The 10 Lunch Box Snacks This Nutritionist Always Buys at Costco

updated Jun 9, 2019
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We all know that Costco has plenty of chips, cookies, and crackers (anyone need 423 pounds of Cheez-It crackers?), but what about nutritious, convenient snacks that can go in a lunch box? Beyond fruits and veggies, that is.

I headed to my local Costco this past week to stock up on some of my favorite frozen foods and, while I was there, I just had to wander over to the snack aisles. I wanted to prove to you guys that there are plenty of nutritious options in the middle of the store (versus how people always talk about shopping the perimeters of stores).

Here’s a list of Costco snacks that I buy for myself and recommend to others. They’re all great for packing in any lunch box.

(Image credit: Juan Llauro)

What I Look for When Shopping for Healthy Snacks

When I look for nutritious, grab-and-go snacks, I look at much more than the calorie counts; I look for quality ingredients and balanced nutrients. I also choose organic options whenever possible, because the organic label automatically eliminates genetically modified ingredients, refined sugar, and hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats).

I also look for certified vegan options, which are great choices for those with a dairy allergy or for those who want to work more plant-based snacks into their lives. Lastly, I read the ingredient list and look at the grams of added sugars, total fat per serving, and the serving size. Thankfully, Costco has plenty of options that pass all of these checks.

10 Nutritionist-Approved Costco Snacks

Here are my Costco picks that you should keep your eyes peeled for the next time you go. For each snack, I’ve also included a tip, with suggestions of what else to pack in a lunch box.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

1. Organic Brown Rice Rollers

Think of these little goodies as the healthiest crispy rice treat on the planet! They’re made from organic whole-grain brown rice and are sweetened only with a little bit of organic brown rice syrup (instead of refined sugar). They’re also low in fat and sodium and would be fantastic with some organic nut butter and fruit!

Tip: Pair one of these with one tablespoon of organic almond butter and a mini bag of carrots or a small apple for more protein, magnesium, healthy fats, vitamin E, vitamin C, and potassium.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

2. Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are great sources of iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids; they’re also perfect for those with a tree nut or peanut allergy and are a heart-healthy choice when eaten in small portions. I prefer raw and unsalted nuts and seeds, so these get my vote. I like to portion mine out into small baggies when I get home so they’re easy to grab on my way out the door.

Tip: Pair one ounce (a little less than 1/4 cup) of these with a large navel orange or juicy Honeycrisp apple for more fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

3. Organic Coconut Clusters

I was surprised to learn how healthy these are considering they look so tasty! They’re a great source of essential fatty acids and don’t contain excessive amounts of added sugar. They’re also as delicious as they look.

Tip: Pair two or three of these clusters with two Medjool dates or a few dried figs for more fiber, natural sweetness, potassium, and B vitamins.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

4. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars

I love fig bars, and this is one of my favorite brands; the bars are low in fat and added sugars (most of the sugar comes from the fruit) and are a much healthier alternative to the leading fig bar on the market. They also come in tasty flavors and are excellent sources of fiber!

Tip: Pair one of these bars with an apple or an orange for a more substantial snack, and more vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Or, enjoy it with some baby carrots.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

5. Organic Fruit and Nut Snack Packs

What I love about these is they’re not your average trail mix packets; they’re high-quality and offer a really simple list of ingredients. They’re free of salt, refined sugar, and oil that often comes in dried fruit. I like to toss one of these in my purse on a busy day or use one of these packets on top of oatmeal for a meal.

Tip: Pair one of these snack packets with some baby carrots and celery sticks for a more substantial snack and balanced nutrients. Or, do like I do and add one to your morning oatmeal.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

6. Skinny Pop Mini Bags

Everyone I know loves this brand of popcorn, and these mini bags are extra convenient. The plain variety is non-GMO, vegan (no dairy or cheese), and offers a nice dose of heart-healthy fiber per mini 100-calorie bag. Plus, these bags make portion control easy!

Tip: Pair one of these mini bags with some baby carrots or an apple, and a mini container of hummus for more protein and vitamins. Or, enjoy one of these packs with 1/4 cup of almonds and a mini box of raisins for more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

7. Mott’s Individual Unsweetened Applesauce Cups

I look out for mini cups of applesauce no matter where I shop because they’re just so versatile! These are a great lunch box snack that you can pair with so many things. I love one of these little cups with a mini bag of raw almonds, but they’re also great to eat with veggies and other travel-friendly fruits. You can find these in the aisle with the canned fruit near the cereal aisles.

Tip: Pair one of these cups with some celery sticks or baby carrots and two tablespoons of organic almond or peanut butter for more protein, vitamin E, and vitamin C. You can even stir one of these into your morning oatmeal or cereal if you want!

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

8. NibMor Organic Wild Blueberry Chocolates

Here’s my favorite little Costco indulgence. I love wild blueberries and chocolate (and eat some form of them every single day), so I had to check out the label on these chocolates the first time I spotted them. I was pleasantly surprised at the generous serving size per portion and I love the simple list of ingredients. These are also organic, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO!

Tip: Enjoy two or three of these dark chocolates as a mini dessert after lunch or eat them in the afternoon as a snack with half an orange and 1/8 cup of raw almonds or cashews. Or, just enjoy a few when you need a chocolate fix!

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

9. Made in Nature Figgy Pops

Dried figs are one of my favorite types of dried fruit, and the Made in Nature brand is the best (you can also find their plain figs at Costco). The brand offers several different varieties of these Figgy Pops, which are a tasty mix of figs, nuts and/or seeds, and in this case, shredded coconut and bananas. You can find these in the aisle with the other dried fruits. Keep an eye out for all the different flavors!

Tips: Pair three or four of these with some celery sticks and baby carrots for a more filling snack, plus extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Or, enjoy a couple of these blended into a smoothie.

(Image credit: Heather McClees)

10. Organic GoGo Fruit Snack Packs

These might look like another form of applesauce, but they’re so much tastier than plain applesauce alone! I love these handy-dandy travel packets because they’re versatile, and although they’re made for kids, I have no shame whipping one out for a healthy snack! Like the mini cups of applesauce, you’ll find these in the aisle with the canned fruit near the cereal aisles at Costco.

Tips: Pair one of these snack packs with 1/4 cup raw almonds or raw pumpkin seeds and some baby carrots for more protein, vitamins, and minerals.

What are your favorite nutritious Costco lunch box snacks?