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Making healthy choices while eating on the go can be tough. Sometimes a bag of Doritos just sounds soooo good.
But despite the convenience, prepackaged, nonperishable goodies (and even many homemade snacks) are often packed with sugar, sodium, and other not so great ingredients.
Let us help out. Here are 32 of our favorite healthy snacks to grab and go — no refrigeration required.
Seaweed is quite the superfood: It’s full of antioxidants, calcium, and tons of vitamins and minerals. But while the health benefits are many, its slimy texture doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks are crunchy and come in multiple flavors (brown sugar, anyone?), so the snack tastes less like algae, and more like a small slice of heaven.
We love trail mix, with its tasty mix of nuts, fruit, and other goodies — but high amounts of sugar and saturated fat mean this snack can be a dangerfood (not to mention easy to overeat).
Luckily, there’s several tricks for keeping it healthy, like buying pre-portioned bags, storing it in single serving bags, or whipping up one of these 21 healthier trail mix recipes at home.
Baking veggie chips can be fun, but there are times when buying them is simply easier.
Our store-bought favorite? Trader Joe’s Contemplates Inner Peas. (We dig the Zen name, too). Filling up on greens has never tasted so good. Just beware of eating the entire bag in one sitting.
4. Pretzels and cheese
It’s true: Cheese does require refrigeration. But if you’re planning to snack midday, string cheese will hold up just fine. We recommend pairing a stick with a small bag of whole-grain pretzels.
Thanks to the rise in popularity of gluten-free diets, finding wheat-free products is no longer so difficult for those who need them. What is difficult is finding ones that are both healthy and tasty. Mary’s Gone Crackers, however, are both.
Made with brown rice, flax, and other gluten-free grains, the crackers are both tasty and sturdy — perfect for a topping like Justin’s nut butter squeeze packs.
Cereal is a popular breakfast food for a reason. It’s super convenient and can offer healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. It’s also easy to throw in a container, toss in your bag, and eat on the go.
Looking for a lighter, more compact version of rice cakes? Try Suzie’s Puffed Rice Thin Cakes. They may be thin, but they’re sturdy enough to stand up to the likes of avocado, a great topper made even better with a dash of Sriracha.
It’s true: chocolate can be a healthy snack. The key is sticking to dark varieties, which pack antioxidants and have even been linked to better mental health.
Pair dark chocolate with a healthy sidekick, like a clementine or pomegranate seeds. Just try not to eat the entire bar. It’s all about moderation, after all.
Chips made from plantains may not be as familiar as the fried, potato-based variety, but they’re a much healthier option — and still quite good!
Turbana keeps it simple by using all-natural ingredients in their seven varieties. We love pairing the chili-flavored version with hummus.
Squeezable fruit in a pouch may look like something you’d give your toddler (and good for you, if you do!) but these handy snacks can help adults get our daily dose of fruit, too.
Buddy Fruits’ prepackaged fruit blends come in multiple flavors, from plain apple to banana-mango, all made with 100% real fruit.
KIND consistently ranks as one of the healthiest, lowest-sugar granola bar brands on the market. Check out their 140-calorie cinnamon oat granola bar, which has only 5 grams of added sugar. But be warned: these bars tend to crumble, so bring a napkin.
High protein grass-fed beef fits easily into your diet (and your back pocket) with these tasty jerky sticks. Pack them with whole wheat crackers to make it a mini-meal.
Autumn means pumpkin-flavored everything, but why stop when the trees are finally bare? Instead of grabbing another pumpkin spice latte, bake a batch of pumpkin seeds.
These bite-sized snacks can be made sweet or savory, and are packed with vitamins either way, making them ideal to grab as a quick, crunchy snack.
Mixing protein powder with plain water isn’t always as satisfying as making a blended protein shake, but those tend to require refrigeration. For a protein fix and some flavor without a blender (or the fridge), try protein balls instead.
Full of healthy fats and chocolate (yum!), this gluten-free, paleo snack will provide a boost of energy to last all day (and will last all day in your bag, too).
There’s a reason campers carry this protein-filled snack: Jerky is great fuel for a long, active day, and it can withstand long treks in any temperature (talk about sturdy).
To keep the chewy snack lighter, opt for turkey instead of beef — it’ll cut down on fat and sodium.
Chips are an easy go-to snack, but few have substantial nutritional value. (Sigh, we’ll miss you, Cheetos.) Instead, satisfy crunch cravings by noshing on a protein-filled bowl of roasted chickpeas, which can be seasoned to suit all taste buds.
Love spice? Layer it on. Prefer sweet? That works, too.
Plain raw carrots aren’t the most exciting or satisfying snack on the planet. To keep your taste buds enthused, get crafty with a peeler and make curried carrot chips.
These crispy orange ribbons take under 30 minutes to prepare and taste great with a variety of spices (or just salt and pepper).
18. DIY protein bars
Packaged protein bars can be delicious (and they certainly market themselves as nutritious), but heed caution: they’re a dangerfood.
Avoid the sugar trap of store-bought bars by experimenting with flavors and making them yourself.
Some of our favorites: No-Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars, No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars. Don’t let their sweet names fool you — they’re actually healthy!
Remember the days of fruit rollups and lunch boxes? Those were the best. And there’s no reason not to incorporate them into adult life.
Simply pick your favorite fruit and let your taste buds relive childhood — without the sugar crash. We’re big fans of this Sneaky Green Apple Fruit Leather recipe, which has an extra nutritional boost from one of our favorite superfoods.
Recipes with “cake” in the title tend to be winners, and this carrot cake granola recipe is no exception.
Made with grated carrots, nuts, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup, a handful of this cereal is the perfect pre-gym snack or treat to keep you full between meals. Did we mention it tastes like cake?
While regular ole bread may become squishy after sitting in a bag all day, wraps are much sturdier. Plus, they come in a variety of flavors (and can fit just as many dietary needs).
Fill them with nut butter, hummus, shredded veggies, turkey, cheese, pesto, or any other nutritious stuffer you like. Try this easy 5-minute recipe for starters.
While packaging looks healthy, they’re often packed with high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to weight gain
These homemade, sugar-free granola bars make an excellent alternative.
Gluten-free and vegan, these bites are the perfect snack for someone with stomach sensitivities. Simply mix the ingredients, pop them in the fridge, and grab a few before heading out the door.
Quick, easy, delicious… it’s hard to go wrong with a snack like this. Not to mention these hearty bites are full of two of our favorites: chocolate and peanut butter. And they taste like cookie dough.
Whoever started the trend of putting veggies into baked goods is a genius. It can be tough to get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in a day, so adding them to snacks certainly makes it easier.
These zucchini muffins are full of fiber and vitamins, plus they’re suitable for those who prefer the dairy-free or vegan lifestyle.
Before grabbing a bag of sodium-laden potato chips, consider deconstructing a whole-wheat pita and turning it into a handful of bite-sized snacks that satisfy when it comes to crunch, but are better for your body.
We love the Old Bay seasoning in this recipe, but you can also go sweet by adding cinnamon and a dash of sugar.
Did someone say Doritos and popcorn in the same sentence? Sign us up. This healthy recipe uses nutritional yeast in place of cheese to make it vegan — and to make it non-perishable so you can pack it up and go.
28. Fruit and dip
Many fruits don’t require a refrigerator and taste great with a dip like nut butter. Simply pick a dipper of choice (apples and bananas are always winners), put a few scoops of nut butter in a small Tupperware, and hit the road.
Worried about your banana being ripe in time? Speed things up by packing it in a paper bag.
29. Dried fruit
Fresh fruit is awesome, but it’d be pretty darn difficult to cut and eat a mango while commuting. Avoid the mess and reap the nutritional benefits by packing dried fruit instead.
Just make sure to buy unsweetened, as some store-bought varieties can have up to 25 grams of sugar per serving. Excess sugar consumption can have some not-so-sweet consequences like increased risk of obesity
30. Fresh veggies
Carrots, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas are just a few veggies that can be packed as a snack and enjoyed throughout the day. Pro tip: To keep them fresher for longer, store vegetables in a Tupperware instead of a plastic bag.
Chips are delicious — there’s no doubt about it. But the packaged kinds aren’t exactly healthy.
Making them from scratch, on the other hand, is nutritious and easy. Plus, you can experiment with ingredients (green beans, sweet potato, apple… oh my!) and have control over the amount of sodium and fat in each batch.
Salad is difficult to eat while on the run, but salad wrapped in rice papers is another story. Simply slice your favorite veggies, add a little sauce, wrap them up, and they’re good to go.
Sure, it’d be great if you could always reach for fresh, refrigerated snacks on the go. But for those days when a long commute or harried errand-running mean your cup of yogurt would die a sad, slow death in your car, stock up on these fridge-free portable snacks. Your health and your taste buds will thank you.