I'm a Dietitian & These Are the Snacks I Make Ahead for Busy Weeks

super seed snack bars

When thinking about meal prep, you might think of breakfast, lunch or dinner. But one meal that is often overlooked: snacks! It's helpful to have healthy snacks at-the-ready for when hunger strikes (or to help tide you over until your next meal). Much like other meals, healthy snacks can be made ahead of time to simplify your week while saving you time and money. These recipes are some of my favorites for a lot of reasons—they all showcase filling and healthy ingredients like nuts and legumes, they're budget-friendly and many are even shelf stable or can be frozen. Recipes like Fruit & Nut Popcorn Trail Mix and Super-Seed Snack Bars come to my rescue during busy weeks, and our Classic Hummus with sliced vegetables is endlessly customizable to your flavor preferences. These make-ahead snacks help me feel full, focused and energized, all while staying within my budget. For more, check out Thrifty, where we cover all things budget, sustainability and beginner cooking tips.

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

peanut butter energy balls

These healthy peanut butter and chocolate energy balls deliver a mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates to help fuel you up whenever you need a little boost. They're no-bake and easy to make with ingredients you probably have on hand, like oats and nut butter. Feel free to experiment with different mix-ins--for example, dried fruit or chopped nuts--in place of the chocolate chips and coconut.

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Classic Hummus


It's easy to make hummus at home with just a few pantry items. Serve drizzled with your best-quality extra-virgin olive oil and chopped parsley. Mop it up with warm whole-wheat pita bread or cut-up vegetables.

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Fruit & Nut Popcorn Trail Mix


Sweet dried fruit, salty nuts and crunchy popcorn are mixed together to make this super-satisfying, homemade trail mix that travels well.

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Super-Seed Snack Bars


Thanks to a mix of pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and chia seeds, these healthy snack bars are packed with protein, fiber, minerals and healthy fats. Because these bars pack well, they're great for taking along on all-day adventures.

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Jason Mraz's Avocado Green Smoothie


To make this green smoothie recipe a meal-in-a-glass, musician Mraz adds a tablespoon of coconut oil and some sprouted flax or chia seeds.

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Homemade Trail Mix


Try this with portable mix with any combination of dried fruits and nuts.

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No-Sugar-Added Oatmeal Cookies


Classic oatmeal cookies without all the sugar, these better-for-you gluten-free treats get their sweetness from ripe bananas and chopped dates.

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Sweet and Salty Roasted Nuts


Spicy seasonings add a bit of zing to roasted nuts for an appetizer that's perfect for any occasion.

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Strawberry-Blueberry-Banana Smoothie


A smoothie with strawberries, blueberries and banana is delicately sweet and entirely kid-friendly, even with a boost of protein from hemp seeds. Freeze the fruits ahead of time for an extra frosty texture once blended.

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Chile-Lime Peanuts


These spicy nuts were inspired by ones sold by street vendors across Mexico. If you can only find salted peanuts, omit the added salt. Add the maximum amount of cayenne pepper if you want an extra hit of spice.

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Flourless Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Flourless Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

Pulsing rolled oats with eggs, banana, brown sugar and oil creates the moist dough of these chocolaty muffins without a bit of all-purpose flour. These are two-bite muffins with a dense and gooey texture. They're delicately sweet and rich, too, so baking them as mini muffins makes them a perfect snack or quick morning bite.

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