No matter how much meal prep you do, sometimes you don’t have your energy bites or homemade granola bars when you need them most. That’s why your hanger-proof plan should include some healthy pre-packaged snacks. The key: finding favorites that include clean, whole ingredients (and not too many!).
You’ll want to check the sugar count, too. “Four grams is about what’s in a packet of table sugar,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, founder of betterthandieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It. “If it’s more than that, just check the ingredient list to see where the sugar comes from.” Added sugar from cane or other syrups can pose problems, but if the ingredient list only has fruit, you’re good to go.
RELATED: 35 Sneaky Nicknames for Sugar You Need to Know
Other numbers to know: Aim to keep the calories around 200 — unless you’re eating before or after an intense workout and need more substance. The more fiber and protein it has, the longer you’ll stay full. Depending on your diet, you might also want to keep an eye on sodium (ideally less than 140 miligrams per snack), and fat (typically best when coming from unsaturated sources, like nuts).
So you can simply grab and go, we rounded up snacks that’ll satisfy all your cravings when those hunger pangs kick in.
RELATED: Are You Addicted to Sugar? Here’s How to Break the Cycle
11 Healthy Snacks You Can Eat on the Go
1. I’m craving… Salty
Dang Onion Sea Salt Chips practically melt in your mouth, thanks to a light crunchiness you’ll love. Even better news: They only have 90 milligrams of sodium, much less than other chips or onion rings. ($24 for a pack of 4; dangfoods.com) Per serving: 150 calories, 8 g fat, 18 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 1 g protein
2. I’m craving… Cheesy
Put down the popcorn and pick up Peeled Snacks Peas Please in white cheddar, their new flavor. These crispy treats have the perfect amount of cheese seasoning and contain a full serving of veggies, with just one gram of sugar. ($30 for pack of 12; shop.peeledsnacks.com) Per serving: 120 calories, 4.5 g fat, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 5 g protein
RELATED: Healthier Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
3. I’m craving… Crunchy
Meet the veggie chips you’ll definitely want to keep in your pantry. Rhythm Superfood Beet Chips pack plenty of filling fiber and have just three ingredients: beets, sunflower oil and sea salt. ($4 per bag; rhythmsuperfoods.com) Per serving: 130 calories, 4 g fat, 2 0g carbs, 5 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 3 g protein
4. I’m craving… Starchy
What do you get when you add kale to popcorn? Basically the best snack ever. Quinn Popcorn’s Farm-to-Bag Super Kale Popcorn tastes almost cheesy with just a hint of good-for-you greens. A cup dishes out a dose of vitamin K and just 45 calories. Or have a whole serving (3.5 cups) for under 200 calories. ($10 for 2 bags; store.quinnsnacks.com) Per serving: 150 calories, 10 g fat, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 2 g protein
RELATED: How to Eat Healthy for Less Than $4 a Day
5. I’m craving… Sweet and Salty
Here’s a bar that puts it all on the package. The RxBar in Maple Sea Salt is made from egg whites, pecans, cashews and of course, sea salt and maple flavor — and no artificial ingredients or preservatives hiding behind the label. ($26 for a box of 12; rxbar.com) Per serving: 210 calories, 10 g fat, 22 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 12 g protein
6. I’m craving… Fruity
Similar to a fruit leather but thicker and more satisfying, the Pressed By Kind bars mix two servings of fruit with a dose of chia seeds or veggies. This delicious snack does pack some serious sweetness, but there’s zero added sugar, only naturally occurring. Flavors include mango apple chia, pineapple coconut chia, pineapple banana kale spinach, apricot pear carrot beet and cherry apple chia. ($27 per box of 12; kindsnacks.com) Per serving: 130 calories, 0.5 g fat, 31 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 21 g sugar, 1 g protein
RELATED: Are There Health Risks to Consuming Food Dyes?
7. I’m craving… Chocolate
A slimmed-down take on decadent truffles, Larabar Bites will keep chocoholics content. Depending on how you take your cocoa, they come in cherry chocolate chip, chocolate macaroon, mint chocolate and double chocolate brownie. ($55 for pack of 8; shop.larabar.com) Per serving: 130 calories, 6 g fat, 17 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 3 g protei
8. I’m craving… Creamy
Finally, cottage cheese is as portable, packed with protein and easy to eat as your favorite Greek yogurt. Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese comes in 5.2-oz single-serving containers and yummy fruit mix-ins, including pineapple, strawberry chia and blueberry acai chia. You can also opt for plain or savory olive if you’re feelin’ fancy. ($2.50 each; freshdirect.com) Per serving: 150 calories, 6 g fat, 10 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 16 g protein
RELATED: 15 Healthy Recipes for No-Bake Desserts
9. I’m craving… Spicy
Kick your typical trail mix up a notch with Living Intentions Spicy Mango Sprouted Activated Trail Mix. Habanero mango adds some zing to the blend of cashews, almonds, goji berries and raisins. ($10 per 7-oz pouch; barefootprovisions.com) Per serving: 120 calories, 7 g fat, 14 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 4 g protein
10. I’m craving… Nutty
Peanut, almond and hazelnut butter lovers will fall head over heels for the Clif Nut Butter Filled Bars. The creamy center feels indulgent, but packs just nine grams of sugar (much less than typical Clif bars). Better yet, the carb, healthy fat and protein combo leaves you satisfied. Options include chocolate peanut butter, coconut almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter and peanut butter. ($22 for box of 12; clifbar.com) Per serving: 230 calories, 11 g fat, 27 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 7 g protein
RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Nut Butter Recipes
11. I’m craving… Meaty
Jerky never tasted so sweet — and now it’s easy to eat on the move. Krave Bars feature creative flavors like chipotle cherry beef, cranberry thyme turkey, mango jalapeño pork and wild blueberry beef, all in one portable package. Plus, they have ancient grains, such as quinoa, making them even better for post-exercise recovery. ($2.90 each; kravejerky.com) Per serving: 110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 13 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 10 g protein