Healthy Snacks

Key Facts
  • Healthy snacks help maintain your energy levels.
  • Eat snacks from a variety of food groups such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, protein, and dairy.
  • Limit candy, chips, overly processed foods and treats made from refined grains and added sugar.
  • Packing a healthy snack in your backpack may help regulate blood sugar levels and fullness.
  • Esta guía en Español
  • Young men's version of this guide

healthy fats

Snacks are a great way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. Eating healthy snacks between meals will help ensure you aren’t going too many hours without fuel. When you are too hungry, you may end up feeling tired, irritable and eating more than you need at the next mealtime.

What snacks should I choose?

A balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, and dairy foods can make great snacks. Balanced snacks tend to have a mix of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and some fiber. Fiber is found in whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans. This balance of nutrients helps us stay full. Snack foods such as chips, cookies, and candies are a tasty treat but may leave you less satisfied and could leave your stomach growling soon after.

When you choose snacks, aim to combine a source of fiber with a source of protein. Check out the suggestions below and pick an item from each list for a delicious snack!

Easy snack ideas – pick one from each category:


  • High fiber cereal (with more than 5 grams per serving)
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • High fiber crackers (with more than 3 grams per serving)
  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Green pepper strips and grape tomatoes


  • Nuts
  • String cheese
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter or other nut or seed butter (such as almond butter or sunflower seed butter)
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Milk
  • Soy nuts
  • Seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds

Example Snack Ideas:

  • Whole wheat pita with peanut butter or turkey
  • Yogurt with high fiber cereal
  • Carrots or cucumber with hummus
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • String cheese and high fiber crackers
  • Trail mix with nuts, dried fruit, and whole grain cereal

What are ideas for on-the-go snacks?

Being prepared with quick and convenient snacks can help fuel your body while you’re on the go. If you have healthy snacks packed in your lunch bag, purse or backpack, you’ll always have something nutritious to snack on when you get hungry.

Snacks are an important part of a healthy, balanced meal pattern. Remember to pack your snacks before you head out of the house, or the night before, so you are sure to have healthy options with you wherever you go.