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You know you should pack healthy grocery store snacks like an apple and a baggie full of almonds for that late-afternoon snack, but who has the time? The problem is, skipping that crucial step in the morning can lead to grabbing any number of fatty, sugary snacks when mid-afternoon hunger strikes.
The good news is that there are plenty of packaged snacks available at your local grocery store or specialty food store that you can grab on your way out the door without worrying about your waistline. Don’t just trust us: We reached out to a handful of top nutritionists to find out their favorite healthy store-bought snacks!
Keep reading to see FIRST for Women’s picks for the best healthy snack options you can toss in your bag and enjoy guilt-free!
Best Healthy Popcorn
Lesser Evil Popcorn
Where to buy: $16.95, Amazon
Three cups of popcorn for 114 calories? That’s what you’ll get when you grab a bag of this crunchy snack from Lesser Evil. “This super-simple and delicious, may I add, popcorn is one of my favorite go-to snacks,” says Brittany Modell, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Brittany Modell Nutrition and Wellness. “It is a great source of natural fiber with 5 grams per serving and made with simple ingredients, like organic non-GMO popcorn, organic extra virgin coconut oil, and Himalayan salt.”
Best Healthy Protein Bar
Raw Revolution Glo Protein Bar
Where to buy: $18.87, Amazon
These chewy little bars clock in around 180 calories and boast plenty of fiber and very little saturated fats. Though they come in several flavors (including Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Mixed Nuts Caramel and Sea Salt, and Birthday Cake), Tara Allen, RN, and certified health coach, nutritionist, and personal trainer is partial to this Creamy Peanut Butter Flavor.
“With higher-quality ingredients than most bars this one flavor in particular is very low in sugar, moderate in fat, and packs quite a punch with 11 grams of protein,” she says.
Best Fava Bean Snack
Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom
Where to buy: $19.86, Amazon
Are you a more savory than sweet type? Stash these 100-calorie bags of roasted and seasoned fava beans in your purse, desk drawer, or glove compartment. Available in flavors such as Mesquite BBQ, Garlic and Onion, and Spicy Wasabi, they’re one of Modell’s favorites.
“Fava beans contain 7 grams of protein and 5 to 6 grams of fiber in just one serving,” she says. “These are made with simple ingredients and have a ton of flavor and crunch.”
Best Beet Chips
Rhythm Organic Beet Chips
Where to buy: $13.96, Amazon
If you’re looking to pack more veggies into your day, you can’t go wrong snacking on these crunchy dehydrated beet chips. “I love this product because the ingredients are simple — just beets,” says Modell. “One serving of beet chips is packed with 7 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.”
Not a fan of the earthy vegetable? Check out the brand’s other fun flavors, such as carrot sticks, kale chips, buffalo ranch cauliflower bites, watermelon slices, mango bites, and pineapple chips.
Best Hard Boiled Eggs
Organic Valley Good to Go Hard Boiled Eggs
Where to buy: $2.39, FreshDirect
You may think of eggs as a breakfast staple, but they make a solid afternoon snack too. “I love these grab-and-go hardboiled egg packs,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN.
“You get an instant dose of fueling protein — 6 grams per 60-calorie egg — which helps keep you fuller for longer. I love to eat my hardboiled eggs with a dash of everything bagel seasoning ($6.59, Amazon).”
Best Seaweed Snacks
Gimme Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks
Where to buy: $14.49 (Originally $15.99), Amazon
You know those times you want to eat but you’re not actually hungry? When the munchies hit, Gorin suggests going for these seaweed snacks, which come in flavors like Wasabi, Sesame, and Olive Oil.
“They satisfy a craving for crunchy, and each snack pack is just 25 calories,” she says. “You also get a little bit of filling protein and fiber.”
Best Healthy Snack Mix
Sargento Balanced Breaks
Where to buy: $3.22, Amazon
Can’t decide between cheese, nuts, or dried fruit? Grab one of these 180-calorie snack packs and you won’t have to. Each one contains a mix of low-fat cheese, such as sharp cheddar, Monterey jack, and gouda, plus roasted almonds, peanuts, cashews, dried raisins, and cranberries.
“They come in packs of three and provide all macronutrients for a satiating snack in the car or while out for the day,” says nutritionist Maria Sylvester Terry, MS.
Best Cheese Snack
Where to buy: $23.99, Amazon
OK, the name is a little weird, but if your snack of choice is cheese and you don’t want the calories that typically come along with it, try these crunchy cheese bites. “You might not think of cheese as a great grab-and-go snack, but think again,” says Modell. “Moon cheese is made with 100 percent cheese and packed with 10 [to 11] grams of protein per serving.”
The 160 to 170-calorie snack bags don’t need to be refrigerated, and come in fun flavors, such as Cheddar Me Bacon Crazy, Get Pepper Jacked, Oh My Gouda, Cheddar Believe It, and Garlickin Parmesan.
Best Healthy Canned Latte
La Colombe Coffee Roasters Draft Latte Triple
Where to buy: $33.71, Amazon
For those times you need a super-charged pick-me-up in the afternoon, meet this 120 calorie latte in a can. “Yes, a latte can be a snack,” says Gorin. “Each latte combines lactose-free milk with cold-pressed espresso. In addition to caffeine, you also get a good source of protein — 7 grams per latte. Grab a piece of fruit from the produce section, and you have an instant, well-rounded snack.”
Best Sweet Snack
Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Where to buy: $32.99, Amazon
If your sweet tooth has you reaching for a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, give these Unreal dark chocolate versions a try instead. “They are free of corn, soy, dairy, dyes, artificial flavors, and preservatives,” says Modell. “They are also made with free-trade certified ingredients.”
Each package will set you back just 80 calories and 5 grams of sugar, compared with Reese’s 220 calories and 22 grams of sugar.