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Healthy Snack Ideas for Busy People

Good morning, my friends! I haven’t shared a nutrition tips related post in a little while, so today we’re going to talk healthy snacking.

healthy snack ideas

As you guys probably already know by now, I’m a big fan of snacking. Back when I first graduated from college, I used to try to stick to 3 meals a day, but this always left me absolutely starving and cranky (“hangry,” if you will) by dinnertime. It also made it hard to get in a post-workday workout! Finally, I discovered the solution was to simply have an afternoon snack. The key is to pick an afternoon snack that is high in protein and incorporates some healthy fat. For example, if you’re having fruit, pair it with something with a little protein and/or healthy fat, too, to tide you over longer. Steer clear of sugary drinks and processed carbs like 100-calorie packs – those will just leave you crashing and burning later from the simple sugar.

This post was inspired because Sargento (the cheese company) reached out to me about trying some of their products and writing a post about incorporating healthy snacks into my routine. Considering I already know and love Sargento products (I recommend string cheese to clients often as a healthy snack option), it was a no brainer!

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Sargento recently teamed up with SHAPE Magazine to survey Americans in the workplace and they found that 90% of women admit to snacking at work, but nearly 80% are unhappy with their snack choices. I’ve seen this a lot with my AnneTheRD nutrition counseling clients, too – people either try to avoid snacking because they don’t think they should, or they don’t plan well and have nothing on hand when they do get hungry – both of these scenarios usually end with them being so starved that they either reach for the office candy jar or vending machine, or overdo it later on at dinnertime.

The key is to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, don’t deny your hungry! Just make a smart choice. So let’s all do a little snack planning. It’s just like meal planning, but with snacks! Here are some of my favorite easy and portable healthy snacks.

#1 – Fruit + Nuts or Nut Butter

I love this snack because it’s so easy! Simply throw a piece of whole fruit (or pack some berries) and a serving of nuts or nut butter in your bag and you’re ready to rock! Both Justin’s and Barney Butter sell almond butter packets in individual serving sizes, so it makes portion control easier, too.

justin's_almond_butter

#2 – Granola Bars or Fruit & Nut Bars

The key with granola/fruit and nut bars is to avoid any that have a lot of added sugar or weird processed ingredients. My favorites are Larabar (any flavor – here’s a fun variety pack) and KIND bars (especially the coconut almond flavor).

larabars

Want to try making your own homemade versions? Here are some recipes:

homemade larabar

#3 – String Cheese + Fruit, Hard Boiled Eggs, or Nuts

Sargento has all sorts of fun string and regular cheese varieties; pair them with a piece of fruit, or a couple hard boiled eggs, or a serving of nuts.

healthy snacks

#4 – Greek Yogurt

I love Greek yogurt because it’s packed with protein! Look for a Greek yogurt without any additives or fillers. My favorite brands are Stonyfield Greek (formerly called Stonyfield Oikos) and Chobani. If you’re feeling especially hungry, add some slivered almonds to the mix for a little healthy fat.

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#5 – Hummus & Veggies

Hummus adds some protein and healthy fat, and the veggies will give you some great nutrients! Try keeping the tub of hummus in the fridge at work, and bring in some sliced carrots, celery, bell peppers, etc. to enjoy with it. Another option is the Sabra hummus + pretzel single serving cups – obsessed with these!

sabra_hummus_with_pretzels

I hope you guys found these ideas helpful! If you want some more ideas, check out the cool “Build a Smart Snack” tool on Sargento’s website. It’s actually really awesome – you drag and drop different snacks into the box and the nutritional information is spit out, with reasons why each food is a healthy choice. What a cool website idea!

build_a_healthy_snack

What’s your favorite healthy afternoon snack when you’re on the go?

Love this post? Check out the nutrition tips posts I’ve written in the past:

This post is sponsored by Sargento. All opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. 1

    Love these healthy snack ideas! My favorite go-to snack is usually fruit with nut butter. Lately, it’s been bananas and sunflower butter – so good! I need to try out one of your homemade granola bar recipes. They look delicious! :-)

    • 2

      I second that! ! I have been on a kick with the sunflower butter and banana. It is so yummy on some toasted stretchy bread. My new thing is to sprinkle on some walnuts for xtra crunch.

  2. 3

    I am also a HUGE sargento and “cheese stick” fan :) They are perfectly sized to pair with half an apple and some almonds or peanuts! Your “balls” look delicious. I love making my own version of protein bars and balls and I will definitely have to give some of yours a try.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. 4

    Great tips! I’m definitely a snacker, and try to keep them as healthy as possible. Side note–I had no idea there was an orange float-flavored Larabar! Definitely need to track that down.

  4. 5

    Mmm, I’m a big fan of snacking too. You hit all of mine- nuts and fruit, veggies and hummus, string cheese or Greek yogurt, pb and banana. And a few bites of dark chocolate. Those are my favorites!

  5. 6

    #3 has my favorites – fruit and hard boiled eggs!

  6. 7

    In the afternoon, my favorite snack is a tomato, fresh mozzarella, and some wheat thins. It’s the perfect mix of proteins and carbs, it’s fairly quick to prepare, and it tastes super decadent!

  7. 8

    Your first two items are two of my greatest obsessions. I carry packs of almond butter like it’s cool (isn’t it?), and I’m so in love with Larabars. Those are the two snacks that I ALWAYS have in my room!

  8. 10

    Interesting that the build your snack site doesn’t include fat/saturated fat information, however. As a dietitian at a heart hospital, this would be something that would leave my patients confused. For the sake of full exposure, I think this is something Sargento would want to consider!

  9. 12

    These are pretty much all in my snack rotation. I tend to get in a routine of eating the same thing for a few weeks in a row and then switch it up. I’ve been trying to add another serving of veggies lately, so have been doing a lot of carrot sticks with either cheese or hard boiled egg.

  10. 13
    kate cecil says:

    hey anne! this is definitely one of my favorite posts since i started following your blog. i am always worried that my snacks are either too caloric, lacking protein, or going to spike my blood sugar and just make me more hungry. keep up the good work :)

  11. 14
    Elisabeth says:

    I love cheese sticks! I have to eat a high protein diet for medical reasons & I eat a couple of cheese sticks every day – my favorites are Sargento reduced fat Colby jack or Frigo Cheesehead light mozzarella.

  12. 15

    Yesterday I melted a cheese stick on some rice crackers and then topped it with some salsa-it tasted like nachos! Really yummy

  13. 16

    I need to get some single serving size containers of almond butter! Favorite snack is a skim latte. Protein + carbs + caffeine :)

    • 17

      Yes, lattes are a great snack, too! I like going for 2% milk to get a little creamy taste in there – good enough that no added sugar is necessary!

  14. 18

    Great post with tons of options! I travel quite often & always keep Lara bars, apples, nut butter & baggies of cereal on hand :)

  15. 19

    I’m a major snacker! I try to vary it up, but my all time favorite snack is apple slices with nutbutter.

  16. 20

    All great ideas and are recommendations I make to my clients. I love the Justin’s peanut butter singer serve packets. I even use them in place of energy gels for my runs because I can stomach them a lot better. I personally need to have a mid-morning snack and mid-afternoon snack. It is amazing how many people (especially women) think that healthy snacking is something they should not be doing when trying to eat healthy and lose weight!

  17. 21

    I have done the Justin on apples before, I think it’s perfect for a hot day to cool you off. I must find those travel hummus!! How awesome are those?!? They would be perfect for my husband to take to work for snack instead of him hitting up the vending machines. Thank you so much for this idea!

  18. 22

    I am alllllll about some snack planning. Failing to plan is planning to fail, eh? Plus, I like having a little something to look forward to.

  19. 24

    Thanks for sharing these great ideas! I know my snacks are something I can improve on, especially the pairing of protein with healthy fats.

  20. 25

    Great post! I’m the snacking queen:)

  21. 26

    Very helpful post! I’ve been looking for some snack ideas–will definitely try the string cheese + nuts or fruit. I have what can only be described as an unnatural love of cottage cheese. My favorite snack is cottage cheese + cherry tomatoes. Any other foods you like to pair with CC?

    • 27

      I love cottage cheese, too. I like adding it to oatmeal! Or having it with a crumbled homemade muffin. Great plain with some fruit, too!

  22. 28

    Love the snack ideas! Like most of us, I am often stuck in work around the clock and have to remind myself to pack healthy snacks for in between meals. I find if I don’t have a healthy snack with me, I am way more likely to make unhealthy food decisions. I have brought many of these combos with me to work to munch on. I am also a fan of seaweed crisps and other handy fruits (grapes, pears, etc) which are also great with cheese and nuts! :)

  23. 29

    I love hummus & veggies! My usual “after lunch/before I leave work to go exercise” snack is fruit with almond butter. SO filling!

  24. 30

    I am completely obsessed with the Justin’s almond butter packets! So delicious, I used to bring them to grad school when I needed a healthy snack and had no access to refrigeration, etc. all day. So good!

  25. 31

    I love having an apple, a skinny chai, laughing cow cheese or vegetable sticks.

  26. 32
    Roadrunner says:

    These are wonderful ideas, thanks. You’re right: an afternoon snack is key!

  27. 33

    Umm…where’s the fat/sat fat information in that little snack app from Sargento? Curious omission…

  28. 35

    Awesome snack ideas. Thank you for sharing the list. Can’t wait to make some of them for my kids.

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