Learning how to build healthy snacks is important for your overall health! Snacks help to keep us full throughout the day, balance our blood sugar levels, and prevent overeating later on in the day.

But have you ever been in a grocery store and felt overwhelmed by all of the snack options? Have you struggled to find an option that was balanced and satiating (keeps you full)?

I am sharing my guide for building healthy snacks as a registered dietitian! 

So you can skip the stress at the grocery store and have more control over the ingredients you are eating. 

Let’s get started and make sure to save this post for later! 

1. Pack It with Protein

Protein is important for keeping your body strong and building muscle. Protein also helps to keep you fuller for longer which makes it a key component in a balanced snack!

  • Aim for at least 10 grams of protein in your snacks. 
  • Examples of adding protein to your snacks:
    1. Greek yogurt
    2. Hummus
    3. Canned tuna
    4. Protein Bars
    5. Boiled eggs
    6. Roasted chickpeas/lentils
    7. Protein powder
    8. Smoked salmon slices
    9. Nuts/trail mix

2. Add a Fruit or Vegetable

Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber which your body needs daily to function. 

Putting an extra focus on including fruits and vegetables in your snacks is a great way to make sure you are fueling your body. You can eat them whole or sliced up!

  • Examples of fruits and vegetables for snacking:
    • Baby Carrots
    • Sliced Cucumbers
    • Celery
    • Sliced Bell Peppers
    • Apple Slices
    • Strawberries
    • Grapes
    • Bananas
    • Oranges

3. Choose the Whole Grain

Whole grains have lots of fiber and nutrients that are important for your body’s digestion! They can help give your body energy to last throughout the day.

Examples of getting more whole grains in your snacks:

  • Whole-grain pretzels
  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Whole-grain energy bars 
  • Whole-grain toast
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Buckwheat cereal
  • Toasted quinoa

4. Add a Healthy Fat

Healthy fats help control your hormones, hydrate your skin, and lower your risk of heart disease. Having a good source of fat in your snack can help keep you fuller for longer!

Examples of healthy fats to add to your snacks:

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil drizzle
  • Nuts + seeds
  • Egg yolks
  • Olives
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)

5. Pair It All Together

Boost your snack by having more than one macronutrient (carbs, fats, protein) at each snack!

As a dietitian, I recommend choosing at least one protein source and then a carb/fat source (or both). 

Some great combo snack examples:

  • Vegetables and hummus
  • Fruit and peanut butter
  • Avocado and whole-grain toast with smoked salmon slices
  • Greek yogurt and nuts
  • Jerky, cheese, and whole-grain crackers

I have other great snack ideas and travel hacks in my latest blog post on balanced eating while traveling!

Building healthy snacks doesn’t have to be difficult. Listen to your body and choose your ingredients based on what you enjoy and what makes you feel good!

Focus on nutritious snacks that have lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These will keep you satisfied for longer and help prevent overeating later on. 

If you are having trouble creating a list of snacks you enjoy eating that are also nutrient-dense, schedule an appointment with me for nutrition coaching today.