Simple and Healthy Snack Ideas

It’s not easy to come up with simple and healthy snack ideas – or is it? 

People’s lives these days are incredibly complex – extremely busy in many cases – and it’s easy to take the path of least resistance and buy the cheap snacks, which are unfortunately in many cases, highly unhealthy snacks that line the aisles in your local grocery store.

But many people – especially the ones who might be looking at this post! – aren’t satisfied with the path of least resistance when it comes to their health, and are really looking for something better. There are a lot of better approaches – let’s look at some ideas that might get your mental “ball” rolling. I’ll just throw a bunch of ideas – snacks that you can buy, snacks that you can make, “sit down and eat out of a bowl” snacks, and finger food snacks. I’ll try to kind of group them logically, but don’t hold me to it… So here goes.

Some Simple Healthy Snack Ideas

  1. Air popped popcorn. It’s cheap and high in fiber – and is whole grain! Of course, you can buy pre-popped popcorn (not so cheap, though) and prepackaged popcorn in bags that you can pop, but you can also do your own in the microwave by putting 1/3 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag, spray with cooking spray or drizzle with oil, add salt as desired, fold the bag top twice, shake, place the bag on its side and microwave for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Peanut butter on whole grain bread. Other nut butters are great, too. This is about as simple as it comes, tasty, relatively cheap, and quite healthy! You can make it finger food that you can pack into lunches by making sandwiches with nut butter and cutting them into quarters for easy retrieval and eating.
  3. Nut butter on banana slices. Pretty cheap, easy, and healthy.
  4. Hummus and vegetables. Try using hummus as a dip for sliced carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell pepper slices, cauliflower or broccoli florets, or other vegetables. You can buy hummus – at least in Costco – in the small sizes that you can take in your brown bag lunch.
  5. Hummus and whole grain crackers. Use the hummus as a dip.
  6. Hummus and whole grain bread! See #2 above, you can use hummus with whole-grain bread much like nut butter.
  7. Hummus and whole-grain pita. Probably the way hummus might have been used traditionally in the Middle East. Just guessing!
  8. Hard-boiled eggs. Yes, just plain hard-boiled eggs! Cheap, lots of protein… This makes a great finger food that you can pack in lunches – common in my lunch box as a child. Ours were unpeeled, we had to peel them ourselves, but easy to pre-peel, too – and then just sprinkle them with salt or season salt. Delicious!
  9. Rice cakes with avocado. Mash avocado and spread on whole-grain rice cakes, top with sea or season salt and red pepper flakes. Great, for those who are avocado or guacamole fans.
  10. Rice cakes with other added toppings. Hummus, sliced tomatoes, nut butter – these all go great with rice cakes.
  11. Guacamole with whole-grain tortilla chips. A crunchy and creamy snack.
  12. Salsa and whole-grain tortilla chips. A no-brainer, of course! Use the salsa as a dip if you want it to fall into the “finger food” category, or put the tortilla chips on a small plate and put the salsa on the chips – then enjoy. Just a note: you can make your own tortilla chips by cutting corn tortillas into triangles and baking them until crispy. In this way, you avoid the added salt of the pre-packaged tortilla chips. Corn tortillas usually do not have any added salt.
  13. Cucumber sandwiches. Slice cucumbers and make mini-sandwiches with whole-grain bread and a dab of cream cheese.
  14. Celery sticks with cream cheese or peanut butter. Yes, this one is extremely old-fashioned; definitely in my childhood repertoire of snacks – but the point is, it’s simple and healthy, too. There’s nothing at all wrong with traditional favorites. If they were good enough for the previous generation, they should still taste good in the current one!
  15. Raw Nuts. Yes, just ordinary nuts! Think almonds, cashews, peanuts, and hazelnuts, for example. Just grab a handful and eat – in moderation, of course, as they have lots of calories.
  16. Sliced apple with cinnamon. Both apple and cinnamon are very good for you – the “apple a day,” of course – many of us know that proverb – and cinnamon is a virtual super-food!;They taste great together, too. Just slice the apple and sprinkle the slices with cinnamon.

Healthy(ish) Crackers and Chips You Can Buy

Most of the snack stuff you buy directly as snacks in the snack aisle has problems; too much salt, too much sugar, too many additives, etc. But here are some that might be worth consideration as a cut above the rest.

  1. Whole-grain crackers. Look for crackers made from whole grains like whole wheat, oats, or brown rice. The whole grains aspect of these crackers means they have more fiber and in some cases more protein than your typical snack.
  2. Seed crackers. These are awesome. They often have a combination of seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds. While I’m not being paid to promote a brand, one cracker that I love and is very healthy, is “Mary’s Gone Crackers.” They are expensive in the normal grocery store, but much cheaper at Costco.
  3. Vegetable-based crackers. Some crackers incorporate vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets, or carrots into their ingredients. Who knows how many vegetables are actually in them, it might not be all that many, but at least it’s a step in the right direction!
  4. Brown rice cakes. These are low in calories and whole-grain and go with lots of different kinds of spreads.
  5. Quinoa crackers. Don’t forget quinoa is a complete protein, so if you can get a complete protein in your cracker without anything added, that has to be a big plus.
  6. Nut and seed thins. “Almond thins” is one example. They have healthy fats and protein, and have a satisfying crunch!
  7. Multigrain crackers. The fact that they contain multiple grains gives them a more rounded nutritional profile.
  8. Kale chips. The health benefits of kale in a crispy form.
  9. Beet chips. These are thinly sliced, then dehydrated or baked – a unique and nutritious snacking option.
  10. Plantain or chips. Interesting and healthier alternative to potato chips.
  11. Whole-grain tortilla chips. As contrasted with the non-whole-grain versions.
  12. Sweet potato chips. Look for varieties that are baked or cooked with minimal oil.
  13. Seaweed snacks. Very healthy, if you like the taste.
  14. Flaxseed chips.
  15. Quinoa chips.
  16. Brown rice chips.
  17. Air-popped popcorn.

May Not Be Finger Foods, But…

They are still very valid healthy snacks!

  1. Greek yogurt parfait. Greek yogurt is such an amazing protein source that is low in fat and salt, that it should be considered an important member of your healthy snack food list! To create a parfait, layer Greek yogurt with fresh berries and maybe a drizzle of honey or some other healthy sweetener. This is great for probiotics and just general good gut health.
  2. Cottage cheese with pineapple. Cottage cheese has a great protein content. Not everyone likes the combination of sweet and savory, but if you don’t mind, this is a great combination!
  3. Oatmeal. You have to think outside the box if oatmeal is your breakfast-only food, but it can also be a great snack. You can cook up a small batch and add yogurt and sliced almonds – or use your imagination.
  4. Overnight oats. A different twist on oatmeal, but just put dry oatmeal mixed with yogurt, juice, berries – or whatever else you think goes with oatmeal, put it in a covered container uncooked and set it in the refrigerator overnight. A delicious snack that only required you to put the ingredients in a container then in the refrigerator!
  5. Salad cups. These could be Greek salad cups, for example, with cucumbers, diced tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Try Caesar salad – or any other combination of salad ingredients that work, and place in small cups. With lids, you could just take them out of the refrigerator and they would make a nice work break snack around 10 am!
  6. Cucumber bites with tuna salad. Top cucumber slices with a spoonful of tuna salad. Lots of protein and crunch!

With The Budget in Mind

Obviously, not all these snacks are as budget-friendly as others, so choose your snacks accordingly! Snacks you can make yourself are, in most cases, going to be cheaper than the ones you buy.

Just remember that unhealthy snack options like potato chips are cheap to buy, but if you’re buying nutrition, they are very, very expensive! There is virtually no nutritional value in candy and chips, and they contain a lot of ingredients that are very unhealthy, so in a way, you’re paying good money for products that will harm your health. That is never a good option! But hey, if once in a great while you eat something like chips, candy or cookies, it’s probably not going to harm you, as long as you follow the “80-20 rule” – 80% of your food healthy, allowing you to have maybe 20% not. I’m not going to stake my life on that precept, but it seems somewhat logical!

And Finally…

These lists of healthier snack foods are far from comprehensive. With just a little bit of thought, you can probably come up with dozens of other possibilities and combinations, but maybe these can get your imagination rolling! As you can see, there are lots of ways to snack healthily, if you don’t take the path of least resistance.

If you have any ideas for healthy snacks or thoughts about the post above, please feel free to share in the comments space below.

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2 thoughts on “Simple and Healthy Snack Ideas”

  1. This article provides a valuable list of simple and healthy snack ideas, which is incredibly useful in today’s world where unhealthy snacks are easily accessible.

    My question is: What are your favourite go-to healthy snacks, and how do you incorporate them into your daily routine to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet?

    • Personally – I keep it very simple. I like peanut butter and jam sandwiches! I also make salmon sandwiches, eat blueberries, oatmeal, applesauce…sometimes Greek yogurt. I don’t know if I perfectly maintain a balanced diet, but I feel great and get most of the nutrients I need, I feel… 🙂


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