Best Healthy Snacks

Whether you’re packing up a school lunch or satisfying a personal craving, nothing beats having a handy supply of tasty little snacks, does it?

Whether you’re packing up a school lunch or satisfying a personal craving, nothing beats having a handy supply of tasty little snacks, does it? They’re a great fix for satisfying that sweet tooth, and when you choose protein-rich options, they easily kick hunger pangs to the curb, when enjoyed between meals. Best of all, they can also add to your overall intake of daily nutritional requirements.

What Are the Benefits to Healthy Snacks?

Raw veggies or whole fruit are a great way to boost your vitamin intake while staving off hunger pangs however they aren’t always the neat and convenient option you’re looking for. But did you know that those often frowned-upon pre-wrapped snacks can also pack a healthy punch? In fact, if you take a moment to check labels, you’ll discover several tasty options deliver big-time when it comes to healthy ingredients. Wonder what to look for? Start with snacks that include a good combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fat. By ticking just these three boxes, you can enjoy a nutritious snack that satisfies your hunger longer and can even help stabilize blood sugars when it’s loaded with dried fruits or honey.

What to Look for When Buying Healthy Snacks

Packaging

For snacks that need to travel with you – in lunches, handbags, backpacks, or pockets – portability will be key. In this instance, you’re looking for individually packeted foods that are sealed for freshness and if you tend to eat just a little at a time, come in packaging that can be re-sealed to prevent deterioration. And because we need to keep the environment in mind, many brands also offer their snack foods in larger bulk formats that can be dispensed into reusable containers to help eliminate waste.

Nutritional Value

The expression “empty calories” is one we’ve all heard and when it comes to snacks, truer words were never spoken. Your snacks need to serve a purpose and that’s why choosing those that include fiber, protein, healthy fats, and in some instances, healthy sugars is a no-brainer. The average adult should have between 46 grams (female) and 56 grams (male) of protein per day, while kids under 10 years need around 20 and tweens around 35 grams. So, watch for these types of ingredients as well as their gram content when selecting snack foods for you and your family.

Top 6 Healthy Snacks

Barnana 3-Pack Organic Banana Bites with Peanut Butter Coating

Best for a Sweet Tooth

Nothing goes together better than peanut butter and bananas and if you could enjoy these two delicious flavors packed into a neat little format without the carbs and breadcrumbs that come with sandwiches, it really couldn’t get much better, could it? But it does, because these Banana Bites are made with non-GMO, certified organic foods for a quick and healthy snack on the run. And not only are the ripe, dehydrated bananas used in the production of this treat naturally gluten-free, but they’ve also been sustainably sourced using upcycled produce from Latin America that might otherwise have gone to waste. Each bite offers a moist piece of dried banana that has been covered in an organic peanut butter coating, then sealed with a natural glaze to prevent melting and messy fingers.

Who Should Buy This Healthy Snack?

Whether you’re tucking packets into kids’ lunches or enjoying as a snack-on-the-run, the natural, organic flavors in this bite-sized banana-based treat are a great way to instantly boost blood sugar levels and satisfy cravings.

Pros:

  • Certified Organic ingredients
  • Natural glaze coating
  • Resealable package
  • Made with upcycled bananas

Cons:

  • Not individual packaging

Specs for Comparison:

Primary Ingredients: Organic bananas and peanut butter

Pack Size: 3 x 2.5 servings

Protein: 3 grams

Calories/Serving: 180

Country of Origin: United States

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CLIF 36-Pack Kid ZBar with Organic Oats and Whole Grains

Best for Carb-Fuelled Energy

Carbs are a great source of energy and when they come from organic oats and whole grains, you’re also enjoying the many health benefits of a unique soluble fiber. But how to turn an otherwise bland food into something kids and adults alike will want to snack on? You start with this 36-piece variety pack of Clif Zbars that offer just the right amount of sweetness and soft, chewy texture we all love to tuck into when feeling peckish. Using non-GMO, certified organic grains as a base, these bars come in a chocolate chip and a chocolate brownie flavor, and use ingredients such as organic cane syrup and fig paste as sweeteners plus all-natural flavors that include cocoa butter and organic vanilla extract. Individually packaged, they ideal for those on the go.

Who Should Buy This Healthy Snack?

This quick, healthy snack is a great way to support high-energy levels in kids, without the added sugars and artificial ingredients or preservatives you find in many snack bars.

Pros:

  • High fiber, non-GMO grains and oats
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Certified organic flavorings and sweeteners
  • Soft, chewy texture

Cons:

  • Smaller size suitable for kids

Specs for Comparison:

Primary Ingredients: Organic whole grains and oats

Pack Size: 36 x 1 serving

Protein: 2 grams

Calories/Serving: 140/130

Country of Origin: United States

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Seapoint Farms 12-Pack Dry Roasted Edamame Seasoned with Sea Salt

Best High-Protein Snack

If you want a seriously generous protein fix without having to consume the extra carbs and sugars often found in healthy snacks, then this pack of dry roasted edamame is just the ticket. Made from certified non-GMO soybeans with a sprinkle of natural sea salt, these crunchy morsels are great for those who love salty versus sweet snacks and who appreciate natural foods that are free of artificial flavor boosters and preservatives. Each packet contains a full 20 grams of protein – almost half the recommended daily allowance – and because the soybeans are baked not fried, you don’t need to worry about greasy oils or cholesterol. These individually-packeted, crispy vegan snacks are also an excellent source of iron and calcium for the perfect all-around treat that’s tasty, healthy, and easy to eat.

Who Should Buy This Healthy Snack?

For those who need a serious protein fix to keep them satisfied between meals, these crispy, edamame beans are a great snack choice that’s also rich in iron and calcium.

Pros:

  • Excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium
  • Non-GMO soybeans
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Individual packets

Cons:

  • Higher salt content

Specs for Comparison:

Primary Ingredients: Edamame, sea salt

Pack Size: 12 x 1 serving

Protein: 20 grams

Calories/Serving: 200

Country of Origin: China

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Nature’s Bakery 12-Pack Whole Wheat Snack Bars with Fig and Blueberry Filling

Best Healthy Breakfast Bar-Type Snack

Temper that sweet tooth with a healthy alternative that not only tastes great but makes you feel good about what you’re eating. This whole wheat snack bar is a great option when breakfast-to-go has become the typical start to your day. A chewy, soft-baked crust surrounds the delicious taste of juicy figs and sun-ripened blueberries for a satisfying punch of flavor. And because these vegan snack bars are free from artificial colors and flavoring, are low in sodium and contain zero cholesterol, soy, dairy, or trans-fats, they’re a healthy way to add a little fiber to your diet. Individually packaged, they make a tasty and nutritious snack to eat on the run or pack to enjoy later in the day.

Who Should Buy This Healthy Snack?

For busy households that tend to eat on the run, this whole-wheat, fruit-filled bar is a deliciously healthy snack that delivers a little extra fiber along with natural fruit sugars.

Pros:

  • Soft-bake, whole wheat crust
  • Natural fig and blueberry filling
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Individually packaged

Cons:

  • High in natural sugars

Specs for Comparison:

Primary Ingredients: Whole wheat, figs, blueberries

Pack/Size: 12-pack x 2 bars/serving

Protein: 3 grams

Calories: 200

Country of Origin: United States

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Jack Link’s 9-Pack 100% Beef Jerky Strips in Original and Teriyaki Flavors

Best Non-Vegan Protein Snack

When you love a snack that packs a serious flavor punch, nothing does the trick quite like the smoky taste of natural beef jerky. And not only are these beef strips a healthy option and a great source of protein but because the manufacturer uses only lean cuts of 100% premium beef, they’re also 94% fat-free and use no MSG in the production. They’re perfectly sized to deliver the protein needed to get you through a busy day. Slow-cooked and hardwood smoked, each pack of these delicious jerky strips includes both the original rich-tasting hickory flavor as well as a sweet and savory teriyaki option. And because they’re individually packaged and sealed for freshness, you never need to worry about those delectable smells wafting from your pocket or backpack.

Who Should Buy This Healthy Snack?

Beef jerky is a classic, portable snack for those who crave the chewy, hickory goodness of meat, but in a format that’s clean and easy to consume anywhere, anytime.

Pros:

  • 100% Premium beef
  • Original and teriyaki flavors
  • MSG-free
  • Pre-packed and sealed

Cons:

  • High in sodium

Specs for Comparison:

Primary ingredients: Beef

Pack Size: 9 x 1 serving

Protein: 15 grams

Calories: 100

Country of Origin: United States

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Black Forest 24-Pack Organic Fruit Flavored Snack with Real Fruit Juices

Best Chewy Snack

While indulging in a juicy handful of fresh berries isn’t always convenient, these all-natural fruit snacks might just be the next best thing. Loaded with real fruit juices, these organic gummy chews are individually packeted for a healthy snack that’s gluten-free, fat-free and delivers a whopping 30 grams of Vitamin C per serving – or up to 35% of your recommended daily allowance. And while they’re perfect for packing into school lunches, they’re a deliciously healthy alternative for those who reach for sweets when energy levels drop. Each pack contains a delicious combo of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry gummies – shaped and flavored to look and taste like the real thing. And because they’re certified organic, you won’t find artificial flavorings, colorings, or preservatives in these sweet treats – just all-natural ingredients.

Who Should Buy These Healthy Snacks?

If you find yourself reaching for gummy bears, jujubes, or hard candy to satisfy that need for sweet mid-afternoon, these healthy chewy snacks are the perfect alternative.

Pros:

  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Real fruit juices
  • Contains 35 grams of Vitamin C
  • Gluten- and fat-free

Cons:

  • Not vegetarian

Specs for Comparison:

Primary Ingredient: Organic juices, sweeteners, and oils

Pack Size: 24 x 1 serving

Protein: 0 grams

Calories: 70

Country of Origin: United States

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Bottom Line

Let’s be honest, when you plan properly, reaching for a healthy snack can be as easy as grabbing a bag of potato chips or a chocolate bar. The key is having that tasty stash of treats close at hand and ready to satisfy your need to nosh. And that’s why opting for individually portioned treats that can be tossed into a handbag, pocket, or desk drawer, is the only way to go. You can choose from a wide range of nutritious options that are sure to suit your personal tastes – from sweet to savory and crunchy to chewy – all in a volume pack that ensures you’ll always have a ready supply for when peckish happens.

Photo credit: Koarakko/Shutterstock

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