Trying to find healthy snacks when you’re out running errands, at your kids’ sports events, or at work can be a daunting task. Vending machines and snack counters tend to be full of unhealthy snacks—not to mention the ever-enticing bowl of candy at the office.
When you’re on the hunt for a healthy grab-and-go snack, aim for foods with low sugar and high-quality fats and proteins. This combination will help keep you satiated longer and your blood sugar and energy levels consistent. Sugar can give you an instant energy boost. However, once your snack is digested, your energy level and blood sugar will fall sharply.
If you want to ensure what you’re eating is well balanced, nutritious, and provides a good source of energy, make your own snacks. Here are some delicious, healthy grab-and-go snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day.
1. Hard-boiled eggs: are a perfect high-protein snack packed in their own natural “container.” Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper or one of the many salt-free herb mixes to spice up your snack.
2. Trail mix: This trail-mix recipe packs in the taste along with high-quality protein from the nuts and seeds, and healthy fats from the coconut and nuts. Look for low-salt or unsalted versions of the roasted nuts.
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ cup dry roasted almonds
- ½ cup large coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- ½ cup tamari pumpkin seeds (you can buy these or make your own by tossing raw pumpkin seeds in some tamari and toasting in the oven.)
- ½ cup pistachio nuts (shelled)
- ½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup cocoa nibs (optional: these crunchy, nutty-flavored chunks of cocoa bean give you a hint of chocolate taste with out any sugar)
Mix up a batch to have on hand and store in a glass mason jar.
3. Avocado, tahini, and nutritional yeast: This is an addictive snack! Avocado and tahini provide healthy fat, while the tahini and nutritional yeast provide protein.
Cut the avocado in half and remove pit. Fill each pit hole with a tablespoon of tahini and sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Keep in glass storage container until you’re to ready to eat. Be sure to bring a spoon along.
4. Sliced apples and mixed nuts: With apple season right around the corner, this is a perfect mid-day snack for work, a kid’s lunch, or after-school snack. Be sure to look for organic apples, since apples are high on the Dirty-Dozen list.
Slice up an apple, and pair it with a handful of dry roasted mixed nuts for some healthy fat and protein to go along with your sweet treat.
5. Healthy banana split: Slice up a banana, top with two tablespoons of dry roasted crunchy almond butter, and sprinkle with cocoa nibs. The high quality fat and protein from the almond butter help to stabilize your blood sugar from the banana, while the cocoa nibs give it a little chocolate flavor.
6. Hemp seeds: Dry roasted/salted hemp seeds are very high in protein as well as healthy fats, and provide a crunchy alternative to other nuts and seeds.
7. Carrots, celery, hummus: An old standby, the chickpeas in the hummus provide lean protein, while the tahini and olive oil provide healthy fats. Try using other veggies such as fennel or cucumber.
8. Seaweed: This delicious, healthy sea vegetable makes an easy grab-and-go snack. Several brands of seaweed snacks are readily available in the natural food section of most grocery stores.
9. Kale chips: These healthy snacks are easy to make and so tasty you’ll want to make more.
Cut your kale into about 3-inch pieces, making sure to remove the stem. Toss in olive oil and sea salt, or smoked sea salt. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring frequently until crispy but not burnt, about 10 minutes.
10. Turkey-avocado lettuce wraps: Lean protein and healthy fat make these wraps a great snacking choice or kid’s lunch option.
- Free-range, organic smoked turkey breast, thinly sliced (from your natural deli)
- 12 hearts of romaine lettuce leaves (2 per wrap)
- 1 or 2 ripe avocados
Peel, scoop, and mash up avocados in a bowl. Wash and dry lettuce leaves. Spread a tablespoon of mashed avocado in each of six leaves. Add several slices of turkey to each wrap. Cover with second piece of lettuce, wrap, and eat.
Makes 6 servings
With so many healthy grab-and-go options to choose from, you can be sure to have a few on-hand to take with you.