Nuts or seeds, homemade energy balls, veggies with hummus, and shrimp or sardines are just some of the many healthy combinations you can snack on.
Choosing healthy snacks can help you fuel your body well while managing your weight and making you feel healthier overall.
However, snacking on nutritious foods high in fiber and protein helps promote feelings of fullness.
You can choose from a wide variety of delicious, low calorie yet filling snacks to keep you on track with your wellness goals.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule for what constitutes low calorie. However, the
For this article, we use calorie information from the
Here are some healthy, low calorie snack ideas.
Vegetables and hummus
Eating more veggies
Vegetables can be easily paired with a protein source like hummus, a creamy spread made from chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
Pairing low calorie, fiber-rich veggies like broccoli, radishes, celery, or bell peppers with protein-rich hummus can make a satisfying snack that may help you feel full between meals.
For reference, 1 sliced medium carrot served with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of hummus delivers around 100 calories.
Ants on a log (celery with an attitude)
Ants on a log, or celery sticks packed with peanut butter and topped with raisins, is a popular sweet-yet-savory snack.
Celery and raisins are high in fiber, while peanut butter rounds out this snack with a plant-based source of protein.
One large stalk of celery (64 grams) topped with 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of raisins provides 156 calories.
Cucumber slices with chicken salad
Chicken salad can be enjoyed both as a meal and as a snack. You can prepare it with mayonnaise or smashed avocado and mix fresh herbs or chopped veggies, such as scallions, parsley, and celery.
Spoon this high protein combination on low calorie, fiber-rich cucumber slices for a filling snack. A 1/4 cup (58 grams) of chicken salad made with mayonnaise with half a sliced cucumber (118 grams) provides 228 calories.
Ingesting foods rich in probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or fermented carrot sticks,
Plus, fermented veggies are tasty and can satisfy cravings for a crunchy, salty snack. They’re also very low in calories. For example, 1 ounce (28 grams) of kimchi has just 5 calories.
While a soup isn’t necessarily in the veggie category all on its own, it can be a veggie-centric snack when it’s chock-full of nutritious carrots and other items instead of noodles or even so much broth.
Having a cup or bowl of vegetable soup as a snack may help keep you full while providing your body with a variety of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.
A 2007 study found that eating vegetable-based soups before meals can reduce food intake by as much as
Snack on broth-based or pureed vegetable soups to increase your veggie intake while managing calorie intake. A 1-cup (240-mL) serving of broth-based vegetable soup typically has fewer than 100 calories.
Tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad
While tomatoes are technically a fruit, many nutritionists and dietitians consider them vegetables — not even for the fact that if you grow these at home, they’re likely in your “vegetable garden” with other veggies, like peppers.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a
As lycopene is fat-soluble and better absorbed when paired with sources of fat, stuffing tomatoes with tuna salad made with olive oil, mayonnaise, or avocado is a smart choice.
One small tomato stuffed with 1 ounce (29 grams) of tuna salad made with mayo has around 150 calories.
Green salad with protein
Snacking on a green salad topped with colorful vegetables and a hearty protein source is one of the healthiest snacks you can eat.
Try pairing dark leafy greens like arugula or spinach with brightly colored, non-starchy vegetables, such as bell peppers, onions, or radishes. Then add a filling protein source, like hard-boiled eggs, pumpkin seeds, or grilled salmon.
Top with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or make your own dressing packed with healthy fats by blending 1/4 of an avocado with olive oil, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, chopped garlic, salt, and pepper.
The calorie content of green salads can vary widely depending on your toppings and dressing choice.
For a lower calorie salad, stick to leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and lean protein sources like grilled chicken, and top with a lower calorie dressing like balsamic vinaigrette.
The flavorful combination of mozzarella cheese, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil is sure to please even the pickiest eater.
For a simple yet filling snack, combine mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and fresh, chopped basil in a glass jar. Top with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, and store in the refrigerator until hunger strikes.
A premade, store-bought Caprese salad is also an excellent snack choice with fewer calories. The exact nutritional data may depend on the specific ingredients used in the salad.
Apple slices with natural peanut butter
Though apples are a filling and healthy choice on their own, pairing them with natural peanut butter is an even better option.
Peanut butter is packed with protein, the most filling of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat). In fact,
Be sure to choose natural peanut butter that only contains peanuts and salt on the ingredients list, and use the recommended serving size of 2 tablespoons (32 grams) to avoid high calorie consumption.
A small apple served with 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of peanut butter has around 267 calories.
Banana with nut butter
The sweet taste of bananas and the salty, nutty flavor of almond, peanut, or cashew butter can make an excellent snack combination.
Plus, pairing bananas with nut butter makes your snack more filling by increasing protein and fiber.
Try slicing 1 small banana and topping the rounds with 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of almond butter for a filling snack that packs 280 calories.
Figs stuffed with goat cheese
The saltiness of creamy goat cheese pairs well with the sweet flavor and chewiness of figs. Goat cheese is an excellent source of protein, while figs are high in fiber, making them a powerful combination.
To prepare this snack, top fresh, halved figs with a dollop of goat cheese, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. One large fig stuffed with 1 ounce (28 grams) of goat cheese provides 150 calories.
There’s a reason why eggs are often called “nature’s multivitamin”: One large, hard-boiled egg has 78 calories and is packed with vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, phosphorus, healthy fats, and over 6 grams of protein.
Hard-boiled eggs are a portable and convenient snack that pairs well with other nutritious foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheese.
Homemade protein bars
Many protein bars sold in grocery and convenience stores are packed with added sugars and other oils.
But you can easily make your own protein bars with healthier ingredients based on countless recipes in books and online that can be modified to suit your taste preferences.
Look for recipes that use whole-food ingredients, like nuts, seeds, nut butters, dried fruit, and coconut, and are lightly sweetened with sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Calorie content of homemade protein bars can vary widely, but many recipes deliver around 200 calories per bar.
Homemade energy balls
Energy balls are bite-sized morsels made from nutritious ingredients like oats, nuts, coconut, and dried fruit. Snacking on energy balls packed with protein and fiber can help you stay on track with your health goals.
To make homemade energy balls, pulse the following ingredients in a food processor:
- 1/4 cup (32 grams) of cashews
- 3/4 cup (107 grams) of almonds
- 1 1/2 cup (240 grams) of dates
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) of shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of coconut oil
- 1/4 cup (16 grams) of cocoa powder
Roll the mixture into balls and store in the refrigerator for a convenient, whole-food snack. Calorie content varies depending on ingredients and size, but 1 energy ball typically has around 100 calories.
Smoothies are a great way to add more vegetables, fruits, and healthy protein sources to your diet.
Create a protein-packed, nutrient-dense smoothie by combining a leafy green like kale with frozen berries and a scoop of protein powder, such as pea, whey, or hemp protein. Blend with a liquid of your choice, such as water or nut milk.
Nut butters, chia seeds, coconut, cacao nibs, and flax seeds are additional ingredients you can add to smoothies for an extra boost of nutrition. Calorie content can vary widely depending on your ingredients.
For low calorie smoothies, use greens, berries, and protein powder and leave out high calorie ingredients like nut butter and coconut.
Greek yogurt with berries
Greek yogurt is packed with protein and vital nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Meanwhile, berries are loaded with fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants, which
Topping unsweetened Greek yogurt with your choice of berries is a delicious, healthy way to keep hunger at bay while nourishing your body at the same time.
A 5.3-ounce (150-gram) container of plain Greek yogurt topped with 1/2 cup (70 grams) of blueberries delivers 188 calories.
You can choose from various types of jerky, including beef, chicken, salmon, and even vegan-friendly jerky made from mushrooms, eggplant, or coconut.
Most types of jerky are high in protein, low in calories, portable, and convenient — making it a good choice for snacking on the go.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of beef jerky has 116 calories.
Many types of jerky are high in added salt. If you’re watching your sodium intake, be sure to limit your serving size to 1 ounce (28 grams) at a time.
Homemade trail mix
Though store-bought trail mixes are convenient, making your own is simple and cost-effective. Plus, it allows you to make favorite flavor combinations that aren’t available in stores.
Combine your choice of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit with smaller amounts of dark chocolate, coconut, grains, and spices until you create the perfect blend. Most trail mix blends deliver around 158–210 calories per 1/4 cup (30 grams).
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients, including protein, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese — all of which are vital for keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Try toasting pumpkin seeds at home by tossing raw pumpkin seeds in salt, pepper, and olive oil, then baking at 300°F (150°C) in the oven for 40–50 minutes, stirring occasionally or until golden brown. A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving delivers 163 calories.
Roasted almonds with dried cherries
Almonds are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and magnesium, while dried cherries are loaded with fiber and vitamin A. Their flavors complement one another and make a perfect combination.
Cherries also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties due to their high antioxidant content.
A 1/4-cup (28-gram) serving of almonds mixed with 2 tablespoons (20 grams) of dried cherries is 240 calories.
Mini frittata muffins
Mini egg frittata muffins are a filling breakfast food you can enjoy as a portable snack at any time of the day.
Mix beaten eggs with chopped and cooked vegetables of your choice, grated cheese, and seasonings. Pour the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20–30 minutes.
Let cool, then pop the mini frittatas out of the muffin tin and pack them with your lunch for a healthy workday snack option. Most mini frittata muffin recipes deliver around 100 calories per frittata, depending on add-ins.
Plantain chips and guacamole
Plantains are similar to bananas but have a starchier, more neutral flavor. When sliced and cooked, they make excellent alternatives to potato chips.
Pairing plantains with guacamole, a dip made with avocados, lime juice, onions, salt, and various herbs, makes a smart snack choice. Both are loaded with fiber and other beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of plantain chips with 1 ounce (28 grams) of store-bought guacamole delivers 190 calories.
There’s no question that kale is
Tossing raw pieces of kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then baking at 275°F (135°C) in the oven for 20 minutes produces crispy kale chips you can enjoy anytime as a quick snack.
One ounce (28 grams) of store-bought kale chips provides around 122 calories.
Though perhaps not the most popular snack food, sardines are a concentrated source of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and countless other important nutrients.
They’re also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. This special type of fat has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s especially beneficial for heart health.
You can enjoy sardines straight out of the can or pile them on crackers for a filling snack.
One can (106 grams) of sardines has 151 calories.
Shrimp are not only low in calories — with 3 ounces (85 grams) providing 80 calories — but also packed with nutrients, including protein, iron, selenium, and vitamin B12.
Munching on a few shrimps paired with low calorie cocktail sauce made with horseradish, unsweetened ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce is a great snacking choice to keep your hunger at bay.
Smoked salmon bites and cucumber
Pairing low calorie, fiber-rich cucumber slices with flavorful smoked salmon is a tasty way to stay fueled between meals. Salmon is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D.
Simply top half of a sliced cucumber (118 grams) with 1 tablespoon (17 grams) of cream cheese and 2 ounces (55 grams) of sliced smoked salmon. Sprinkle with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and enjoy. This snack has around 103 calories.
Edamame beans are a vegetarian-friendly snack that contains an impressive amount of plant-based protein and fiber.
A 1/2-cup (75-gram) serving of cooked edamame delivers 105 calories and 9 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, making these beans a healthy and filling snack.
Enjoy edamame on their own sprinkled with sea salt, or toss them on a green salad for a boost of plant-based protein.
Like edamame, chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, with 1 ounce (28 grams) of roasted chickpeas packing 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber at 120 calories.
Make your own tasty treat at home by tossing canned chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting them at 450°F (230°C) in the oven for 30–40 minutes until crispy.
Snacking on foods high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals can improve your health and help you stay on track with your wellness goals, such as weight loss.
Homemade energy balls, nut butter with fruit, veggies with hummus, and homemade trail mix are just some of the many healthy and tasty combinations to keep you satisfied throughout the day.
Try out a few of the options listed above to start fueling your body and well-being.