Crackers are a classic snack food, dip scooper-upper and pantry staple. Many of our favorite cheeses just wouldn't be the same without them. But when you're trying to pick out healthy crackers, some boxes leave much to be desired.
We left less-healthy options in the cracker aisle and crunched through 20 nutritious finalists to find these best-tasting and healthiest crackers for cheese, plus these smart shopping tips and numbers to look for.
Meet your ultimate crowd-pleaser: this versatile cracker has a subtle, wheaty taste and great crunch. Pair it with: Any cheese. We liked havarti.
Classic Triscuit taste, but half as thick for the perfect cracker-to-topping ratio. Pair it with: Hard cheeses, like Cheddar.
Thin and crunchy with a sourdough bite, this cracker has the most fiber of our picks. A whopping 6 grams! Pair it with: Tangy cheeses, like goat.
This graham--cracker-size pick is big enough for lunch. (Open-face sammies, anyone?) Pair it with: Blue cheese or other funky favorites.
Gluten-free and deliciously salty with a touch of buttery sweetness, this cracker begs for something mellow. Pair it with: Brie.
Most boxed crackers have a serving size of about 30 grams—which can mean you get anywhere from one to 40 crackers, depending on how big they are. But we did find some as low as 11 grams. And a smaller portion like this may trick you into thinking you're choosing a low--calorie or low-sodium option, but only because you're getting less food. Since most crackers don't break the calorie bank—all our picks are under 140—you have room to put something yummy on them. (Most cheeses have around 100 calories per ounce, and we recommend keeping apps to 250 calories.)
We spotted some varieties as high as 250 mg of sodium per serving—10 percent of your daily recommended intake. Add cheese (Cheddar has 185 mg per ounce) and you're at nearly 20 percent. We say: go for 180 mg sodium or less. Read labels for sugar too. Do you really need a sweet cracker? Aim to keep it under 2 g.
You know to check the fiber (we set our -parameter at a minimum of 3 g), but also look at the ingredients to make sure your cracker is made with whole-grains. We like to get products that list them first, but if you want a cracker with a more neutral taste, opt for one that blends whole-and refined-grain flours. To find a -gluten-free variety that fits within our fiber recommendations, seek out products made with nuts, seeds and gluten-free whole grains.