When your stomach’s rumbling, having healthy snacks at the ready takes on even greater importance, whether you’re powering through the WFH or office grind, on a road trip, or simply spending some leisure time at home. A nutritious little midmorning or afternoon munch can provide the fuel top-off you need to stay focused until mealtime. In addition to all that, good snacks are also kind of like a mini-break for your mind and treat for your senses, and they can give you that little burst of joy you need to get through the toughest work moments.
So, what should you look for in a really awesome snack? Generally, an energizing and sustaining snack is going to have some nutritional staying power in the form of protein, fat, and/or fiber, Toronto-based registered dietitian Abbey Sharp, RD, has previously told SELF. And while sometimes all you want is a little nibble, Phoenix-based dietitian Rhyan Geiger tells SELF that including at least two different food groups (starches, fats, proteins, or fruits/vegetables) will result in a more substantial snack. “Having protein with carbohydrates or fat and protein can help keep you feeling fuller for longer,” she explains.
This list is full of convenient and healthy snack ideas, including the personal favorites of a few RDs and a bunch of our own picks. There are general recommendations for snack-worthy foods as well as specific healthy snacks to buy, plus a few ideas for homemade snacks you can batch-prep if you’re so inclined. Basically, there’s a little bit of everything, so that you can find snacks to suit your tastes, dietary needs, and budget—even road trip snacks for all your summer traveling!
Choose two (or three!) from this list for a more filling combination snack, and mix it up so you get a nice variety of nutrients, flavors, and textures—protein and carbs, salty and sweet, creamy and crunchy—to keep your snack game fresh. Keep them within arm’s reach of your home (or office) workspace, or in the kitchen as an excuse to get up and stretch your legs for a minute.
A quick note about the word healthy here before we get into the snacks: We know that healthy is a complicated concept. Not only can it mean different things to different people, but it’s a word that’s pretty loaded (and sometimes fraught), thanks to the diet industry’s influence on the way we think about food. At SELF, when we talk about food being healthy, sure, we’re talking about foods that are nutritious, filling, and satisfying. But we’re also talking about foods that help you connect with your culture, promote joy, and simply taste delicious. Some of those foods might fall into conventional ideas of what “healthy” is. And some might not. We selected these choices with all of that in mind while also trying to appeal to a wide variety of nutritional needs and taste buds.