Looking for some healthy make-ahead snack ideas that are quick, easy and portable? Whether you’re craving sweet, savoury, salty, creamy or crunchy, we’ve got you covered! Check out some ideas for sweet and savoury healthy snacks here!
As a busy mama, I am a huge fan of snacking.
I usually try to include about two to three balanced snacks per day to keep those energy levels up. It’s definitely a necessary part of the day since our little guy is non-stop go-go-go!
That being said, we are frequently on the run and require quick and easy options that we can take along with us. I don’t like to resort to packaged snacks since they tend to contain a lot of funky ingredients, so instead we try to create our own minimally processed ‘clean’ snacks.
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with healthy snack ideas on the fly, so I brainstormed a whole bunch of ideas that are not only easy, but also healthy and portable.
If you’re anything like me, sometimes you want a snack on the sweeter side, while other times you might be feelin’ a salty snack, so we’ve featured a balance of both sweet and salty snacks!
Before we dive into those snack ideas, let’s chat about some snacking benefits.
What are some benefits of Snacking?
There a lot of pros to snacking, provided you choose the right types of snacks, of course!
A snack can:
- Help bridge the gap between meals to keep hunger at bay
- Keep your metabolism buzzing along (especially if protein is involved)
- Prevent over eating later on in the day
- Maintain a steady blood sugar level
- Enhance your mood (AKA prevent you from getting cranky)
- Keep those energy levels up!
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
A healthy snack is ideally a nutrient-dense option that contains a source of fibre and protein.
The two of these components paired together produce a snack that will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling full for hours.
That’s the trick for getting snacks to work in your favour.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to make sure that the snacks are portion-controlled.
Unfortunately, overdoing it, even when it comes to healthy foods, won’t get you any closer to your health and fitness goals.
And that kind of defeats the purpose of having a healthy snack to begin with!
I’m not generally a big fan of calorie counting, but in order to keep snacking under control, your best bet is to aim for a snack that has between 100-200 calories, just so you have an idea of what you’re shooting for.
So you may be wondering, what should I be eating then??
We all want something relatively simple and convenient, right?
Here are 8 easy and healthy sweet and savoury snack ideas for on the go!
The amazing thing about trail mix is that you can completely customize it according to your preferences and it makes for a shelf-stable option as well.
When it comes to portions, your best best is to stick to a quarter cup of trail mix at snack time.
Looking for inspiration?
Try out the recipe below!
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbsp. mini dark chocolate chips
Combine in a bowl and store in an air-tight container (such as a mason jar) at room temperature.
Veggies & Hummus
Vegetables paired with hummus make for a winning snack combination because it’s light but still filling. You can use whichever vegetables you prefer, but some of my favourites are sliced peppers, cucumber, carrots and celery.
As for hummus, you can use homemade or store-bought. Homemade is always the preferred option, however, since you can control the ingredients going into it.
Stick to 1/4 cup hummus and desired amount of veggies (you can load up on these) for a reasonable snack portion.
Here is one of my favourite easy hummus recipes!
Lemon Garlic Hummus
- 1 (540 mL) can no salt-added chickpeas (or about 2 cups cooked chickpeas)
- 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Paprika for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Apples & Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip
Are you a peanut butter lover?
Next time you reach for the PB, try mixing it in with some plain Greek yogurt and a touch of honey or maple syrup. It makes for a protein packed dip that also contains those healthy fats and a dose of calcium.
Pair it along with some apple slices for the ultimate filling snack.
Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
Mix all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar until smooth and combined. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.
If you tend to grab for the chips at snack time, why not try out kale chips!
They taste like sour cream and onion chips without the saturated fat and sodium overload.
The perfect healthier way to fulfill that craving for crunch!
- 10 cups chopped kale leaves
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Place kale pieces on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, onion powder and salt until evenly coated.
Place kale chips in oven for 20-25 minutes or until crispy, flipping half way through.
Allow to cool before packing them in an air-tight container.
Energy bites are the perfect snack to take on the go. They’re pre-portioned, freezer-friendly and filled with healthy fats, protein and fibre.
Make up a batch and store them in the freezer for a healthy portable snack!
Just a warning — it’s easy to overdo it with these things as they’re highly addictive.
Stick to 2-3 bites for a portion-controlled snack!
Trail Mix Energy Bites
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup almond butter or natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Form into approximately 28 one-inch balls.
Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
Popcorn is often perceived as a not-so-healthy snack option (think movie theatre popcorn doused in salt and butter).
But done the right way, it can actually be a fibre and antioxidant-rich snack option.
I recommend doing air-popped popcorn and jazzing it up with a drizzle of olive or avocado oil, spices, nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese.
Here are two different methods for making air-popped popcorn:
- Place a flat bottomed frying pan or large pot over medium heat.
- Add a quarter cup of popcorn kernels to the pot (this will make about 7 cups popped). Cover the pan with the lid and continue heating, shaking pan gently every 20-30 seconds.
- Once kernels start popping, shake pan gently every 5-10 seconds.
- As soon as the popping slow down, turn heat off.
- Allow kernels to cool and serve.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or desired spices (check out this lemon parmesan popcorn)!
Alternatively, if you own a popcorn machine, simply place the kernels in the machine and pop the desired amount of kernels.
Stick to 2-3 cups of popcorn for a proper portion.
Grapes & Cheese
AKA the best snack combination EVER!
It tastes classy, but it’s SO easy.
Pair red or green grapes with your favourite type of cheese! Once again, this one is easy to overdo.
For a balanced snack, stick to one and a half ounces of cheese (about the size of two dice) and 12-15 grapes.
Celery Sticks & Nut Butter
Celery provides the perfect crunch, but let’s face it, it can be a little bit bland on it’s own.
Pair it with a nut butter such as natural peanut butter, almond butter or cashew butter!
A convenient way to store this snack is to place the nut butter in the bottom of a mason jar or a deep container.
Stick the desired amount of celery sticks into the nut butter so that just the tips are dipped.
Screw on the lid and save for snack time!
A good portion to adhere to would be 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter with your desired number of celery sticks.
So many delicious snack options that virtually take no time at all to prepare!
Love these snack ideas? Pin for later!
If you have a chance to try out any of these Healthy Snack Ideas, I’d love to see your pics! Tag me on instagram @hauteandhealthyliving and use the hashtag #hauteandhealthy!
Love all of these snack ideas! Also love the idea of making ahead and portion control with Mason Jars. Do you mind sharing where you get the mason jars?
Elysia Cartlidge says
Thanks so much Jo! It definitely helps stay on track when you can prep the snacks ahead of time! I used the 16 oz Ball Elite Wide Mouth mason Jars. You can find them here:
Hope that helps!
I love the fact that using the jars helps set the portion. Trying to hard to teach my kids to choose a balanced menu, meaning not all the same thing all the time. I can see how pre-portioning would help
Elysia Cartlidge says
The jars can definitely help with portion control and incorporating a little variety! So handy that they can be made in advance too! Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!
Marie Loveless says
What an awesome post. Thanks!
Elysia Cartlidge says
Thanks so much Marie! Glad you found it helpful!