There will always be snacks. It's a fact of life. Experts can tell us all the different reasons we reach for a bite to eat — boredom, habit, maybe even hunger. Honestly? Whatever. We love our snacks.
That said, there's no reason a snack has to derail our healthy habits. It's just as easy to grab something nutritious as it is to plow through a bowl of candy or box of cookies. That is, if you make it easy on yourself. Stocking your home, car, bag, and office with tasty and healthful treats means you can stave off hanger attacks and avoid making Very Bad Decisions at vending machines or other devious places (like the overflowing kitchen at work).
To find out what's best for snack time we asked three nutritionists what they keep on hand. You know there's gonna be fruit, but hot cacao also made the list! Meet our experts and see what they had to say, then go stock your snack station.
About The Nutritionists
- Marisa Moore is a nationally recognized Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Atlanta who specializes in food and nutrition communications, recipe development, and consulting.
- Nutritionist Lindsey Seegers is the Distribution Network Engagement Manager at Feeding San Diego, the leading hunger-relief organization in San Diego County. Just before her recent move to California, Lindsey co-designed a schoolbus-turned-mobile kitchen to bring healthy cooking classes to kids facing food insecurity.
- Chrissy Wellington, a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in Lenox who specializes in sports nutrition (among other things), is passionate about family nutrition and shopping and meal planning strategies.
1. Halos, $7 for three pounds
"Fresh fruit is always at the top of my list for healthy snacking. It's nice to know that I can order up Halos from Amazon Fresh anytime. They are not just for kids' lunch boxes. They are portable, sweet, seedless, and easy to peel, making for an easy snack whether I'm traveling by plane, train, or automobile! For this time of year especially, these little mandarin oranges help me keep my vitamin C levels on point." — Marisa Moore
2. Biena Chickpea Snacks, $7 for five ounces
"Biena Foods makes some tasty roasted chickpeas with a list of ingredients much like what I'd make at home. I usually keep it simple with the sea salt option, but there are lots of flavors to choose from. I love these because roasted chickpeas deliver on crunch, a little saltiness, and the often-overlooked protein and fiber needed to help you feel satisfied after a snack!" — Marisa Moore
3. Nourish Snacks Crunchy Coconut Vanilla Granola Bites, $24 for six, four-ounce bags
"For something a little sweet but not too sweet, I opt for Nourish Snacks, which were created by an RD. The coconut vanilla granola bites are one of my favorites. I appreciate that they are whole grain and significantly lower in sugar than many granola or energy bite snacks. "— Marisa Moore
4. Sweet Chili Wonderful Pistachios, $20 for a dozen, 1.25-ounce bags
"I also like Wonderful Pistachios Sweet Chili or Salt & Pepper flavor. You can get them in the 1.25-ounce pack, which is perfect as a single serving. Pistachios offer plant protein, fiber, and better-for-you unsaturated fats in a convenient little packet. I especially like getting nuts in the shell because the process of opening them helps slow down snack time, so I tend to eat less!" — Marisa Moore
5. Cherry Almond Granola, $18 for three, 11-ounce bags at The Granola Factory
"This crunchiest granola is making its way beyond charming Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to cereal aisles across the country. The real butter lends decadent flavor that makes it hard to resist straight from the bag. I love it atop Cabot's Plain Greek Yogurt — less tangy than most — so can you enjoy your sweet toppings." — Lindsey Seegers
6. Melissa's Pumpkin Seed Clean Snax with Chia and Flax Seed, $7 for 6.5 ounces at Jet
"These snacks saved me, happily, at a conference. Satisfyingly salty and crispy, these low-sugar, low-sodium seed bundles are about the size of a sugar cube, clinging together with just enough honey for only three grams of sugar per handful. " — Lindsey Seegers
7. Halfpops Butter and Ocean Sea Salt Popcorn, $3 for 4.5 ounces at Target
"At 22, I worked at a teeny natural food grocer in Virginia, and discovered a life-changing snack: half-popped popcorn. As a bottom-of-the-bowl kernel consumer, these goodies were a revelation. Ten years later, imagine my delight when this now-trendy snack is popping up everywhere. It's a high-fiber filling fix that feels more like a treat than a nutritional necessity. DIY the ultimate bar snack: Halfpops + spiced nuts + roasted chickpeas. (Shoutout to Grand Cru Wine Bar in Towson, Maryland for the inspiration!)" — Lindsey Seegers
8. Dr. McDougall's Chicken Flavor Noodle Soup, $18 for six, 1.4-ounce cups
"These are organic, vegan, low-sodium, and also hydrating. Since the ingredients are dry it is a convenient option, as you can just add hot water." — Chrissy Wellington
9. Organic Prairie Mighty Organic Beef Jerky, $5.50 for two ounces
"Great protein source, organic, and grass fed. These are easy to toss in a bag when you are on the go. After workouts, the recommendation is a combination of carbs and protein so this is an easy protein source to always have with you." — Chrissy Wellington
10. Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Hot Cacao, $17 for 10 pouches
"Chocolate is a high-antioxidant-rich food and mushrooms are high in vitamin D and antioxidants. This is a great little treat on the fly. If mixed with milk, it is a great protein source for an afternoon snack." — Chrissy Wellington
What are your go-to snacks when your hungry — and trying to be somewhat healthy?