These healthy snack ideas will become your best friends to beat the afternoon cravings. Plenty of sweet and savory snack recipes you can plan and meal prep in advance. Plus some no-cook snacks for when you have only 5 minutes to spare.
Do you ever find yourself getting hungry at 4 pm and reaching for the first thing you can get your hands on? The next time afternoon cravings hit, be prepared and have something wholesome and nutritious nearby.
When it comes to snacking, there are different schools of thought.
Some experts tell us to eat only 2-3 meals a day and avoid snacking entirely. While others suggest that snacking can help reduce hunger. The truth is that several studies indicate that snacking between meals does not affect weight, one way or the other.
So my take is that you should do what works for you.
Although we can all agree on one thing: no matter how much or how little you like to snack, everything you put in your mouth needs to be made with wholesome, unprocessed ingredients.
I know there are plenty of convenient foods you can buy, and these days, anything seems to have the label organic, natural, and healthy. But if you actually read those labels, you’ll often find ingredients that aren’t meant to be eaten.
This is why I put together this list of healthy snack recipes that are easy to plan and prepare to help you avoid reaching for unhealthy options.
Plus plenty of tips to help you pick the best snack for you.
Also check: 25 Summer Snack Ideas To Keep You Cool
25 Healthy Snack Ideas To Satisfy Your Cravings
Whether you are a sweet or savory snack kind of person, I have healthy options for you. I usually go for sweet snacks in the afternoon or after a workout and keep the salty snacks for those days when I get hungry close to dinner time, and I just need to grab something quick before I starve!
Just click on your favorite type of snack below to jump to the recipes!
Sweet Healthy Snacks
Yes, these are sweet snacks. But sweet doesn’t mean full of sugar. When it comes to sweet options for your snack, remember that fruit (either fresh or dried) is your best friend.
A few recipes here use either maple syrup or brown sugar to give a touch of sweetness. Sure, you should avoid having added sugar every day to keep your snacks healthy. But a bit of fun here and there can help you stay on track!
These apple nachos are the perfect healthy snack idea! They are fresh apples with all their juiciness and fiber, topped with protein-rich peanut butter, chopped nuts rich in healthy fats to keep you fuller for longer, and some cacao nibs for extra crunchiness.
SNACK TIP: You can quickly prep this snack in advance by simply adding a touch of lemon juice to the apples to keep them from browning.
Smoothies are an easy way to sneak more fruit and veggies into your diet. And this green smoothie is the perfect example of a nutritious, healthy snack that you can make in no time with wholesome ingredients that will keep you energized. Made with spinach, oranges, apples, and bananas, it’s perfect for giving you a vitamin boost.
SNACK TIP: You can prep the fruit and veggies in advance and freeze them in containers, ready to blend when you need your snack.
Yes, almond butter (or any nut butter, really) is incredibly healthy. Some of you might think that it’s full of fats. And you wouldn’t be wrong. But the fat in nuts is very different from the processed fat in pre-packaged snacks you can buy, and it can actually help you lose weight.
SNACK TIP: You can eat almond butter on wholegrain bread, topped with banana slices, blueberries, and chia seeds. Or you can simply dip some fruit in it (like apple slices).
This creamy and rich berry smoothie is ready in less than 5 minutes, and it’s naturally sweet, packed with omega-3, fiber, and fruit. It’s so good and thick that it almost tastes like berry ice cream. One of my favorite!
SNACK TIP: By using frozen berries, you’ll save money but still get all the nutrients from the fruit.
These peanut butter balls are ready in record time, require minimal ingredients, and are a great pick-me-up snack. Naturally sweetened with dates, they are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
SNACK TIP: You can freeze these peanut butter balls for up to 3 months, making them the perfect healthy snack for meal prep.
When I am craving something really sweet, these stuffed dates come to the rescue. They couldn’t be easier to make. Simply slice open a few Medjool dates, remove the pit, and fill them with peanut, almond, or cashew nut butter. Top with some crunchy toppings, and you’ve just made yourself a super nutritious little healthy snack.
SNACK TIP: You can keep these in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 weeks.
Overnight oats are usually great for breakfast, but they are also a filling snack if you had a light lunch or had to skip it altogether. I love how versatile they are. You can pretty much top them with anything, and they will be delicious, as long as you get the base recipe right.
SNACK TIP: You can keep these in the fridge for up to a week, as long as you put the toppings on at the last minute.
Sweet chips for a healthy snack? Count me in! These delicious baked cinnamon apple chips are incredibly easy to make with just two ingredients: cinnamon and apples. You can use any variety, but sweeter apples like Fuji and Pink Lady work best.
SNACK TIP: You can store these at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. But I find that the sooner you eat them, the crispier they are.
Creamy yogurt topped with berries and a sprinkle of granola is perfect for an indulgent treat without the guilt.
SNACK TIP: You can store yogurt parfaits for up to 3-4 days in the fridge, a mason jar, or an airtight container. But sprinkle the granola on top at the last minute to keep the crunchiness.
I know, I know, they are called breakfast cookies. But these cookies are not only delicious for breakfast. They are the perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack too. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, they are not too sweet so that you can eat a whole batch in one go (I do!).
SNACK TIP: If you are not a banana lover, you can make these with apples too.
And if you love cookies, you will love these chocolate hazelnut cookies. Made with no flour and no added sugar, they are so delicious that you won’t believe they are healthy.
SNACK TIP: You can store them in an airtight container for up to a week (but they’ll never last that long!).
When we think about healthy snack ideas, muffins aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. So, let’s be honest: they are not as healthy as other snacks. But if you need a little treat without too much guilt, these oil-free muffins are just what you are looking for. Note: I reduced the sugar amount in half when I baked them, and they still came out perfectly sweet and much healthier.
SNACK TIP: Perfect to make ahead. You can store them in an airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Oh boy! These no-bake granola bars are so much better than the expensive bars you can buy! They take just 15 minutes to make and are perfect for carrying around.
SNACK TIP: Keep them in the fridge for up to 1 week, but they are best kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. They are also great as energy balls.
Savory Healthy Snack Ideas
Ok savory snack people camp! Here I have a collection of the best healthy snack ideas for you. Just one thing to remember: don’t add too much salt to your snacks. Sure, salt can help to enhance flavors, but it can also increase your blood pressure.
So keep an eye on how much you sprinkle on your snacks!
I have a problem with this snack. Sure, it’s incredibly healthy and full of protein, but every time I bake these crunchy roasted chickpeas, I end up eating the whole lot! And can you blame me? They are delicious. The trick here is to roast them at a slightly lower temperature for around 50 minutes. It takes a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, the oven will do most of the work, not you!
SNACK TIP: Store them at room temperature for up 3 days.
Air-popped corns are one of the healthiest snacks out there. In fact, it’s what Dan and I have most evenings in front of the TV (or shall I say, laptop, lol). You can either use a cheap air-popping machine from Amazon, like this one, or pop them on the stove.
Avoid adding oil and use only natural toppings for added flavor, like a pinch of salt and spices (I love adding some sweet smoked paprika to mine).
SNACK TIP: Get a cheap hot air popper to have delicious crunchy popcorn ready in no time!
Dips and spreads are perfect for spreading on crackers or dunking veggies. This classic homemade hummus is one of my favorites. But you can add other ingredients to it to spice it up a bit, like this carrot hummus or beetroot hummus.
SNACK TIP: You can make this ahead and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. And you might not know this, but you can freeze hummus too for up to 4 months.
These oatcakes are made with simple, natural, and wholesome ingredients. The perfect gluten-free and dairy-free snack! You can eat them on their own or use them as a base for a healthy spread like the hummus above or a delicious baba ganoush.
SNACK TIP: Use medium oatmeal or rolled oats for the best crispy and crumbly result.
Ok, this really is a 5-minute snack. You simply need to defrost the edamame (shelled or not, you pick), add some salt or some soy sauce, and a sprinkle of chili, and you have made yourself a protein-packed snack in no time.
SNACK TIP: Keep a bag of edamame in the freezer. It’s one of the easiest healthy snack ideas to make in 5 minutes!
Multi-seed crackers can be pretty expensive to buy. So, why not make your own? These crackers are a breeze to put together, and they can be easily made oil-free. They are perfect for dipping in hummus but also delicious on their own.
SNACK TIP: Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
I love falafels. The real deal is deep-fried and not the healthiest snack out there. But this baked version is simply perfect for satisfying your savory needs. I usually grab 4 or 5 falafels and dip them in some tahini sauce as a snack. Delicious!
SNACK TIP: Falafels keep well in the freezer. To reheat, put them in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes until they’re crisp and heated through.
There isn’t much to say about avo toast, is there? It’s filling, flavorful, and full of healthy fats. In this version, I added chickpeas for an extra protein boost.
SNACK TIP: You can use crispy roasted chickpeas to add on top of this avocado toast if you prefer their crunchier texture.
Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, and fiber. To keep them as healthy as possible, avoid using butter (as much as you might like) and simply sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper. They are delicious!
SNACK TIP: Roast your sweet potatoes in the oven ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. When snack time comes, reheat them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, and you are ready to go.
I have a confession to make: kale chips aren’t really my thing, and I find them a bit hard to chew and not that crispy. But they are definitely healthy. And if you like them, there’s nothing that beats making them yourself. This recipe is one of the best I tried.
SNACK TIP: You can store them in an airtight container and eat them within 5 – 6 days. But they are crispier as soon as they are baked.
These tostadas are great for a quick lunch or dinner too. But if you are hungry enough, they can be perfect as a healthy snack as they only take 10 minutes to prepare.
SNACK TIP: You can prepare the filling ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. Once ready to snack, simply assemble the tostadas.
What are the best healthy snacks to eat?
If you want to make sure you eat the best wholesome snacks, pick one of these healthy snack ideas:
- Fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Raw veggies (either on their own or dipped in hummus)
- Air-popped popcorn with some sea salt flakes (no oil)
- Mixed nuts
- Any kind of nut butter
- Sweet potatoes
- Roasted chickpeas or spicy cashews
- Overnight oats
- Energy balls
- Chia pudding
What snacks are easy to make?
If you are after some healthy snack ideas that take around 5 minutes to prepare, these are my favorite:
- Apple nachos (or simply slice some apples and dunk them in peanut butter)
- Rice cakes with almond butter or smashed avocado on top
- Air-popped popcorn
- Veggies and hummus
- Peanut butter or almond butter on wholegrain toast (with any toppings you like, like blueberries or banana slices)
- Yogurt with berries
- Dark chocolate and almonds
Top tips to follow when preparing your snacks
1. Don’t buy crap.
Yep, that’s rule number one of healthy snacking. You see, if your kitchen is full of unhealthy choices, no matter how good-willed you are, you’ll fall into the temptation when you are hungry and unprepared. S-T-O-P buying processed food, sugary snacks, and crisps.
2. The trick is in the planning.
Make sure you have a list of your favorite snacks to make handy. It can be in your planner or hand-written on pretty printables. Or it can simply be a list on your phone somewhere. Make sure you have 3-5 snacks you love that you can alternate throughout the week.
3. Execution is key.
Set aside a few hours on Sunday to get your weekly snacks ready.
- Chop veggies and wash fruit. Carrots, peppers, celery, cucumber, apples. Get them ready to eat and store them in some glass containers. So every time you get hungry, you don’t have to get the vegetable peeler out. You can simply grab something healthy on the go.
- Make dips. Hummus, pesto, baba ganoush. Anything you fancy.
- Prep your smoothies. Add the ingredients in jars and store them in the freezer (like I do here).
- Bake. Cookies, brownies, oatcakes. Or simply prepare ahead energy balls or bars.
4. Do not fixate on calories
Honestly, I see it everywhere. People keep asking about how many calories are in a celery stick.
It does NOT matter. We now know that it is not as simple as calories in, calories out. One hundred calories from an apple aren’t the same as 100 calories from white sugar. The composition of the food you eat is what matters the most.
If you want to eat healthy snacks, choose whole foods. What do I mean when I say whole foods? Anything that you can recognize the name of, and it’s not processed at all or minimally processed.
Think of any food that doesn’t need a label at the supermarket.
Whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts.
Studies are proving this more and more. Eating nuts, for example, can help to lose weight. Yes, those little nuts are full of calories and fats. These studies here and here show that eating nuts may boost the number of calories burned at rest, even if the rest of your diet doesn’t change. That’s just one of the power of eating whole foods.
Ready to become a healthy snack pro?
Next time you get hungry in the middle of the day, pick whole foods instead of processed options full of refined sugar and saturated fats.
Having some nutritious options handy can help you boost your energy levels and waistline!
25 Healthy Snack Ideas (Insanely Good And Guilt-Free)
- Rule number 1. Don't buy processed food, sugary snacks, and crisps.
- Rule number 2. Plan. Make sure you select a few healthy options from this post.
- Rule number 3. Set aside a few hours on Sunday to get your weekly snacks ready.
- Rule number 4. Calories don't matter as much as the quality of what you eat. And I don't necessarily mean organic. Make sure you eat whole foods as much as possible. Whole grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts.
What are your favorite healthy snacks to eat every day? Let me know in the comments!