6 Dietitian-Approved Packaged Snacks for When You're Short on Time
Just like everyone, I have busy days and end up hungry and in desperate need of a snack. When it comes to packaged snacks, I like something with protein, fiber and nutrients to fuel my body, but also want my snacks to taste good. Picking packaged snack foods at the grocery store or convenience store on a whim can get expensive over time, and can lead to food waste with excess packaging.
There are some snacks that make the cut for me. These snacks aren't too expensive. Though some items on this list are in single-serve containers, they are worth the extra cost and packaging for me, since they will store longer and I don't end up tossing half eaten packages in the trash. Plus, they are pre-portioned and ready to go whenever I am. Whether it's to fight an afternoon craving or to keep you full until your next meal time, these dietitian-approved healthy packaged snacks are ready to grab and go for whatever your day brings.
Related: Best Healthy Roadtrip Snacks
Bear Naked High-Protein Granola
Bear Naked recently launched a new line of high-protein granolas. Each flavor has 10 grams of protein and 280 calories per serving, and is packed with high-fiber whole grains to keep you full and satisfied for longer. With flavors like Oatmeal Cookie Chunk and Peanut Butter Toffee Crunch, these snacks taste like some of your favorite desserts, but deliver a little more nutrition. Enjoy them over milk or yogurt, on top of a smoothie or on their own as clusters. They are shelf stable and can be stored at your desk for easy access when hunger strikes. Not to mention, a 12-ounce pack has 5 servings and is less than $4. (Buy it: $3.38 per 12-ounces, Walmart.com.)
Real Jerky Co.
Think of this snack as traditional jerky with a healthy twist. It is lower in sodium and added sugar than traditional beef jerky, and there are delicious flavors to choose from. Whether you prefer Asian Style Teriyaki or Chipotle Cracked Pepper, Real Jerky Co. has you covered. They also have a plain original, for you purists in the crowd. There are 10 grams of protein per serving to help keep you full until your next meal. Get a four-pack of jerky with 2.5 servings per pack on Amazon for $24. (Buy it: from $24.14, Amazon.com.)
Sabra Hummus Singles
When you are in the mood for something savory, try Sabra Hummus Single packs. These packets are perfectly portioned and ready to enjoy with everything from pita to crackers to cut vegetables. They are great to have for hummus on the go, or when you know you won't go through a whole container of hummus before it goes bad. They boast an impressive three grams of fiber and four grams of protein per serving, which makes for a perfect snack when paired with nutritious vegetables or whole-grain crackers. Oh, and did I mention they are less than $5 for a 6-pack. (Buy it: $4.72, Walmart.com.)
Especially when you are on the run, KIND bars are a great healthy snack choice. They're made with nuts and dried fruit, and have less added sugar compared to most other packaged granola bars. Their Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar only has five grams of sugar, compared to 22 grams in a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar. Plus, they are available at most gas stations and convenience stores for when you need something in a pinch. You can also buy them for your pantry and pay less than $15 for 12 bars. (Buy it: $14.22, Walmart.com.) That's only $1.25 per bar, which is cheaper than most gas stations sell them for, so it pays to plan ahead. My personal favorite is the Almond & Coconut flavor, which has 190 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per bar.
Chobani Greek Yogurt
Whether it's for a quick and easy breakfast or a grab-and-go snack, I am always relying on Chobani's individual serving Greek yogurt cups. They are super affordable and nutritious. You can buy a four-pack at for less than $4, that's less than $1 per yogurt. (Buy it: $3.96, Walmart.com.) Their single-serve plain yogurt contains only 80 calories, 14 grams of protein and 15% of your daily calcium needs. I usually add fruit and sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, myself to avoid the added sugar in fruit flavors.
Cabot Cheddar Cheese Snack Bars
Cabot cheese is always at the top of my snack list, because they make delicious cheddar. I usually buy a few individual slices, so I don't need a cutting board and knife ready every time I want to enjoy some cheese. They make 0.75-ounce snack bars that are perfect for lunch boxes, or for when you just need something small, creamy and delicious. Each bar has 80 calories, 5 grams of protein and only 10% of your daily sodium needs so you can feel nourished and full from this cute little snack. Pair with sliced apples or whole grain crackers for a heartier snack. You can find Cabot products at most major grocery stores.
We all have days (or weeks, if we are being honest) where the last thing on your mind is cooking a snack from scratch. Being busy doesn't mean you need to sacrifice eating healthy, and these snacks are proof. Plus, it can save you money, help you plan ahead and also can cut down on food waste as well. Whether it's a single serving of cheese or yogurt, flavorful granola or savory beef jerky, these are a few dietitian-approved snacks I rely on in busy weeks.