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Snacks are one of my favorite subjects. As a mom of three, I think about and distribute snacks multiple times a day — I even published a new cookbook on snacking called Everyday Snack Tray, which offers a bunch of fun and creative ideas for snack trays. Whether we’re talking about snacks for weight loss or a quick bite on the go, you could say I’m somewhat of a snack queen!

As a nation, we’re snacking more than ever before, with one-quarter of our calories coming from snacks. And 55% of Gen Z is cobbling meals together from an assortment of snacks, according to a recent report by PR firm Ketchum. (Remember the “girl dinner” TikTok trend?)

You may think of snacks as extra calories that are just for kicks, but they can help you get important nutrients in your diet, keep energy levels up between meals, and even help you lose weight. It all comes down to what you’re snacking on.

How to snack for weight loss

For people who are trying to lose or maintain weight, one of the biggest challenges is finding snacks that help you feel full and satisfied. As you may have heard before, fiber is key to providing this feeling of satiety. Looking for snacks that provide at least 3 grams of fiber per serving is a smart place to start. And if you can pair a high-fiber snack with protein and healthy fat, that’s the golden ticket.

When you’re thinking about snacks to help you lose weight, you may be tempted to pick the lowest-calorie treat. But opting for a nosh that helps you feel full and provides you with necessary nutrients is the key to staying on track.

I always advise clients to put their snack on a plate or in a bowl. It helps you slow down and be more mindful about what you’re about to eat. And even though it’s tempting to scroll and snack, putting your phone away will help you focus on the enjoyment of what you’re eating.

Healthy snacks for adults

Celery with peanut butter

This classic pairing has a lot going for it. Two medium celery stalks provide 2 grams of filling fiber, plus potassium for heart health. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for an additional 3 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein for a crunchy, anytime snack. 

Apple slices with almond butter and honey

If you love to dip, this snack will be your jam. Slice up your favorite type of apple (you’ll get 4 to 5 grams of fiber) and dip into a creamy mix of 2 tablespoons of almond butter, which offers 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, and a drizzle of honey. 

Greek yogurt and strawberries

Creamy and thick, Greek yogurt is known for its satisfying texture. A three-quarter cup serving of 2% Greek yogurt packs an impressive 17 grams of the protein into just 120 calories, along with 200 miligrams of bone-building calcium. Top it with 1 cup of sliced strawberries to add 3 grams of fiber, vitamin C and more than 200 milligrams of potassium. 

Diced pear with cottage cheese

With 6 grams of fiber, pears are a delicious and juicy way to feel fuller. Add them to creamy and versatile cottage cheese, with 14 grams of protein per half-cup serving, and you’ve got a balanced snack.

Carrots with hummus

Does it get any more classic than this combo? You can even pick up snack packs with both ingredients that make snack time a no-brainer. One medium carrot and a half-cup of hummus offer up a combined 230 calories, 9 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, plus plenty of crunch.

Guacamole with jicama

Pop open a 2-ounce guacamole snack pack, which offers up 3 grams of fiber and 11 grams of heart-healthy fat, and get dipping with jicama sticks. You can often find this root vegetable, which tastes somewhere between a potato and an apple, precut at the grocery store.

Whole grain cereal with milk

You don’t need to be a kid to appreciate a good bowl of cereal. Look for one with less than 9 grams of added sugar, 4 or more grams of fiber and about 150 to 160 calories per serving. Pair it with your favorite milk any time of day.

Cheese stick and mandarin orange

Cheese sticks are a go-to for me. They are what I grab when it’s noon and I’m still stuck at my desk with a deadline. One cheese stick will net you 7 grams of protein for just 80 calories. I pair them with a quick-peeling mandarin orange, which is refreshing and adds 3 grams of fiber.

Broccoli florets with pimento cheese

One cup of broccoli will net you just 30 calories, and provides 3 grams of filling fiber, as well as cancer-fighting compounds. Dip the florets (steamed or raw) into 2 tablespoons of pimento cheese (110 calories, 4 grams of protein) for a savory and satisfying snack. 

Cauliflower florets, ranch dip and pretzels

Ranch — 2 tablespoons have 50 calories — is a classic, and I love how it makes it so easy to enjoy your veggies. One cup of cauliflower has less than 30 calories and 2.5 grams of fiber. Add a mini bag of pretzels and you’ve got a super fun snack.

Rye crispbread, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

For crunch, versatility and fiber 4 grams per serving, you can’t beat a rye crispbread. And they’re a calorie bargain at just 40 calories. We like them topped with creamy goat cheese and the pop of pomegranate seeds. 

Kimchi  and hummus on rye crispbread

Spicy kimchi helps wake up your afternoon snack routine. It’s a low-calorie way to boost the flavor of any dish, and it provides a healthy boost to your gut, too. A quarter cup of hummus adds 4 grams of plant protein to your tasty treat. 

Baked sweet potato, avocado and cheese

A small sweet potato has 54 calories, which comes along with 2 grams of fiber, magnesium, potassium and a boatload of beta-carotene. Top it with one-quarter cup diced avocado and you’ll net another gram of fiber. Melt 2 tablespoons of cheese on top and you’ve got a tasty mini meal.

Hard boiled egg , everything bagel seasoning and cherry tomatoes

With an excellent protein source and a boatload of essential nutrients, eggs make a smart snack. Add a sprinkle of seasoning to boost the flavor and enjoy with refreshing cherry tomatoes. 

Avocado and Ezekiel bread

Known for its high fiber and protein content, Ezekiel bread is a very smart slice. Since each piece is just 80 calories, you can load up on toppings like avocado. I recommend using one-third of the fruit, which provides an additional 3 grams of fiber, 250 milligrams of potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. 

Grapefruit and cheddar cheese

Your mom and her friends likely had grapefruit in their go-to basket of low-cal snacks, but there’s actually some evidence that this citrus fruit can help shrink your waist. A study found that when eaten daily, grapefruit modestly helped with shedding pounds, and it also helped to significantly reduce waist circumference and drop both blood pressure and total cholesterol. Try it one-half broiled with a sprinkle of brown sugar on top and enjoy a 1-ounce wedge of cheddar on the side for 7 grams of protein and 15% of your daily calcium.

Egg wrap with cheese and spinach:

Egg-based wraps are great because you can use them just like a tortilla, but they offer 5 grams in the protein department and have just 30 calories. Fill them with whatever you like, from shredded cheese and salsa to leftover chicken and roasted veggies. 

Pistachios

In-shell pistachios are great for folks who tend tend to eat mindlessly in front of the TV. Studies have shown that when people eat in-shell pistachios, they eat more slowly and therefore munch on fewer calories. Half a cup of in-shell pistachios is 160-calories and provides 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and takes a good while to enjoy. 

Chicken chips

I know what you’re thinking: Chips made from chicken? Yes! They are extremely tasty and satisfying thanks to 13 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber a 170-calorie serving. You can buy them prepackaged or make them at home for a keto-friendly snack.

Lupini beans, baby carrots and crackers

If you haven’t tried lupini beans, you’re in for a treat. These giant Italian beans have a great texture, and you can find them with flavorings like lemon and garlic. One serving, which contains 15 beans, boasts 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 35 calories. Add a serving of baby carrots for beta-carotene and another 3 grams of fiber, and round it out with a serving of whole grain crackers.

Healthy snacks on the go

Clients often tell me that they find it fairly easy to eat balanced meals and snacks at home, but when they’re traveling or super busy, they struggle to make healthy choices. The key is to keep tasty, filling snacks with you that you can reach for when your stomach starts rumbling.

Roasted chickpeas

Per half-cup serving of roasted chickpeas, you’ll get 6 grams of fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar, plus 7 grams of protein. Add a bag to your purse, gym bag and carry-on.

Trail mix

It’s true that some of these mixes can be heavy on sugar, so look for ones that are individually packaged and have a nice mix of nuts and dried fruit. A little bit of dark chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Pro tip: Big box stores are a great place to find this sometimes-pricy snack. 

Apple and peanut butter packet

The fresh crunch of an apple and the creamy goodness of peanut butter are a match made in heaven. The peanut butter packet provides 7 grams of protein and 1 grams of fiber in 210 satisfying calories. A small apple ups the game with another 4 grams of fiber in 78 calories.

Almonds and popcorn

This mix is great for folks who love to crunch. Studies show that a reduced-calorie diet that includes almonds is helpful for both weight loss and heart health. Combine 1 ounce of almonds with 1 cup of air-popped popcorn for a super portable snack. 

Energy bar and mandarin orange

Look for a bar made with egg whites, nuts and dates for satisfying sweetness and 12 grams of protein to help you recover after a workout. The refreshing mandarin orange adds just 53 calories, plus vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Blueberries and breakfast biscuits

A half-cup serving of blueberries provides 2 grams of fiber in just 40 calories. Add a package of breakfast biscuits, which offers 2 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.

Roasted edamame and banana

A .9-ounce bag of edamame nets you 4 grams of fiber and a whopping 11 grams of protein. Plain ones are only 100 calories, so pair the edamame with a medium banana, which contains 105 calories, for more of an energy boost.

Beef or turkey jerky and apple slices

Meat lovers, rejoice! Jerky makes a satisfying snack. A 1-ounce serving racks up 10 grams of protein and just 2.5 grams of fat. But since there’s no fiber in meat, pair your jerky with apple slices, which provide 5 grams, plus vitamin C and potassium.

Cheese crisps and cashews

Baked cheese chips, which you can buy or make at home, are a cheese-lover’s dream. A 1-ounce serving packs 13 grams of protein and 30% of your daily calcium into a savory 150-calorie snack. Make a crunchy combo with 2 tablespoons of cashews, which serve up 2.5 grams of protein.

Olives and prunes

You might think of olives as a pizza topping, but they make a fabulous on-the-go snack. Find them in pouches or pack them up in a leakproof container. Five olives contain just 20 calories and are loaded with heart-healthy fats. You can also find prunes in single-serve pouches. Not only do prunes help keep your gastrointestinal system, when eaten daily, they help keep your bones strong. 

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