As we prepare for back-to-school season and make our way back to the office, we have one thing on our mind: healthy snacks. Let’s be real — healthy snacks are our love language. And, if you’re willing to share, we’re willing to bet you’ll win the hearts (and bellies) of all your classmates and co-workers. Aside from being tasty, healthy snacks can act as brain fuel and provide us with the nutrients we need to stay focused, inspired, and energized while working or studying. But, it can be hard to know which store-bought snacks are truly healthy when it seems like all packaged foods are stamped with a “healthy” label. Don’t be fooled — gluten-free, keto-friendly, or vegan labels aren’t necessarily an indication of healthy store-bought snacks.
So, how do you know which store-bought snacks are the healthiest? We’re breaking down everything you need to know with a stress-free guide to the healthiest store-bought snack foods. Your transition back to the office and classroom is about to get a lot easier (and yummier)!
Is Snacking Healthy?
Good news — when you snack mindfully and reach for nutritious options, snacking can be a healthy addition to any eating plan.
The rise in intermittent fasting has given snacks a bad rap, but It’s important to remember a healthy eating plan looks different from person to person. If you’re a snack lover, it’s all about finding healthy options that support your health and fitness goals. Plus, healthy snacks are always there when you need them (think: mid-day hunger cravings, post-workout refuel, and late-night munchies).
Snacks can even help support weight loss goals by supporting blood sugar and preventing overeating. So, as long as you shop smart and listen to your body, store-bought snacks can keep you satiated, nourished, and be an integral part of a balanced diet!
What to Look For in Healthy Snacks
Shopping the grocery aisles for healthy snacks is no easy feat. So we’ll let you in on a secret — if you want to know how to find the healthiest store-bought snacks, start with the ingredient label. Marketing tactics are (concerningly) good at tricking consumers with labels, claims, and pretty packaging! But, the ingredient label will always reveal the truth about unhealthy or hidden ingredients!
Ingredients to Avoid
When searching for healthy store-bought snacks, avoid any artificial ingredients, processed foods, and fillers. Remember, these ingredients can be sneaky, with many different names! In fact, there are more than 50 names for sneaky sugars (some even say there are 250) — wow is right.
Here are some common additives and unhealthy ingredients to avoid:
- Hydrogenated oils or trans fats
- Artificial flavors and colorings
- Processed and inflammatory oils such as canola or corn oil
- Enriched wheat
Ingredients You Want
When it comes to healthy store-bought snacks, the fewer ingredients, the better. Look for ingredients that are in their most natural state — (i.e., real, whole foods!) As a rule of thumb, you should always be able to pronounce and recognize the ingredients on a label. If not, it’s probably not the healthiest store-bought snack.
If the ingredient list checks out, move on to the nutrition label! A balanced proportion of macronutrients is ideal. Look for foods higher in protein and fiber and lower in sugar. Clean carbs and healthy fats are great too! If your snack of choice does include sugar, make sure it’s made with natural sugars (such as fruit, honey, or maple syrup).
Luckily, there are plenty of brands with clean ingredients that make shopping for healthy store-bought snacks easy. Ahead, we’re sharing 16 healthy store-bought snacks broken down by snack categories.
Yogurt & Breakfast-Style Store-Bought Snacks
Mush Overnight Oats
When healthy snacking tastes like dessert, it’s a yes from us. A cup of Mush Overnight Oats is everything you’d want in a healthy store-bought snack, and then some. Minimal ingredients, no fillers or processed foods, and a perfect balance of macronutrients.
Oh, and did we mention they taste like dessert? Seriously. Flavors like Wild Blueberry, Coffee Coconut (our favorite), Honey-Nut Crunch, Dark Chocolate, and more. You’ll find this healthy store-bought snack in the refrigerated section (because no preservatives — just the way we like it).
Icelandic Provisions Skyr Yogurt
Different from regular flavored yogurt, Skyr-style yogurt contains more protein and less sugar while containing all of the probiotic-rich benefits. Icelandic Provisions offers a variety of flavors, including plant-based yogurts!
This high-protein snack can be enjoyed on its own or served up with satiating toppings for a sweet breakfast like this FitOn PRO Granola bowl.
Forager Project Drinkable Cashew Milk Yogurt
In addition to their plant-based line of thick and creamy cashew milk yogurts, Forager Project makes dairy-free drinkable yogurts! Each bottle is filled with 9 active cultures for a probiotic-rich, gut-supporting snack. With just 120 calories per cup and 0 grams of sugar (in their unsweetened variety), this is a yummy grab-and-go option you can feel good about.
Once Upon A Farm
Did you think we’d mention the healthiest store-bought snacks without keeping your little ones in mind? Have access to top-quality nutrition even on the busiest of days. Once Upon a Farm makes organic, cold-pressed fruit and veggie packs ranging from smoothies to drinkable overnight oats. All products are free from added sugars and made with the most nutritious ingredients for your mini-me’s.
Bars & Sweet Store-bought Snacks
Urban Remedy Plant Protein Bar
Low sugar, high protein, and made with real ingredients. What more could you ask for out of a protein bar? These satiating snacks are infused with superfoods like Matcha and Cacao and contain up to 11 grams of protein. Urban Remedy bars are paleo, plant-based, and free from any preservatives — you’ll find these protein-packed store-bought snacks in the fridge!
Most energy bars are filled with lengthy ingredient lists and artificial flavors, but not Larabars! These wholesome store-bought snacks are made from 100% real, plant-based ingredients — just fruit, nuts, and spices.
Want something more indulgent? Try their new fudgy brownies made with hemp seeds and a handful of other natural ingredients.
Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookies
Think of these as the healthy store-bought version of Grandma’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. All the sweet flavor you love and crave but with the added benefits of convenience and health! Gluten-free, Non-GMO, and always made with 100% natural ingredients.
Plus, Simple Mills has both crunchy and soft-baked cookies. Say no more.
Healthy Chips & Crackers
Siete Foods Grain-Free Tortilla Chips
If you’re a savory snacker, here’s one of the healthiest ways to get your chip fix. Siete Foods makes the most delicious grain-free tortilla chips. They’re made with simple ingredients like coconut flour and avocado oil and come in a variety of flavors (such as Chipotle BBQ, Nacho, and Ranch). The best part? They’re 100% plant-based and free from gluten, dairy, soy, and grains!
Lesser Evil Organic Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn
“Shouldn’t a handful of popcorn only have a handful of ingredients?” Why yes, yes it should. We fully support this Lesser Evil marketing pitch along with their delicious popcorn that lives up to their claims. Made with just three ingredients (coconut oil, organic popcorn, and Himalayan pink salt), this Organic Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn is one of the tastiest and healthiest store-bought snack foods!
Rhythm Kale Chips
If you never thought you’d develop a kale addiction, wait until you try Rhythm’s Kale Chips. These nutrient-dense veggie chips are organic, flavorful, and made with a few simple ingredients. Plus, they’re dehydrated! This means they retain all of their plant-filled nutrients while offering a delicious crunch.
While Kale Chips are Rhythm’s OG product, Rhythm makes other fruit and veggie-based snacks (such as one-ingredient savory Beet and Carrot chips, and sweet and chewy dehydrated Watermelon slices!)
Mary’s Gone Crackers
Speaking of seedy snacks, Mary’s Gone Crackers are one of our favorite nutritious store-bought snacks! These crunchy bites are full of heart-healthy Omega 3’s (such as pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds), are packed with fiber (up to 3 grams per serving), and even have mineral-rich seaweed mixed into some of their varieties.
Dip them in guac or crush them on top of your favorite salad for a nutritious crunch!
Savory & Protein-Rich Snacks
Go Raw Sprouted Organic Mixed Seeds
Skip the sugary trail mix for this sprouted super seedy blend. Go Raw encourages better snacking with a line of organic, sprouted nuts and seeds. Why sprouted, you ask? The sprouting process helps increase the nutritional value of these heart-healthy nuts and seeds by reducing phytic acid and making their nutrients easier to absorb. Try the Go Raw Mixed Seeds blend made with Pumpkin, Sunflower, and Watermelon Seeds when you want a high protein, antioxidant-rich, healthy store-bought snack.
Wonderful Pistachio Packs
While nuts are one of the healthiest snacks, there’s no denying they come with a high caloric caveat. Thanks to their delicious and addictive nature, it’s easy to mindlessly munch on nuts and wind up overindulging. That’s one of the reasons why Wonderful Pistachios Packs are one of the healthiest store-bought snacks. They take longer to eat (removing their tedious shell), helping prevent an accidental splurge! Plus, pistachios are high in antioxidants and protein while low in calories!
Vital Farms Hard Boiled Eggs
If you’re looking for a satiating, low-cal snack, look no further. These pre-cooked eggs are packed with 6 grams of protein per egg and free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. Plus, they’re pasture-raised, making them both healthy and humane.
To make this protein-rich snack more complete, combine it with mashed avocado or hummus and enjoy it on top of a rice cake!
Hu Kitchen Grain-Free Crackers
Nobody does grain-free better than Hu Kitchen. While they’re notorious for their healthy chocolate bars (one of our other favorite store-bought snacks), Hu’s simple-ingredient crackers are — dare we say — better than the real deal. The base is made with coconut, cassava, and almond flour, making them paleo-friendly, gluten and grain-free snacks.
Chomps Grass-Fed Beef Stick
When you want a protein-rich snack made from pure, unprocessed ingredients, look no further. Chomps Beef Sticks are made with grass-fed beef, meaning you’re getting the highest quality meat, free from any hormones or additives. While these snacks contain an impressive 9 grams of protein, they’re under 100 calories and on the lighter side. To stay satiated, enjoy this protein-packed snack alongside fiber-rich fruit such as sliced apple!
Packaged Snacks You’ll Feel Good About
Thanks to these nutritious store-bought snacks, snacking on the go can be healthy and simple! Now that you know the healthiest packaged foods navigate the grocery aisles with ease and stay sustained and energized with these healthy foods. Keep this healthy shopping guide near during your next grocery run!