Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
More than 90% of US adults eat two to three snacks daily. That’s a good thing if your go-to snacks are nutrient-dense but not-so-great if those choices are high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat– and little else.
Snacking can seem like a slippery slope when trying to eat better. While nutritious, balanced snacks can curb appetite and help you eat less, those choices are often harder to find. The snack aisle is typically filled with highly processed snacks– chips, cookies, candy, and cheese puffs, not exactly items most of us should be eating more of.
That doesn’t mean that snacks can’t be part of a healthy diet. As Whitney English, Registered Dietitian and co-founder of Plant-Based Juniors’ explains, “The best snack choices contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats, a hunger-crushing combo that will satisfy you between meals.” Simple ideas include hummus with veggie sticks, low-fat string cheese, and popcorn.
Having dietitian-approved snacks on hand can make sticking to your health goals much easier when hunger hits. With minimal prep and portion control, these snacks offer an easy way to curb cravings and give your body the fuel it needs.
These are the best store-bought, dietitian-approved snacks.
I love these because they have zero sugar, are high in protein, are gluten-free, and have just one ingredient, cheese.
These are a high source of fiber and quality fats that come in a variety of sweet flavors. They can be eaten straight from the package or spread on toast or an English muffin as a swap for jam.
Jessi Holden MS, RDN, The Kitchen Invitation
If you need a filling snack to get through the afternoon, I love a small pack of hummus and pretzels. The hummus provides fiber and protein which helps fill you up and provides brain and heart-healthy nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and folate.
Laura M. Ali, MS RDN
One of my favorite packaged snack options is the POWER UP Mega Omega Trail Mix. This trail mix contains a blend of almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and dried mango. It is packed full of nutrients, including antioxidants and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is the perfect portable snack, easy to throw into your bag on the way out the door for a healthy snack later in the day. Dried fruit and nuts are both nutrient-rich food choices, thus enjoying snack mixes that contain both is an excellent way to consume an array of nutrients that support health.
Mandy Tyler, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD, LAT NutritionbyMandy.com
I always have dried edamame in my pantry. It is easy to bag into smaller portions or take the whole bag with me. They are a great source of plant-based protein and also a good source of fiber.
Amy Beney, MS RD CDCES at My Nutrition Insights
Snacks sometimes fall short when it comes to protein, so I love recommending the StarKist line of pouched salmon and tuna. They come in a variety of flavors and can be conveniently carried on the go to add to crackers, fresh veggies, salads, or eaten straight from the pouch. No reheating or refrigeration is needed! My top pick is their EVOO Wild Pink Salmon, which is lightly seasoned with salt and extra virgin olive oil. It’s a delicious way to enjoy some omega-3s with minimal effort.
Cara Harbstreet, MS RD LD of Street Smart Nutrition
These Organic Snack Bars come in three flavors – Cocoa Brownie Blitz™, Trail Mix Crumble, and Oat-Rageous Honey Almond™ – and are power-packed with the quality organic ingredients, fiber, and whole-grain nutrition you’d expect from Dave’s Killer Bread, makers of the country’s #1 organic bread.
They’re certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and contain no artificial ingredients, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, and are free of high fructose corn syrup and bleached flour.
With just three simple, clean ingredients (heirloom non-GMO sweet potatoes, unadulterated premium avocado oil, and sea salt) these crispy, crunchy kettle-cooked chips provide a crave-able snack you can feel better about eating.
Like all of Jackson’s chips, these are great for vegan, Paleo, Keto, gluten-free, grain-free, and Kosher dies, and free from the top 9 allergens, artificial ingredients, ts, and polyunsaturated fats.
Pumpkin seeds contain protein, iron, fat, and fiber while low in carbohydrates. It is a top choice for Melissa Hooper, MS, RD of Bite-Size Nutrition. She prefers these snacking seeds as they “taste amazing, come in 1-ounce packages, are organic, gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and dairy-free.”
They come in various flavors and make for a great on-the-go snack or addition to salads and other dishes.
These crunchy fava beans are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free, making it a great plant-based satisfying snack. They also pair well with a nice chianti. According to Registered Dietitian Sheri Berger, “Fiber and protein are known to have a high satiety factor, meaning it helps you feel full longer compared to other types of nutrients. This combination also helps stabilize your blood sugar levels.”
These seaweed snacks are a go-to choice for dietitian and mom of three Dani Lebovitz, MS, RDN, founder of Kid Food Explorers. She likes that these snacks are the perfect salty, crunchy, nutrient-dense food for families. Additionally, Dani says, “Seaweed provides a boost of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, delivering health-protective benefits with each bite.”
Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, Author of Finally Full, Finally Slimlovesve having a handful of nuts for a snack, as a little goes a long way. Her favorite snack is nuts: Nuts are a healthy fat, and some nuts like walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for our diet.”
“Biena chickpea snacks are my favorite packaged snack,” says Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, Nutrition Writer and Owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition. Not only do they contain both protein and fiber to help curb cravings, but they are also delicious and portable. Mitri adds, “If you love crunchy, salty snacks, these are great to keep on hand and help keep your blood sugar levels steady.”
A single serving of Unbound walnuts provides plant-based protein and Omega 3 ALA essential fatty acids, immune-boosting minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that support energy, brain function, and heart health. Whitney English, MS, RD of Plant-Based Juniorlikeske that these contain minimal ingredients and allow walnuts to be just as crave-able as other salty snacks, like chips.
Hippeas White Cheddar Chickpea Puffs are Chelsea LeBlanc, RDN, owner of Chelsea LeBlanNutrition’s favorite grab-and-go snacks! She says, “One serving has 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, making it a filling snack that powers me through to my next meal.” According to the current 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should aim for 1.5 cups of beans, peas, lentils, or chickpeas each week. “This crunchy snack is a convenient and tasty way to sneak some beans in!”
If you like BBQ chips, you’ll love these Savory BBQ pistachios. This savory snack contains a host of nutrients and antioxidants. Christine Milmine, RDN, adds, “Not only are pistachios fun to crack, but they also contain healthy fats, plant-based protein, and fiber! This combo could help you feel more satisfied.
There are many Bobo products and flavors, but this lemon poppyseed version is the go-to pick for Jessie Carpenter, MA, MS, RD, LD, owner of Nutrition Prescription. “Both the lemon poppyseed bars or bites because it curbs my sweet tooth. They are chewy in texture and hold up well if crammed into a bag for an on-the-go snack. Furthermore, they are gluten- and dairy-free; are very low sodium; and provide 3g protein and 2g fiber each.”
Yes, trail mix is a dietitian-approved snack. Especially brands that contain whole nuts, seeds, naturally sweet dried fruit, and minimal chocolate. Jill Merkel MS, RD, CSSD, LD, says. “Any nuts or trail mix is a good source of fat, which helps you to feel satisfied longer.”
Guacamole singles paired with veggies and tortilla chips offer a well-rounded snack solution. Kristin Draayer, MS, RDN, CPT, chose these because “the guacamole provides healthy fats, the veggies add fiber and micronutrients, and the tortilla chips provide carbohydrates to keep you energized and satisfied.” In addition, this snack is easy to take on the go, making it a convenient option for busy lifestyles.
Not just for kids! Patricia Kolesa MS, RDN, owner of The Dietitian Dish, chooses these Go-Go Squeez Applesauce Packs as “they’re an easy way to get a serving of fruit in one pack on the go. Each pouch contains 3 g of fiber, plus they’re under the travel size requirements, so you can easily take them as a snack on a flight!”
These GFB Instant Oatmeal packs are a must for Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, author of Taco! Taco! Taco! “I love these GFB Instant Oatmeal packs for many reasons. First, I love that the packaging also serves as the bowl! It’s also low in sugar but has plenty of flavor.” Great for on-the-go snacking, traveling, and camping.