While we all might wish fresh fruits and veggies could easily be at our disposal at all times, sometimes that just isn’t the possible. Plus it can be a hassle to package fresh foods for easy transport and throw them in a bag for later. (Smooshed bananas? Not so appetizing... )
We got 'cha. When the options are limited and you’re faced with trying to find a healthy prepackaged snack alternative, look no further than this list of healthy options that also taste great.
100 calories, 14 g protein, 9g sugars
If you’re a fan of Greek yogurt, get ready to meet skyr, its thicker and creamier Icelandic cousin. The best part is that skyr is naturally made with skim milk, so it's traditionally fat-free. All their flavors are fantastic, but our favorite has to be pomegranate and passion fruit.
120 calories, 5g sugars, 1g protein, 90% DV vitamin A
Baby carrots and ranch dressing are a classic. This snack makes it super convenient thanks to packaging that has the carrots in one section and the dressing in another. Now you can throw in your bag without worrying about dressing getting all over your gym clothes.
140 calories, 4g fiber, 5g sugars, 7g protein
Whole grains, roasted nuts, dried fruit, and honey come together in a chewy bar to beat all other chewy bars. This one’s much lower in sugar than others out there and offers a good amount of protein and fiber to boot.
150 calories, 3g fiber, 3g sugars
Chips and a serving of vegetables... at the same time? This snack is certainly a mixed bag. Sweet potato, parsnip, taro, yuca, and batata (otherwise known as Cuban sweet potato) make up this blend, flavored with garlic and olive oil. These make the perfect sophisticated, savory snack and are a great substitute for that classic potato chip craving.
130 cal, 3g fiber, 11g sugars, 2g protein, 35% DV vitamin C, 30% DV vitamin B1, 20% DV vitamin B6 and folate
No pretenses here: kids’ Clif bars might be even better than the “adult” versions. Reason number one? Smaller portions means it’s easier to justify a whole bar as a midday snack (versus other options, which can serve better as meal replacements!). Plus the chocolate brownie bar has a little protein and fiber to keep us full for a few hours without overloading on sugar or calories at the same time.
150 calories, 11g sugars, 3g fiber, 4g protein
When it’s rainy or there’s a chill in the air, few things are better than a warm bowl of oatmeal mid-morning to fill up. Try this version for an extra serving of flax (oh hey, omega 3s!).
120 calories, 7g sugars, 2g protein
It's a new day, and rice cakes are no longer that cardboard-flavored (and textured) “diet food” that have been dreaded for years. These little guys come in a bunch of flavors (sweet and savory!), but the combo of low calories and sugar, plus a little protein, makes the chocolate flavor the best bang for your buck.
90 calories, 4g fiber, 21g sugars
Two ingredients: apples and cinnamon. This combo makes for a great snacking option anywhere, anytime. Just note that a bag is two servings; so even if you eat the entire thing, 180 calories for a snack ain't bad.
100 calories, 11g protein
Three words: Protein, protein, protein. With just 100 calories and 11 grams of protein, chowing down on this premade classic tuna salad will put a hold on hunger pangs until dinnertime. Pair with some whole grain crackers or stalks of celery to get a little fancy.
60 calories, 7g sugars, 120% DV vitamin C
OK, so nothing will beat the whole natural grapefruit, split in half, sectioned, and sprinkled with a little sugar. But who wants to carry around a giant orb of citrus, let alone try to section it off while on the go? These little all-natural cups make it way easier to enjoy. The fruit slices are kept in a no-sugar-added juice to keep ‘em fresh (and it's delicious to drink when the fruit’s all gone).
130 calories, 3g fiber, 2g sugars, 2g protein
These crunchy delights are packed with healthy seeds like sesame, flax, and quinoa. Baked, not fried, they’re lower in fat than similar crunch-filled options. Plus they’re gluten-free!
130 calories, 2g fiber, 8g sugars, 2g protein
This bar is a winner, stuffed full of chewy granola featuring sunflower, pumpkin, and chia seeds, then dotted with dried cherries and dark chocolate. It's the perfect size to hold you over from dinner without making you too full.
50 calories, 10g sugars
When carrying around fresh fruit isn’t an option, these fruit leathers are a great and easy way to satisfy those sugar cravings. Store them in the freezer to make this sweet snack last a little longer. Not into raspberry? Try one of the five other flavors.
115 calories, 2g fiber, 7g sugars, 2g protein, 30% DV vitamins A, C, E
These smaller KIND bars are perfect for a midmorning snack when you want something sweet and crunchy. It doesn't hurt that the bar has added vitamins to give your body an extra boost.
120 calories, 13g sugars, 13g protein, 15% DV calcium
We can’t get enough Greek yogurt; we could literally eat it all day. It's the perfect thing to grab on a busy morning and eat at your desk topped with berries and nuts. Or to have as an anytime snack. Or enjoy for dessert, perhaps with some honey or cacao nibs. (We could go on, but we'll spare you.)
100 calories, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 1g sugars, 20% DV vitamin E
These perfectly portioned almond snack packs are a great way to fulfill your roasted nut dreams and down an entire bag without inhaling a day's worth of calories at the same time. And there's enough in the bag to make you feel like you had a real snack, unlike some 100-calorie treats out there.
130 calories, 2g protein
This puffed rice and corn snack is flavored with real white cheddar cheese (yum) and baked (possibly by pirates) to crispy perfection. While the best part is probably the name (and adorable packaging), it also earns extra cool points for being gluten-free and trans fat-free. Arrrrrgh!
70 calories, 8g protein, 15% DV calcium
Flash back to school lunchbox land with this handy, dandy snack. They’re super portable and provide a perfect snack-sized dose of protein to stave off hunger a bit longer. Plus they’re fun to eat. Just don’t let your boss see you eating it like a five-year-old.
100 calories, 2g sugars, 1g protein
Popchips are a great option when craving something crunchy and salty to replace classic potato chips or flavored pretzels. A single-serving bag is just 100 calories, and they’re air-popped instead of fried or baked.
120 calories, 3g fiber, >1g sugars, 4g protein
Ladies and gents, they’ve finally done it: Chips made out of lentils. And they’re actually delicious! The base is made from lentils and garbanzo beans, which is what adds the protein to this snack. For a larger snack (and when not confined to the driver’s seat or desk chair), try dipping in hummus or eating with fresh olive tapenade.
130 calories, 4g fiber, 5g sugars, 2g protein, 15% DV vitamin A
Yes, it sounds strange. But somehow, some way, Trader Joe's discovered the secret to a really, really good dried green bean—and this snack is proof. There’s a hint of sweetness from the vegetable’s natural flavor, but it balances well with the light saltiness and seriously awesome crunch.
130 calories, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein
Kind of like a cross between a potato chip and a mini rice cake, these soy crisps are a great alternative to classic crunchy snacks. Plus the five grams of protein will help keep you full.
50 calories, 6g protein, 15% DV calcium
The most redeeming quality of these miniature cheese wheels is that they’re so dang cute! (Many people have figured out to make them even cuter.) But they are also a great source of protein and calcium, and are super easy to carry as a healthy snack (especially when paired with a small apple or a few whole-grain crackers).
110 calories, >1g fiber, 12g sugars, 2g protein
A somewhat healthier version of the classic Fig Newton (the ingredient list is about half as long, and you get one extra gram of protein per serving), these little bars are a great option for a sweet snack that won’t break the calorie or sugar banks.
140 calories, 9g fiber, 8g sugars, 3g protein
It’s not just the digestive system that can thank fiber for proper functioning; it’s the heart too!Association between dietary fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. Wu Y, Qian Y, Pan Y. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2014, May.;34(4):1532-1983. Dietary fiber and reduced ischemic heart disease mortality rates in men and women: a 12-year prospective study. Khaw KT, Barrett-Connor E. American journal of epidemiology, 1988, Jan.;126(6):0002-9262. These bars are packed with fiber and also satisfy a peanut butter craving. Next time a candy bar craving hits, try one of these instead.
60 calories, 9g sugars, 10% DV calcium
Fudgsicles. Because, well, who doesn’t need a classic creamy, cold, chocolate treat every once in a while? (Especially in August!) Even better that it’s on a stick.
Originally published July 2012. Updated July 2015.