Snacking is a way of life. Whether it's mid-morning, late afternoon, or you're still binge-watching Netflix late night, snacks are the necessary glue that hold our dietary habits together. But there's no reason to leap off the wellness rails just to indulge in some mid-meal noshing. Read on for some easy healthy snack swaps to work into your daily diet.
WATCH: Try This Healthy, Cheap Late-Night Snack
1. Swap Protein Bars for Larabar Fruits and Greens Bar
Although often touted as a health food, traditional protein bars can be made up almost entirely of processed ingredients and added sugars and flavors. Fuel up pre-workout with fiber rich fruits and vegetables mashed together to make Larabar's new Fruits and Greens bars. The bars come packed with a quarter cup of greens, like kale and spinach, each and are all non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and added-sugar-free.
Available at Target | $5
2. Swap Beef Jerky for Silver Creek Chicken Jerky
If the idea of beef jerky, in general, makes you cringe, it's likely because of the sometimes sketchy versions we encounter on the market. Avoid the filler-laden traditional blends and opt for a grassroots version like Silver Creek's chicken and black bean salsa jerky. Made with natural and high quality ingredients, the jerky is free of MSG, additives, and trans fat, so you'll get your protein fix (eight grams, in fact) without all of the other stuff you can't pronounce.
Available at iGourmet | $8
3. Swap Orange Cheese Puffs for Asiago Black Pepper Cheesy Puffs
The need for cheese is real. But instead of forever scraping unidentified orange dust from your finger tips, opt for this guilt-free, natural version from Fuller Foods. The fluffy puffs are baked with non-GMO corn from Bob's Red Mill and seasoned with antibiotic-free Asiago cheese, plus a mix of black and white pepper. And, you can eat about 20 puffs for under 150 calories, so shovel away!
Available at Mouth | $6
4. Swap Gummy Worms for Organic Gummy Bears
Traditional gummy sweets come loaded with questionable dyes and gelatin. These organic bears from The Organic Candy Factory are made from carefully sourced ingredients and real fruit flavors like blackberry and raspberry. They're also made of pectin, not gelatin, making them vegan- and vegetarian-friendly. If you must eat candy (and we get it, you must!), organic and vegan is the way to go.
Available at Mouth | $7
5. Swap Sugary Cereal for Peace Cereal
Whether we're feeling nostalgic or just on a serious budget, a bowl of cereal is always a welcome break from avocado toast and açaí parfaits. But the classic cereals from our childhood tend to be made up mainly of corn, artificial flavor, and, of course, sugar. Peace Cereals tackles that head on with a full line of healthy and fiber-filled cereals. From standard corn flakes to more exciting wild blueberry crisp, each cereal is made with non-GMO ingredients, whole grains, protein, and, in most cases, five grams or less of sugar.
Available at Peace Cereal | $6
6. Swap Cookies for Justin's Snack Packs
The afternoon usually brings with it an energy dip and, as a result, a craving for sugary snacks. But before you reach for the community cookie jar, ward off cravings with something super satisfying with a hint of sweet instead. Everyone's favorite peanut butter brand Justin's recently released individual snack packs. Organic dried bananas are the perfect sweet tooth solve and, combined with protein-heavy honey peanut butter, make an easy distraction from the 2 p.m. slump.
Available at Target | $2
7. Swap Snack Mix for Organic Roasted Pistachios
Nuts are a pretty safe bet on the snack shelf, and pistachios are the all stars. Not only will a quarter cup of these guys give you about six grams of protein for under 200 calories, but actually uncracking each one will slow you down and allow for more mindful eating—something we could all work on, especially when it comes to snacking.
Available at Mouth | $6
8. Swap Cupcakes for SmashMallow
When you need a sugar fix but aren't feeling candy or chocolate, something fluffy like a cupcake usually does the trick. But, for obvious reasons, we can't always reach for cake whenever we need to satisfy our sweet tooth. Consider SmashMallow your solution. Arguably the Dom Perignon of marshmallows, these puffy treats are made of 100% organic sugar, all-natural ingredients, and come in interesting flavor mash-ups like Strawberries & Cream and Cinnamon Churro. And at only 70-90 calories per serving, you can really indulge for less.
Available at SmashMallow | $28/8 pack
9. Swap Movie Theater Popcorn for SkinnyPop Microwave Popcorn
Less of a direct swap and more of a healthier substitution, SkinnyPop's new microwave popcorn options are perfect for snacktime or a movie night at home. Traditional microwave popcorns come full of added ingredients and added butter substitutes. SkinnyPop's microwave version keeps to the brand's preservative-free, artificial-flavor-free, gluten-free, trans fat-free, everything-bad-free standard, but now it pops up in a cute little convenient box.
Available at Target | $5
10. Swap Yogurt for Muuna Cottage Cheese
Yogurt has long been touted as an easy solution to breakfast and snacking on the go. But many traditional yogurts boast sugar counts in the teens and artificial colors and preservatives. Opt for cottage cheese with fruit mix-in instead. Cottage cheese on its own is an excellent source of protein (like 14 grams for a 1/2 cup excellent) and for very few calories. Muuna adds a fruit on the bottom component reminiscent of your favorite yogurts, but without any artificial ingredients and only nine grams of sugar per serving. Click here to find a store near you.
11. Swap Bottled Smoothies for ZÜPA NOMA Cold-pressed Soup
When your stomach starts to rumble between meals and you need something a bit more substantial than a protein bar, a thick and fruity smoothie isn't a bad go-to. Unfortunately, many bottled smoothie brands come loaded with added sugars and thickeners that can weigh you down. Instead, these cold-pressed bottled soups from Züpa Noma come full of all the nutrients of a fresh-pressed juice or smoothie but with 90-percent less sugar. These soups are also loaded with fiber from the 4+ servings of vegetables per bottle.
Available at ZÜPA NOMA | $42/6 pack