and low in calories. Good suggestion!

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Belinda @zomppa July 23, 2010 at 5:30 am

Having good snacks around is key!

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The Manly Housewife July 23, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Everyone who follows my blog knows man I need some healthy food…lol thank you very much for this

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FrenchPressMemos July 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

10 o’clock strikes every day and I need a snack- eating every three hours like an infant. I can always use more ideas for healthy snacks. I had most but not all of these in my repertoire!

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Vijay July 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I made a cup of tea. While waiting for it to cool, I ate a girl scout cookie. This is a problematic.

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anjalim July 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

haha! that is somewhat problematic ๐Ÿ™‚ although one girl scout cookie is probably only 30-50 calories max – so not toooo bad ๐Ÿ™‚

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Spice Sherpa July 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

Snacks are wonderful and I eat a lot of what you have on your list. I’ll add roasted, unsalted almonds with drops of honey to your list. It’s quick, easy and very tasty.

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healthymaura August 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I was lovin’ your list until I hit #10 – the protein bars. I am a fan of Lara Bars – they generally contain only 3 ingredients (maybe 4, depending on the flavor) and are made from real, whole food. I despise Clif Bars, because they have about 20 grams of added sugar (that’s 5 teaspoons & half your recommended amount of added sugar for the day) and trademarked ingredients that are made from various tortured soy products. A perfect example of total junk masquerading as healthy food. Comparing Lara Bars and Clif Bars is like comparing apples and candy apples. As a nutritionist, I once called Clif Bars “Snickers with a Flinstone Vitamin Stuck In It”.
I think your top 5 Snacks are perfect – protein combined with a complex carb and a healthy fat…that’s great snacking!

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anjalim August 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

You make a great point! The reason I included Clif Bars is because Lara Bars (while they are the healthiest and my favorite) are not available in a lot of supermarkets or convenience stores. You are totally right – Clif Bars have a lot of sugar and are definitely NOT a whole food! But they are lower in calories than most protein bars, are pretty filling and have a decent serving of fiber and protein. So that’s why they made the cut for me ๐Ÿ™‚ What are your other favorite protein bars besides Lara Bars? I’m always looking for great healthy finds so definitely let me know if you have any additional suggestions! And thank you so much for the comment and feedback! Looking forward to more food discussions in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

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healthymaura August 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of any type of “protein bar” – Lara Bars are the only ones I know of that are made from real food. I just don’t like the idea of them in general. They’re often too many calories to be considered a snack, but they’re not satisfying enough to be a meal…which can easily lead to overeating and weight gain. I think that eating on the run is a big problem in our food culture. Snacks should be simple and wholesome – like apple slices & almond butter or hummus & carrot sticks. Meals should be well thought out, relaxing and enjoyable.
I understand that Life often gets in the way of making the best choices for our health, but with forethought and advance planning we can (hopefully) not find ourselves starving with no other options. One of the best things I did for my body was to stop eating in the car. Once your car is a “no food zone” it really cuts down on the poor choices and mindless munching.

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anjalim August 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I can understand that. And I totally agree with you about not eating on the run – I also make it a rule not to eat in the car – it definitely cuts down on mindless munching! One thing I recently learned was that Clif Bars and Luna Bars actually have a compound in them that’s not necessarily good for you – it’s called soy protein isolate. Most protein bars have that ingredient in them – and it’s not the best thing to eat because it is rich in estrogenic compounds! Since I learned that I actually cut out Clif and Luna Bars from my diet – I’m only eating Lara bars now. Thanks for raising these issues – I love learning new tips from fellow foodies!

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casualdish August 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I always have the 100 calorie packs in my house for my girls. And I just bought my first bag of PopChips, omg delicious!!! Chips are my weakness so I am thrilled to have found these healthy ones!!! Yum!! Thanks for sharing all your finds!!

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Joe October 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

mmmm… This article makes me want to go food shopping right now. Going to have to bookmark this page for later!

Also came across another page with a TON of healthy snacks. Its great for ideas before shopping: http://knowledge-nuggets.com/nutritious-and-delicious-snacks-the-huge-list/

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anjalim October 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

that is a great grocery list for healthy snacks! thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

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Priya December 4, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Nice selection of snacks! I like your blog too..

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Rachael January 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Good list, i especially like the idea of the dark chocolate covered almonds… I must admit im a snack addict…. Any advice on a “healthy” or “healthier” alternative to choccy biscuits with a much needed cup of tea in the evenings ?!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I’d try a 100 calorie pack of cookies – it’s not super healthy, but at least you’ll control the portion of the amount of cookies you eat, and it’s a great sweet treat!

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Erica January 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Yum! This is a handy list to think about whenever I am in the mood for a snack. Another great one is unbuttered natural popcorn, only 20 calories a cup and 50 calories for an entire bag! Thats hard to beat!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Unbuttered natural popcorn is a great addition to this list! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Liza June 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thanx for that list! I love it! I think snacks has been my biggest trapโ€ฆ.it is so easy to fail hereโ€ฆ.but with those great health choices at handโ€ฆeven I should be able to make it!

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anjalim June 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

No problem! I’m so glad it’s helpful for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel free to email me if you have any other questions about healthy snack or food options – and good luck!

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Cassidy November 13, 2011 at 8:19 am

Is it healthy to replace a meal with a lara bar? I eat like half of a lara bar for breakfast, the other half for lunch, and dinner. It’s more than I usually eat in calories though, I usually eat no breakfast and a 90 calorie granola bar for lunch and then dinner. I don’t eat much, I admit, and I am underweight at the moment. Any tips on what I should do? Can I still eat more than I do and maintain my weight ( I’m about 98 or 99 pounds and five foot four ) thanks (:

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anjalim November 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hi Cassidy. Thank you so much for reaching out. To answer your question – it’s not healthy to replace a meal with a lara bar or a granola bar. That’s just too few calories for a meal – and doesn’t give you all the nutrients you need. I usually eat lara bars/granola bars for a snack or for dessert. I generally try to aim to eat about 1600 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. To get a sense of what I eat in an entire day – check out this post: http://74.220.215.66/~pickyeat/2011/11/09/a-day-in-the-life/. Hope this helps, and I’ll email you separately so we can chat a bit more. Thanks again for your comment, hope to connect with you soon!

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Ani January 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm

We snack quite similarly! The goal in my mind is healthy mind, body & spirit.

I’ll list a few of my recent faves:

-fat free cottage cheese with almond butter with flax seeds
-greek yogurt with TJ’s taco seasoning + hot pepper for a dip to veggies
-little apples (I hate committing to an entire huge apple, lol)
-dr. praeger’s veggie burger cooked on non-stick skillet (130 cals) with hot sauce
-spelt crackers with hummus
-if i want something carby, i’m digging the pizzas from TJ’s — it’s a middle eastern type of spinacy pizza. 130 cals or so and 3 grams of fiber

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm

These are all really awesome snacks! I’ll have to try the greek yogurt with taco seasoning + hot pepper – that sounds absolutely delicious as a healthy dip alternative. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Isabella May 1, 2013 at 3:18 am

Hi Anjali!
I really enjoyed reading your blog post on 10 top healthy snacks, especially because Iโ€™m always hungry and I never know what to eat and now I do! I have explored healthy eating blogs before but usually they arenโ€™t very detailed in giving ideas about healthy foods so I appreciate your tips for eating veggies and hummus. I love hummus and eat it all the time with bread but now thanks to you I will swap to Celery sticks and carrot. I found your site easy to use and I enjoy the photos with each tip however it was a little confusing with the photos on each side of the page.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater May 2, 2013 at 7:31 am

Hi Isabella! Thanks so much for your kind words and also for the feedback! I’m glad that this post has helped you to eat healthier — I love hummus as well! Keep me posted on how things go and let me know if you have any other questions!

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Chloe Foreman October 23, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Hello Anjali!
I love this article, it has given me lots of ideas and I was wondering if I could quote some of your tips for a feature I am writing at university about SUPER SNACKS!

Your input would be amazing. I hope you are interested in helping me.
Thank you,
Sincerely,
Chloe – Student Journalist

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hi Chloe! Thank you so much for reaching out to me! I’m so glad you found this post helpful ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes! You can absolutely quote me for a feature you’re writing. I’ll send you an email so we can work out the details. Thanks again!

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Joy February 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Hi Anjali, thank you so much for your article! I myself have been using the ohmygreen website as they curate and find the best tasting healthy organic snacks – It’s great for people who are vegan and/or require dairy-free/gluten-free diets, so maybe this can help ๐Ÿ™‚

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 14, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for sharing Joy! I’ve heard of oh my green — I think they’re great!

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konali July 14, 2014 at 10:53 pm

Hello! I am an MBA student in India. Can you please suggest some healthy snack options to have between classes which do not require much hassle to run to the grocery store. I believe that store bought healthy snacking options in India are very limited. Can you please suggest me some? I will be eternally grateful

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater July 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Hi Konali! Thank you so much for reaching out to me! Regarding healthy snack options for you — honestly I’m just not very familiar with what’s available in Indian markets/grocery stores, so I’d suggest some basics: fresh fruit, nuts (with no oils, sugar or salt added), and fresh vegetables that are portable (celery sticks, carrot sticks, etc.) Leftover sabji and dal from the night before can also be turned into a healthy snack – as long as it wasn’t cooked with a lot of oil! Plain yogurt with some high fiber cereal is a great snack as well. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

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Kathryn Johnson October 7, 2014 at 7:12 am

These are really great choices, Anjali! I love that you list a wide variety of snacks, and I especially love the chocolate covered almonds. These snacks are also great for on-the-go which work well for kids and the busy schedules of college students like myself. I will definitely take your advice and try some of these tasty snacks. Thank you!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater October 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Thanks so much Kathryn! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you!

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Alexis April 24, 2015 at 6:14 am

Great list! Have you ever tried Raw Revolution bars? They’re kind of like larabars. You should try them out! They are organic, raw, gluten free, vegan & kosher and super delicious! You can get them in most Whole Foods or at http://www.shop.rawrev.com I loooove them and I think you will too!!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater April 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Thanks for the rec Alexis! I actually have tried their bars – I tried a couple flavors and didn’t love the taste, but that was a while back so they might have changed their recipe since then. I do agree that their ingredients are great. I’ll check them out again the next time I’m in Whole Foods!

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