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Photography by Aya Brackett

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When your energy gets low between meals and hunger kicks in, it’s important to reach for a filling snack that can power you through to your next meal.

Unfortunately, many snack foods are low in filling nutrients like protein and fiber and instead high in added sugars and refined carbs. This isn’t a good combination when you’re looking for lasting energy. The usual suspects include chips, cookies, and certain granola bars.

However, there are plenty of nourishing snacks to choose from that make excellent snack choices, including homemade recipes and ready-to-eat options.

Below you’ll find 19 tasty ideas for snacks that are healthy and energizing, including premade options you can pick up at the grocery store, and snacks you can pull together with ingredients at home.

The snacks on this list were chosen based on ingredient quality, nutritional value, and taste.

We also kept price in mind, and included premade and homemade snacks for every budget.

Lastly, we chose both sweet and savory snacks to suit different taste preferences.

Price guide

The premade healthy snacks on this list have standard prices, which we broke down into the following categories.

  • $ = under $1 per ounce
  • $$ = between $1–$1.50 per ounce
  • $$$ = over $1.50 per ounce

RX Bars

  • Price: $$
  • Who should try them: people who want a nutrient-dense snack bar made with limited ingredients

When you’re choosing premade energy bars, make sure to look at the ingredient list.

Most protein and granola bars are packed with ingredients like added sugar and preservatives, which many people prefer to limit in their diets.

RX Bars are made with whole food ingredients like egg whites and nuts and are sweetened with dates, not sugar. They come in a variety of flavors like Peanut Butter, Banana Chocolate Walnut, and Maple Sea Salt and can be found online and in most grocery stores.

They provide 12 grams of filling protein per bar, which is much more than most plant-based whole food snack bars.

Pros

  • provides 12 grams of protein per bar
  • made with whole food ingredients
  • easy to find in stores

Cons

  • not suitable for those with nut or seed allergies

Nativas Organic Superfood Power Snacks

  • Price: $$$
  • Who should try them: people who want a quick, sweet snack made with health-supporting ingredients

Making energy balls at home can be time consuming. Fortunately, you can purchase premade energy balls online or at your favorite health food store without sacrificing taste or nutritional quality.

If you’re looking for a premade energy ball product that makes a perfect light snack that you can take with you on-the-go, check out Nativas Organic Superfood Power Snacks.

These delicious bites are packed with filling ingredients, including seeds and dried fruit. Unlike most sweet snacks, these bites contain just one gram of added sugar per 2-piece (20-gram) serving.

Keep in mind that these bites are low in calories and protein, so they’re best for a light snack.

Pros

  • made with nutritious ingredients
  • certified organic

Cons

  • low in protein

Food to Live Organic Trail Mix

  • Price: $
  • Who should try them: people who want a sweet and salty snack

If you’re searching for healthy, portable snacks, that can satisfy both sweet and salty cravings, be sure to pick up trail mix made with dried fruit and nuts the next time you go grocery shopping.

Food to Live is a company that makes delicious, certified organic trail mix products made with nutrient-dense ingredients like seeds, nuts, and unsweetened dried fruit.

Trail mix is a convenient and filling snack that can be kept in your desk or car for an easy snack option during your busy day.

Since trail mix typically isn’t high in protein, you can pair it with protein-rich ingredients like a hard-boiled egg or a piece of cheese for a more filling snack.

Pros

  • made with nutritious ingredients
  • certified organic

Cons

  • on the lower protein content side

Paleovalley Turkey Sticks

  • Price: $$$
  • Who should try them: people craving a salty, high protein snack

A turkey stick is one of the most convenient, high protein snack options.

Turkey sticks can be a filling choice on their own, but pairing these protein-packed snacking sticks with an apple, peach, or pear provides even more staying power thanks to the fiber in the fruit.

There are many turkey stick brands to choose from, but Paleovalley is one of the only companies that offer turkey sticks made from pasture-raised turkey. Raising animals on pasture is a more ethical and sustainable farming method compared to conventional factory farming operations (1, 2).

Pros

  • provides a convenient source of protein
  • made with pasture-raised turkey

Cons

  • can be hard to find in stores

Wild Planet Wild Canned Tuna

  • Price: $
  • Who should try them: people who need a high protein, versatile snack

Canned tuna is an affordable product that can be enjoyed as a protein-packed snack. It’s high in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making it a nutritious snack option (3).

What’s more, tuna is versatile and can be combined with fruit or crackers to create a balanced combo that’s sure to satisfy your snack cravings.

Wild Planet offers sustainable canned seafood products, including canned tuna. In fact, Wild Planet’s tuna was ranked #1 for sustainability by the nonprofit environmental organization Greenpeace.

Pros

  • provides a convenient source of protein
  • made with sustainably-caught tuna

Cons

  • higher price point compared with other tuna products

SkinnyDipped Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

  • Price: $$$
  • Who should try them: people who need a sweet snack that’s low in added sugar

Dark chocolate is perfect when you’re craving a sweet snack to put a bit of pep in your step. Even though reaching for a sugary candy bar to satisfy your craving isn’t the best choice for your health, there are more nutritious chocolate options available.

For example, combining dark chocolate with almonds provides your body protein along with fiber and healthy fats to keep you feeling full.

It’s always best to opt for lower-sugar treats when you’re able. Fortunately, SkinnyDipped Dark Chocolate Cocoa Almonds contain just 2 grams of added sugar per 13-gram serving. Not only is this sweet snack low in added sugar, but it’s free from artificial colors and flavors and is also gluten-free.

Pros

  • low in added sugar
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • low in calories and protein, so more likely suitable for a light snack

Spread the Love Naked Peanut Butter Packets

  • Price: $$
  • Who should try them: people who need a plant-based source of protein to pair with fruit or veggies

Nut butter is rich in protein and fat and makes an excellent partner for fruits and veggies.

Munching on most fruits or veggies alone typically isn’t enough to keep you full for long, but pairing produce like apples, celery, or carrots with nut butter, like peanut butter, more calories and staying power (4).

Spread the Love Naked Peanut Butter Packets are free from added sugar, certified organic, and are made with just one ingredient: peanuts.

Pros

  • contains zero added sugar
  • certified organic

Cons

  • not appropriate for people who are allergic to peanuts

Brami Lupini Snacking Beans

  • Price: $$
  • Who should try them: people who follow plant-based diets, including vegetarian or vegan eating patterns

Beans are a wonderful food to reach for when you’re feeling hungry and need a quick source of energy.

They’re packed with fiber and plant-based protein and give your body long-lasting energy.

If you’re craving a savory snack, try out Brami Lupini Snacking Beans. This plant-based snack is low in calories and carbs and contains zero added sugar. Plus, these snacking beans come in tasty flavors like Sea Salt & Vinegar and Garlic & Rosemary.

Pros

  • contains zero added sugar
  • good source of fiber and plant-based protein

Cons

  • can be a bit messy to eat

Good Culture Cottage Cheese

  • Price: $
  • Who should try them: people who need a filling snack that’s high in protein

Another versatile and portable snack idea is cottage cheese. It can satisfy both sweet and savory cravings, depending on the toppings you choose.

Mix cottage cheese with berries, hemp seeds, and dark chocolate chips for a sweet version, or top cottage cheese with everything bagel seasoning for a more savory taste.

Good Culture offers single-serve cottage cheese made with milk from pasture-raised cows that make a perfect choice for snacking.

Providing a whopping 19 grams of protein per 5.3-ounce (150-gram) container, Good Culture Cottage Cheese is sure to keep you satisfied between meals.

Pros

  • high in protein
  • made with milk from pasture-raised cows
  • organic

Cons

  • dairy-based, so not appropriate for vegans or those who cannot tolerate dairy

Kettle and Fire Soup

  • Price: $
  • Who should try them: people who are craving a savory snack that’s portable

When you’re yearning for a hot bowl of soup but don’t have the time to make a pot from scratch, reach for a premade nutritious soup.

Some brands offer premade soup products with nutrient-dense ingredients. Kettle and Fire soups are made with bone broth, which bumps up their protein content. A one cup (245-gram) serving contains 6 grams of protein.

Plus, these soups are portable and can be taken with you to work and heated in the microwave or on the stovetop for a quick and satisfying snack.

Pros

  • good source of protein
  • made with nutritious ingredients
  • portable

Cons

  • made with collagen, so not appropriate for those following vegan diets

Espresso overnight oats

  • Who should try it: people who want a quick, nutritious breakfast with a kick of caffeine

If you’d rather eat your caffeine than drink it, try this delicious recipe for espresso overnight oats.

It’s packed with fiber from the oats and healthy fats and protein from the Greek yogurt and almond butter. Plus, it contains espresso, so it’s sure to give you the energy boost you need.

Egg and sweet potato muffins

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Who should try it: people who are craving a filling, protein-packed snack

Eggs are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They’re a smart choice for a filling snack.

To make a more complete snack, pair eggs with a source of complex carbs.

These sweet potato hash egg muffin cups are the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and fat that you can enjoy any time of day.

Homemade trail mix

Who should try it: people who don’t like cooking but want a healthy, homemade snack option

Trail mix is one of the easiest and most versatile snacks you can make. It’s energy and nutrient dense, which is why it’s a favorite among those who need a quick source of energy, such as hikers.

Choose ingredients like unsweetened dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened coconut to create a pleasing snack combination.

Here are a few tasty trail mix recipes to try:

Tropical green smoothie

Who should try it: people who want to bump up their vegetable and fruit intake

To make a smoothie filling enough to tide you over in between meals, it’s important to add a source of protein — the most filling macronutrient.

Good protein choices for smoothies include nut butter, Greek yogurt, and protein powders.

This tropical green smoothie recipe is packed with healthy ingredients, including frozen mango, spinach, and chia seeds, and it gets a kick protein from vanilla protein powder.

Chocolate almond butter banana bites

Who should try it: people who are craving a sweet, fruit-based, chocolatey treat

For a sweet yet satisfying energy boost, try out this recipe for chocolate almond butter banana bites.

Bananas are highly nutritious and provide a number of nutrients, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (5).

Combining banana slices with protein-rich almond butter and a bit of chocolate creates an irresistible snack you can store in your freezer.

Charcuterie board

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Who should try it: people who want a snack that satisfies sweet and salty cravings

A charcuterie board is the perfect choice if you’re having a tough time deciding what you’d like to snack on.

Charcuterie boards are simple to make. Just choose your favorite cheeses, fruits, nuts, veggies, meat, and plant-based protein sources and combine them on a plate, platter, or cheese board.

Here is a guide for making a charcuterie board that looks as good as it tastes.

Mediterranean jars

Who should try it: people who are craving a filling snack that’s high in fiber

If you’re getting bored of your go-to salad recipes, try this recipe for Mediterranean chickpea and egg salad in a jar.

Healthy ingredients like chickpeas, quinoa, hard-boiled eggs, arugula, and avocado are layered in a glass jar, making it a perfect snack to take when you’re on the go.

When you’re ready to enjoy it, dump the salad into a bowl or enjoy it straight from the jar.

Everything bagel sweet potato rounds

Who should try it: people who love the flavor of everything bagel toppings

Crunchy potato chips are a favorite of many snackers. These everything bagel sweet potato rounds are a healthier alternative to fried potato chips and flavored with the ever-so-popular everything bagel seasoning.

Enjoy these rounds on their own or eat them with a protein-rich dip like hummus.

Berry and yogurt parfait

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Who should try it: people who are looking for a versatile, high-protein snack that’s easy to make

Berries are packed with nutrients, including fiber and vitamin C, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds that help keep your body healthy (6).

Try out this recipe that layers Greek yogurt with fresh berries and chia seeds. Sprinkle with toppings like chopped nuts, cacao nibs, or granola.

You could easily make this recipe dairy-free by swapping Greek yogurt for plant-based yogurt.

Shop for Lavva or Culina plant-based yogurts online.

When you’re searching for a snack, keep the following factors in mind:

  • Cost: Choose snacks that fit within your budget. Snacks don’t have to be expensive to offer health-promoting benefits!
  • Taste: Are you craving a salty or sweet snack? Consider texture as well. You might want a snack that’s both crunchy and chewy — or prefer one that’s just one or the other.
  • Ingredients: In general, you’ll want to choose snacks that are made with nutritious ingredients and are low in added sugar. Some people may prefer snacks made without additives like artificial colors and flavors.
  • Portability and storage: Think about where you’ll be consuming your snack and whether you need a snack that’s shelf-stable and ready to have handy for eating on the go.
  • Certifications: If you have a food allergy or sensitivity, you’ll want to look for snacks that are safe for you to eat. You may also want to choose certified organic snack products if you prefer to eat organic foods.

What snack gives you the most energy?

If you’re looking for an energizing snack, you’ll want to choose something that’s balanced — meaning it provides protein, carbs, and healthy fats.

It’s best to avoid snacks that are high in carbs, but low in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These snacks will not keep you feeling full and don’t provide a lasting source of energy.

What snacks give you energy fast?

Any balanced snack will raise your energy levels, especially if you haven’t eaten in a few hours.

But you should not depend on food alone to boost your energy. If you find that you have chronically low energy levels, it’s best to look at the bigger picture.

There are numerous other factors that could explain having low energy that might be worth addressing before you resort purely to snacks. You’ll want to consider your overall diet quality, sleep schedule, hydration habits, stress levels, and underlying health issues.

What is a good snack to keep you awake?

If you’re looking for a snack that can help you stay awake, consider a snack with caffeine like espresso overnight oats. Caffeine is a stimulant and can temporarily help boost your energy levels.

When you’re craving a snack, it’s important to choose foods that are filling and high in nutrients.

Noshing on balanced snacks will not only keep your energy levels up but also ensure you’re satisfied and focused throughout your day.

Try out the healthy and energizing ideas listed above, and you’ll be prepared with plenty of nutritious snack options.