Best Healthy Whole-Grain Snacks to Pack

By: Brierley Horton, M.S., R.D.

Good-for-you choices for on-the-go living that will satisfy everyone in your house—kids and adults alike—and help you get your fill of fiber.

Eat plenty of whole grains and you'll reap a long list of health benefits. Truly. (C'mon, carb haters, keep reading!)

You'll likely have lower cholesterol, better blood pressure, a lower risk of diabetes and better blood sugar management; even your liver and teeth may be healthier. Research also shows you could live longer, as well as cut your risk of dying from heart disease and cancer.

If you're watching your weight, whole grains are also helpful: people who eat more whole grains tend to have lower BMIs and smaller waists, and gain less weight over time. In fact, in one study, people who ate whole grains (and got their recommended amount of fiber) ate fewer total calories each day and had healthier weights than their counterparts who ate refined grains (think: white bread, pasta and rice and baked goods) without much fiber.

Learn more: 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Fiber

And while all those are amazing reasons for eating more whole grains, it can be tricky to eat more whole grains when you're on the go.

These healthy packaged snacks make it easy to sneak more whole grains into your daily living. The first ingredient in each is a whole grain, which is important. Some products look whole-grain but are actually still made with a fair amount of refined grains (we're looking at you, wheat bread that's made with white flour instead of whole-wheat flour).

These store-bought snacks aren't just good for you—we tasted them all and they're also delicious. (To make your own healthy whole-grain snacks, check out these healthy recipes.)

Kid-Friendly Whole-Grain Snacks

Plum Organics Mighty Snack Bars (Blueberry)

Blueberry Snackbars

Photo via Amazon.com

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Designed for littles, you'll find these in the baby-food section of your grocery store. But these snack bars work for all ages—and adult and kid tasters gave them a thumbs- up. There's not much to them (only 70 calories and 1 gram each of fiber and protein), so consider them a lighter snack. But they're fairly generous in their vitamin and mineral count, and each bar has 5 grams whole grains.

Ella's Kitchen Organic Nibbly Fingers (Apples + Strawberries)

nibbly fingers

Photo via Amazon.com

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Also designed for toddlers, you'll find these in the baby-food section too. Each slightly sweetened bar is small and the nutrition says a serving is 1/3 of a bar (for a baby), so be sure to triple what you see on the packaging, as most kids will eat an entire bar. Still, one whole bar is 90 calories and only 6 grams of sugar. The bars also are sweetened with real fruit, and whole-grain oats are the first ingredient.

Jif Power Ups (Apple Cinnamon)

power ups apple cinnamonPhoto via Walmart.com

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This new snack made by Jif is kid- and parent-approved. Peanut butter and cinnamon and apple flavorings are rolled together into bite-size balls with whole oats. They're slightly sweet (there's just over a teaspoon of added sugar in each serving), but fairly filling with 3 grams fiber, 6 grams protein and 190 calories for each individual pouch.

Whole-Grain Snacks for Adults

Bobo's Oat Bar (Original)

original oat barsPhoto via Amazon.com

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Hearty and filling, this mostly oat-based baked bar has a fairly simple ingredient list and is vegan and gluten- and soy-free. Eater beware, though: the nutrition listed is for half of the bar so if you eat it all (we did!), double all of the numbers (1/2 bar has 180 calories, 2 grams fiber and only 75 milligrams sodium).

Rice Ramen Noodle Soup (Masala Curry)

You might not think of this as a whole-grain snack, but all you have to do is add boiling water to the brown-rice noodles (brown rice is a whole grain) and seasonings that are already in the cup. This tasty snack is ready in 3 minutes—for only 210 calories, 480 milligrams sodium (which is so much lower than most other cup-based soups) and 3 grams fiber.

GG Exceptional Fiber Scandinavian Fiber Crispbread (Raisin & Honey)

fiber crispbreadPhoto via Amazon.com

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These hearty crackers are tasty and quite crisp, as their name implies, but they're for the eater that leans toward the health-nut category—as they're quite earnest and fibrous in their texture. A single cracker is fairly large and only 40 calories, yet has 2 grams fiber and 0 milligrams sodium. Use them as a base for a little tuna or chicken salad, or a smear of soft cheese, and you'll have a very satisfying snack.

Whole-Grain Snacks Everyone Will Love

Skinny Pop Popcorn Mini Cakes (Sharp Cheddar)

popcorn mini cakes

Photo via Target.com

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You might not know this, but popcorn is a whole grain (and is naturally low in calories) so it's a slam-dunk healthy snack choice, as long as you don't go wild on the butter or other seasonings. These mini cakes are full of flavor and pack in 4 grams fiber, with no added sugars whatsoever and only 120 calories per serving.

Quinn Pretzels (Classic Sea Salt)

seasalt pretzels

Photo via Amazon.com

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These are one of the few pretzel brands on the market that are made with whole-grain flour. Most pretzels are made with enriched wheat flour—and that's not a whole grain. These particular pretzels are made with whole-grain sorghum flour, making them gluten-free. And the sodium in them (260 milligrams per 33-pretzel serving) isn't all that high compared to many other brands.

Bob's Better Bar (Peanut Butter Jelly & Oats)

peanut butter jelly bobs better oat bar

Photo via Bob's Red Mill 

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These brand-new bars from Bob's are slightly more dense, moist and chewy than both Bobo's and Cascadian Farm bars. It's likely because the first ingredient is peanuts (for all of the flavors, actually), but the second is whole-grain oats. Clocking in at 210 calories, they also give you some fiber (3 grams) and protein (7 grams), helping to make these pretty filling.

Cascadian Farm Organic Soft-Baked Squares (Oats & Chocolate)

organic oats chocolate bars

Photo via Amazon.com

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This soft and chewy version of their classic chocolate chip granola bar is great for kids and adults. One bar has 150 calories and 2 grams fiber. And the first two ingredients are whole grains (the third is sugar).

Kodiak Cakes Flapjack-on-the-Go Cup (Buttermilk & Maple)

powercakes buttermilk maple flapjack

Photo via Amazon.com

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Designed for breakfast, yes, but these quick-cooking pancakes-in-a-cup are easy to take with you on the go—simply add water and microwave briefly. It's a hearty snack at around 250 calories, but you get a solid 10 grams protein. These are on the higher side in sugar (15 grams) but they do come with their own maple syrup (in the form of flakes) so you don't need to add additional sweetener.

Related:
Metabolism-Boosting Snacks
Top 10 Healthy Snacks for Kids

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