Let’s chat a little about healthy snacking today, shall we? First things first, this post is being sponsored by Sargento. They are compensating me for this post, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
If you know me at all, you know I love snacking! I function best when I don’t go more than a few hours without eating so snacks are must for me! In fact, I believe that having healthy snacks on hand is just as important as having healthy meals on hand. If you’ve seen my Sunday Food Prep series, you know that I believe prepping healthy food on the weekend is a key factor in helping you and your loved ones eat healthy during the week. When I do my food prep, I prep a lot of foods that will help me make easy lunches and dinners, but I also spend a little time focusing on what snacks I’m going to eat that week. I aim for a mix of things that I can just throw in my purse like trail mix and popcorn…and things I can grab out of the fridge!
Sargento recently did a survey with Shape magazine that asked readers about their snacking habits at work. Here are some of the things they found:
- Over 60% of people stated that they snacked several times during the day because they needed a little pick-me-up.
- Over 65% of the people said their snack craving hit them from 2-4pm and almost 40% also got hungry from 9-11am.
- When respondents needed to get a snack from the vending machine, most stated that their options included salty snacks like chips and sweet snacks like candy. 30% say they never got snacks out of the vending machine and 20% said they didn’t have access to one.
- When asked about their ideal workplace snacks, most respondents wanted snacks that were: nutritious, satisfying, convenient, flavorful and portable.
- Over 50% of respondents said they struggle to find snacks at work that help them make healthy food choices and 45% said they struggled with finding snacks that are both flavorful and nutritious.
- When they had wholesome snacks at work, 60% felt good about themselves and in control of their diet/eating habits.
- Over 40% of people considered the vending machine a dieter’s trap and almost 55% of people had regrets about their snacks 1-3 times per week.
While I think that there are some nutritious options to be found in a vending machine, I encourage people to use it as a last resort. With a little planning, it’s easy to have healthy snacks on hand every day, no matter if you work in an office or are on the go all day long!
So, what are some of my go-to healthy snacks? Here are some of my favorites:
- Raw veggies with hummus- buy some or make your own
- Cheese and crackers
- Homemade trail mix- I like almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried fruit and a few chocolate chips
- Perfectly roasted chickpeas
- Hard boiled eggs
- Greek yogurt
- Fresh fruit
- Smoothies- throw in some spinach or kale and a protein source like greek yogurt
- Peanut butter on 100% whole wheat toast
- Healthy microwave popcorn
- Sweet potato bites
- Frozen yogurt trail mix bites
- Apples with peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
- Cheese stick and fruit
- Cereal and milk- choose a low-sugar cereal that also has some fiber and protein
- Water- yes, sometimes if you think you’re hungry, you may just be thirsty! Try adding cucumbers or fruit if you don’t like plain water.
Some other options:
- Turkey jerky
- Yogurt ranch dip with veggies – Mix plain greek yogurt and half a packet of powdered ranch seasoning for a healthy substitute for ranch dressing
- Cottage cheese- be mindful of the sodium!
- Frozen fruit- try grapes or chunks of bananas
- Dates or sweet potato topped with nut butter
- Snack bars like kind bars or larabars- buy them on sale or make your own!
- Handful of nuts
- Tuna salad made with greek yogurt or mashed avocado and crackers
I try to keep my snacks around 150-200 calories and I often combine a few of the snacks listed above to make sure i’m getting carbs AND protein. The carbs will give you energy and the protein will help you stay full…along with fiber! If you’re having trouble coming up with snacks to pair together, you should check out the Smart Snacker Tool from Sargento. It allows you to mix and match some snack options to make a snack plate and see the nutritional info. Here are a few I put together while I was playing around:
Obviously, the calories could change a bit based on the serving sizes you’re eating, the size of your fruit, etc…but it’s a great tool for giving you snack ideas!
Thanks to the lovely folks at Sargento, I got to try some of their cheese snacks. I’ve always been a mozzarella kind of girl, but they have some great flavored ones as well. Plus they’re easy to take on-the-go or throw in my lunchbox:
A few things you should know about Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks:
- They’re a natural source of high-quality protein in a simple, calorie-controlled single serving.
- They’re full of flavor so you don’t have to sacrifice on taste.
- They come in tons of different varieties so there’s something for everyone!
I’ve been enjoying the plain ones with fruit:
And I love cutting up the flavored ones into cubes and eating them with Triscuits!
Here’s a list of all the flavor options they have available:
- Sargento Cheese Sticks
- Colby-Jack Sticks
- Pepper Jack Sticks
- Sharp Cheddar Sticks
- Vermont Sharp White Cheddar Sticks
- Reduced Fat Colby-Jack Sticks
- Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Sticks
- Reduced Sodium Colby-Jack Sticks
- Sargento String Cheese
- String Cheese
- Light String Cheese
- Reduced Sodium String Cheese
- Sargento Natural Blends
- Cheddar-Mozzarella Cheese Snacks
- Double Cheddar Snacks
- Sharp Cheddar-Jack Snacks
- Provolone-Mozzarella Snacks
For more info on Sargento Natural Cheese Snacks, be sure to check out their Facebook page where they share all sorts of great recipes ideas!
- What are YOUR favorite healthy snacks?
- Do you plan ahead and bring snacks with you throughout the day or do you just rely on whatever you can find when you get hungry?
Sargento compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says
Oh how I love snacking. I tend to opt for yogurt, fruit, hard boiled eggs. But I kind of love the idea of the snack smarter tool!! That’s such a great idea.
I try to have at least a piece of fruit or veggies as a part of my snack. I aim for a bit of protein, fat, and carbs to round it out!
the perfect trifecta for a snack!
Great snack ideas. I love making homemade protein bars, bread, or muffins and then bringing them with me, or even just a piece of fruit with nuts. Always does it for me!
There isn’t any stores or anything like that near my work – only a subway! So I have to either bring my lunch and snacks, go hungry, or eat subway! Lol! My fave snacks are celery and pb, Greek yogurt and berries, fruit, veggies and hummus and nuts
mmmm celery and pb…and some raisins and i’m sold!
Michelle @ Eat Move Balance says
The snack tool is pretty neat! My favorite snack, that’s easy to pack for work, is an apple with a small baggie of almonds or pistachios. It travels easily and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.
i’ve been loving pistachios lately!
This is a great article. I always snack on raw carrots and hummus but I feel inspired to try so many new things now. I haven’t had cottage cheese in years but am going to get some today! Another snack I love is avocado with a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic in. It’s not low fat, but very nutricious and delicious.
we are snackers here (INCLUDING string cheese) and planners (always always) — I need me a purse which will keep my cheese cold!
that would be awesome! maybe just a coldpack section within the purse!
Snacks are where it’s at!! My favorite snacks include greek yogurt with fruit and granola, veggies and hummus, banana and nut/seed butter, dried fruit and yogurt, a small bowl of cereal, and smoothies. Thanks for all your great ideas! (I still really want to try your froyo bites!!)
give them a try! i think you’ll love them 🙂
Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes says
Great ideas! I’ll have to check out that snack smarter tool – it could be useful for patients. 🙂 My fave snacks are almonds, banana/apple with nut butter, or popcorn! I recently tried a recipe for homemade larabars – so good! I need to make them again for a snack to have on hand.
yes! they’re so easy to make at home bc they have such simple ingredients!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama says
I’m a snacker! I love nuts, fruit, veggies and hummus, green smoothies and homemade trail mix or protein bars. My kids are huge fans of cheese sticks. Love the variety that Sargento has!
me too! i was impressed by the variety!
I always have snacks at work, snacks for lacrosse games, and snacks for travelling. String cheese is a staple in our game-day cooler!
The Candid RD says
I didn’t used to buy the Sargento cheese sticks, because they are more expensive. However, lately I’ve been buying them because they are so much better than the others!! I eat them with carrots for a snack, and sometimes a handful of walnuts. DEEEELICIOUS.
right?! so good!!!
That actually is a pretty neat tool. My go-to work snacks are almonds, half a pb&j, lentils, or hardboiled eggs.
all great choices!!
Linz @ Itz Linz says
mmm i love string cheese! that tool to put together snack plates is really cool!
it was fun to play around with the combos!
Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom says
I have been eating Clif bars before my late class to hold me over until dinner time. I also love hummus + veggies, carrots +peanut butter, edamame seeds, Greek yogurt, fruit, Goldfish, pretzels + 1 tbsp cream cheese, trail mix, and cheese and crackers!
I bought Kraft Jalapeño string cheese… did you like the pepper jack cheese sticks? I LOVE pepper jack cheese!
i did like the pepperjack one with crackers!
Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile says
Great post!! I love homemade protein bars, microwave muffins, fruit and nuts/nut butter, etc!
all yummy! and three cheers for homemade!
Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. says
Yum – never tried the Pepper Jack ones before, but I buy their plain ones all the time!
nice! i love the pepperjack one with crackers!
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says
My favorite snacks are apples, celery or rice cakes with peanut butter – YUM!
i need to get back on the rice cake train! it’s been forever!
Sara @ fitcupcaker says
I love cheese! I like the mini babybell’s paired with fruit, then you get your protein and a fruit in 🙂 I also like protein shakes with fruit or almonds. These little cheese are so handy!
i agree! perfect for grab and go!
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
I ALWAYS plan ahead when it comes to snacks, because I HATE the feeling of being hungry, unable to concentrate, shaky, and then having to pay for food when I could have avoided the situation by planning ahead! (That situation has happened one too many times in my past!) Honestly, a typical snack for me is light Sargento with half an apple 🙂 Gotta love a good chunk of cheese!!! Thanks for all the tasty ideas!
me too! hate having to pay for something when i already have it at home!
Megan A says
It’s crazy to think about how high the sodium can be in cottage cheese!
For my mid-morning snack, I like to pack 2 clementines with some Wheat Thins, or I like to do an apple with peanut butter. I seem more snacky in the morning than afternoon while I’m at work (though the afternoon I usually need pick-me-ups).
wheat thins. it’s been too long. so good.
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
I am a major snacker, too! And I ALWAYS bring healthy snack options with me when I am on the go. Some of my favorites include: apples, bananas, almonds, cashews, kale chips, roasted chickpeas, “healthier” protein bars (like Larabars), Greek yogurt with fruit, and raw veggies with hummus. Yum!! I am making myself hungry ;).
you’re making me hungry too! all my favs!
Kim @ Cooking in the City says
I definitely need to plan ahead… any snacking options I have nearby are super expensive… $2 for a banana? No thanks. I also carry a back up Larabar or Kit’s Organic Bar in my purse for emergencies. And, if all else fails, there’s a juice bar across the street from my office- pricey, but I don’t end up going more than once or twice a month so I’m okay with it.
haha i hate getting ripped off for a healthy snack when i know i have it at home for much cheaper!
Sarah Pie says
YUM! That’s a lot of cheesy goodness 🙂 I’m usually a trail mix kind of girl (I always keep a jar of it stashed in my car for my commute). I also love an apple/veggie and nut butter combo (if I remember to pack it in the morning!). That tracker looks like a great tool, thanks for sharing!
i’m a huge trailmix fan! so many combos you can make!
Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family says
I LOVE Sargento cheese and all these snack ideas!
I LOVE snacking throughout the day. My fridge at work is full of boiled eggs, fruit, veggies & hummus. I almost had a meltdown yesterday because I forgot my daily banana at home.
haha i love it!!
Heather @fitncookies says
I am always planning ahead and bringing snacks! I love popcorn as a snack, as well as veggie chips, and pretzels! I tend to keep my veggies to meal times, but I enjoy fruit throughout the day! I love apples with cinnamon and some stevia. Mmm
popcorn makes SUCH a great snack!
Erica @ Abbie and Erica's Adventures says
I think I would suck at life if I didn’t have snacks prepared for me throughout the day. They help me function so much better. I usually bring a bunch of stuff into the office on Monday (like apples, bananas, almonds, and keep a jar of PB handy), so I at least have something always there. I like to stash a granola bar or 2 in the glove compartment of my car too, for those long, unexpected commutes.
i agree! i MUST have snacks on hand at all times or i’m a mess!
I’m definitely a snacker/grazer. Many days, I don’t have time for a proper lunch, so having quick, portable snacks to grab between clients and classes is key to not STARVING!
I’ve been on a single serving tuna kick for a while now. Love it with sugar snap peas!
oooh my hubby loves tuna for a snack!
Alyssa @ See This Girl Run says
This is perfect! I’ve been wanting more ideas for healthy snack! I get hungry all day at work. I bring things like greek yogurt, apples and healthy 100 calorie popcorn bags to eat in the morning and then the afternoon. I also have a water bottle with me to stay hydrated too.
[WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.
nice! i LOVE popcorn for a snack!
love this! I just did a post on all my favorite snacks. I have the house stocked right now since i’m home all day. I LOVE cheese but I love to pair it with a cracker with tons of fiber for some reason. So good and so filling!
cheese and crackers are a match made in heaven 🙂
Kayla @ Blondes Have More Run says
Great post Lindsay!
I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! If you wish to accept this award you can follow the rules on my latest post. Totally up to you, but I love your blog and wanted to share the love.
Here’s the link to the post: http://blondeshavemorerun.com/2013/04/23/the-versatile-blogger-award/
Dana @momrunshalf says
I have been struggling with this lately and have been working to get back to healthy snacking the past few weeks. FAvorite healthy snacks right now is Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Kind bar or rice cakes with almond butter and a few chocolate chips
oooh the rice cake pb choc chip combo sounds amazing!
I am a SNACKER! These look like great ideas.
Alex @ Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Foodiness says
I have a full drawer in my desk at work that’s full of snacks! Nuts, Larabars, Kind Bars, Kashi granola bars, dried fruit, etc. Then I usually make sure to bring some fresh fruits or veggies and dip, hummus, peanut butter, etc. with me to keep in the fridge each day. I’m such a snacker–some days, my whole lunch is really made up of snacks!
mine too! i love having lots of little things!
I can recognize myself in most of those survey answers! Today I’ve got a snack-size cottage cheese (with peach fruit bottom) and a banana as my snacks. I find the banana not very filling (my wife has suggested nut butters as a way to dress it up and add protein). I really, really like the idea of cheese as a snack, but I’m a little wary of too much fat and overall calories.
i think cheese can be a great snack as long as you’re mindful of portion sizes!! and definitely try some nut butter on your banana. best combo!
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
I RARELY, if ever, snack. The only time I might is before dinner when I am cooking because well, the FOOD IS IN MY FACE and I am hungry! LOL! Typically I snack on spinach or spaghetti squash – nothing crazy, but they’re DELICIOUS 😀
Cori @ olivetorun says
My go to is always fresh fruit…. apples are my favorite. I also LOVE frozen grapes and frozen yogurt bites. 🙂
My recent favorite is actually string cheese!
frozen grapes are SO GOOD!!
Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl says
That snacker tool is so cool! I’m a big snacker and some of my faves are apple with nutbutter, carrots and hummus, yogurt with fruit, grapes and cheese.
i pretty much live on carrots and hummus!
Debbie @ Live from La Quinta says
I grab a handful of raw almonds when I get home from work. They are healthy, tasty, and amazingly filling.
one of my hubby’s fav snacks too!
My favorite go to snacks are string cheese with some strawberries or an apple and peanut butter. Give me enough energy to make it through the day.
sounds perfect to me! loving that strawberry season is coming!
Sometimes I snack during the day. If I’m home, I like to snack on lean meat or fresh fruits. If I’m on the go, I try to always keep a Larabar on hand, incase I get hungry and I’m out.
love larabars! so many good flavors!
Kierston @candyfit says
I always ALWAYS plan ahead!
yeah you do, girl! you rock at it!
She Rocks Fitness says
Favorite snacks: Apple and Nut Butter; Fruit + 1/4 c unsalted nuts; Bars (big fan lately of ProBar Protein and Barre) Depending on the calories I will add a piece of fruit or a handful of baby carrots for added nutrition.
apple and nut butter. SO GOOD!
Jody - Fit at 55 says
Love the graphics so people can see it in action! 🙂 I can’t do cheese so…… I love nuts & nut butters & fruit & homemade protein muffins & bars & thinks like that! 🙂
Meghan @ After the Ivy League says
Great snack ideas! An apple with nut butter and Greek yogurt are some of my favorite easy, portable snacks that I bring to the office every day. I try to plan my snacks out, but sometimes life gets in the way and I can’t always perfectly plan food the way I want to. That’s when a snack bar (like a luna bar) definitely comes in handy. You can find a healthier snack option at even a gas station if you look for it!
i agree! it just takes a little effort!
Kelly @ Cupcake Kelly's says
Clementines and string cheese in one of my husband’s go-to desserts. I keep meaning to buy edamame for snacking, going on my grocery list now!
Kim @ Racing Bananas says
Thanks for some great snack ideas! This is the second time this morning (!!) that someone has suggested putting nut butter on a sweet potato. I am definitely trying that this weekend!
definitely try it! so good!
Nutmeg Nanny says
Great snacks ideas, thank you 🙂 I always love string cheese for a snack, it’s so yummy and simple!
Cindy @ My Bella Vida says
Holy Moly! Wonderful snacks!!! I have been looking for a post like this! Now I got a fun weekend of snack prepping ahead of me! 🙂
Great snack ideas Lindsay! I try to have healthy snacks to make sure I don’t end up overeating at meals and to keep my energy up during the day. When I am looking for something quick I love eating hummus with rice crackers. When I have time I try to go for homemade granola bars.
yes! snacks are such an important part of healthy eating!