Skip the potato chips, cookies, fruit snacks, graham crackers, and candy. If you’re in a rut, here are some quick “real food” snack ideas for inspiration! Perfect for running out the door, the afternoon slump, after-school, or anytime hunger strikes.
Sticking with simple wholesome ingredients keeps snack time easy and fun. Most of these ideas can also be used for healthy breakfasts, too! If you have kids, have them go through this list with you so they can pick out their favorite snack food (don’t miss my Printable List of Snack Ideas so you can have them circle their favorites).
Whether it’s fiber rich healthy snacks to fill you up or protein packed bites to give you the energy to power through your day, you’ll be able to enjoy these recipes without sacrificing on taste!
Simple Go-To Snacks to Have in the House
I like to have a variety of different kinds of healthy snacks on hand to cover any situation.
- Fresh cut up fruit and veggies
- Baked goods (fresh and in the freezer)
- Homemade snacks
- Store-bought healthy snacks
- Healthy packaged snacks (for grab and go convenience)
The “Healthy Snack Ideas ‘Recipe'” below lists some of the more popular staples at my house, so is a great place to start.
90 Healthy Snack Ideas
- Power Balls (see recipe)
- Deviled eggs (see recipe)
- Smoothies (see recipes)
- Plain whole-milk yogurt
- Hummus (clean store-bought or homemade)
- Cheese (sliced)
- Raw veggies (like broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, celery)
- Fresh fruit (like apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, melon, mango)
- Fresh berries (like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
- Choose your snacks — I've pulled some favorites we keep on hand for this Snack Ideas "Recipe," but I encourage you to browse the entire post and replace them with any ideas that sound good to you. The end goal is to have a variety of snack types on hand to last through the week (or more) for any occasion.
- Buy ingredients — Once you've got your snack list, add all the ingredients and packaged items to your grocery list. Fortunately if you stick to my suggestions, you'll avoid highly-processed food, including artificial ingredients and dyes (no thanks!).
- Prep for the week — Make your baked goods first… I highly recommend making double batches and freezing extra for later. If there are any other homemade items on your list, make those as well and store for easy access. Cut up the fresh fruit and veggies and place them in containers. Convenience is key!
- Share and enjoy — Don't keep your snacks a secret…tell your family what is available so everyone can grab a snack and enjoy when hunger strikes! And bonus, you don't have to feel guilty with these healthy options.
27 Homemade Snack Recipes
I like to keep my freezer stocked with muffins for my girls—it’s one of their favorite snacks, so this makes it super convenient for them to pull some out for a quick afternoon snack on their own. Most of these homemade recipes are so quick and easy to make, that even the kids can help out!
Pre-packaged foods aren’t just overpriced, but they’re often lacking in a lot of the nutrients that really give you the energy to power through your day. To save money and refuel with healthy ingredients, these homemade powerballs are a winner in our house!
2. Whole-Wheat Toaster Pastries (a.k.a. Pop Tarts!)
These homemade toaster pastries are for the kid in all of us! (Except, they’re a great alternative for those of us who want some healthy snacks homemade). Check out the recipe to see how to make these whole-wheat Pop Tarts that are cheaper and packed with nutritious ingredients!
SNACK TIP: Making easy, freezer-friendly recipes like these helps you stock up on healthy options when you’re craving something you won’t have to feel guilty for indulging in!
3. Easy Slow Cooker Boiled Peanuts
Bring some homestyle Southern flavor into your daily snacking with this delightful slow cooker boiled peanuts recipe! You can make these ahead of time if you prefer, and take them on-the-go for something satisfying during the workday.
4. Smoothies or Smoothie Pops
It almost sounds too good to be true, but treating yourself doesn’t have to mean going overboard on sugars! These hit the sweetness craving right on the money, and it can easily be used as leftovers for a snack the next day.
6. Homemade Granola Bars
Granola bars are a healthy tasty snack almost anyone can enjoy, but more often than not they’re big bucks at the store! Know what goes into your snacks, and feel good about enjoying these all natural home made granola bars you can make ahead of time.
7. Homemade “Larabars”
For a healthy tasty snack, these taste even better than the packaged snack itself! Whip up a batch of these chewy, satisfying and incredibly nutritious bars to grad on-the-go, or whenever the craving hits.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, try this naturally-sweetened whole wheat banana nut muffin recipe! Perfect for breakfast on-the-go, or even a nutritious snacks recipe you can enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea in the evening.
This recipe for a satisfying and guilt-free zucchini bread is another clever way to use up any leftover fresh zucchini you’ve got in the fridge. It’s also really easy to convert into a muffin recipe, (all you need is a muffin tray!)
Cookies for breakfast? That’s exactly what you get with this recipe for pecan maple cookies! (Don’t worry, they’re a whole food alternative to traditional cookies). Naturally sweetened, and super flavorful for a light snack.
If crunchy and cheesy are more your preference when reaching for a quick snack, making these easy cheesy crackers could be a lifesaver! They’re a much cheaper and healthier alternative to the boxed kind, too.
12. Whole-Wheat Berry Muffins
If you’re still iffy on whole wheat when looking for ideas for a healthy snack, might I recommend these berry muffins? They’re a great way to incorporate some natural sugars into your diet to satisfy your midday cravings and sneak some important nutrients in, too!
SNACK TIP: Frozen fruit like berries are excellent for baking snacks ahead of time. They’re more nutrient-dense compared to their fresh counterparts, and relatively cheap, too!
Whole grain goodness combined with only a few simple ingredients makes these a comfort food snack that isn’t just filling, but seriously nutritious! This recipe for whole grain cornbread quickly becomes a muffin recipe you can use as a side or snack to go with your lunch.
Kale chips are probably one you’ve heard of before, but these ones definitely live up to the hype! Make your homemade snacks healthy by starting out with easy recipes like this one that you can grab right out of the pantry when the mood strikes.
SNACK TIP: Keeping crunchy, salty and healthy alternatives on-hand will make it easier to avoid pre packaged potato chips and replace them with something nutritious!
This whole wheat biscuit recipe is so fluffy and satisfying, and delicious served with a smattering of jam or butter. Not only are these biscuits great as a snack, but they’re freezer-friendly and great as a side, too.
16. Buttermilk Cheese Biscuits
Don’t be ready to write-off carbs for a healthy tasty snack idea just yet! These buttermilk cheese biscuits stow away into your lunch box perfectly to give you a balanced snack that fills you up with satisfying nutrients and whole food ingredients.
If you’ve ever had a hard time resisting the temptation of take-out donuts, (you’re not alone, trust me!) This recipe for whole wheat baked donuts is a gamechanger! Besides being an absolute hit in our house, they’re easy to make ahead of time and freeze to grab when you’re in the mood for something sweet on-the-go.
18. Cinnamon Raisin Yogurt Biscuits
The sweet and crave-able flavor of these biscuits is made possible using all whole food ingredients. They’re an excellent healthy snack idea choice, but they’re also perfect for a quick breakfast with coffee!
19. Pumpkin Oat Scones
If you don’t consider yourself much of a baker, don’t worry! These pumpkin oat scones go together quickly and easily, plus they’re a great way to enjoy a nutritious and filling whole wheat snack that’s also freezer-friendly.
20. Apple Walnut Muffins
This recipe for apple walnut muffins checks the box for sweet snack lovers, but did you know they’re totally whole food? Made naturally sweet by the fruit itself and a little maple syrup, these muffins are a healthful way to enjoy a snack any time of day.
Looking for yummy healthy snacks that use up some of the extra vegetables in the fridge? Look no further, these zucchini chips were a surprising smash-hit around our table. Better yet, they’re super simple to make and very nutritious as a snack!
22. 6-Ingredient Cereal Bars
23. Roasted Eggplant Chips
Chips are back on the menu with this crunchy and delicious snack idea that goes well with just about anything! You can whip them up in as little as 15 minutes, and believe it or not, they’re only made with 3 natural ingredients.
24. Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
These make for an excellent spicy snack option for anyone looking to replace the sodium content of their usual snack foods! They’re easy to make, and seriously flavorful as a healthy snack idea you can easily make ahead.
25. Homemade Snack Bars (Dairy-Free)
If dairy-free snack ideas are a must for you, we’ve got you covered! These snack bars aren’t just homemade, but they’re totally dairy-free for lactose-sensitive snackers, and packed with healthful ingredients to help with the ‘crunch’ craving we’re all looking for between the lunch and dinner hours.
Who every said healthy ideas for snacks couldn’t include some seasonal delights? When the leaves start falling, whip up a batch of freezer-friendly whole wheat pumpkin bread muffins to satisfy your cravings and fuel your day!
Here’s a real food version of deviled eggs (i.e. sans highly processed store-bought mayo) that would be perfect for snacks, appetizers, or school lunches.
27 Fruit Snack Ideas
Sometimes a piece of fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth without needing to grab a candy bar loaded with added sugar. Plus, having it out on the counter or cut up in containers makes it much more accessible and likely that your family will grab some.
- Apple (good with peanut butter, or almond butter)
- Avocado (good with soy sauce and brown rice)
- Banana (good with peanut butter, or almond butter)
- Blueberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
- Canned Fruit like Mandarin Oranges (Native Forest brand does not use sugary syrups in their cans)
- Dried Apple Rings or Pineapple Rings
- Figs (good with goat cheese)
- Freeze Dried Fruit (like mango, banana, blueberries or strawberries)
- Fruit Leathers
- Grapefruit Grapes
- Honeydew Melon
- Peaches (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
- Raspberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
- Star Fruit
- Strawberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
- Unsweetened Raisins
16 Vegetable Snack Ideas
This is a great way to ensure your family is getting an extra dose of veggies in their diet. I like to have raw veggies cut up and easily accessible for my kids, making it even easier for them to grab a healthy snack any time of the day. If you have a picky eater, try serving your veggies with creamy dips (what kid doesn’t love dipping their food?).
- Broccoli (good with ranch dip)
- Carrots (good with hummus or ranch dip)
- Celery Sticks (good with peanut butter and raisins a.k.a. “Ants on a Log”)
- Cherry Tomatoes (good with ranch dip)
- Cucumber Slices (good with ranch dip)
- Edamame (good with soy sauce, or drizzle with a little olive oil + kosher salt)
- Frozen Peas (frozen…no cooking necessary!)
- Jicama (cut into matchsticks)
- Sugar Snap Peas (good with hummus)
- Sliced Bell Peppers (good with hummus or ranch dip)
- Frozen Peas (frozen…no cooking necessary!)
- Green Beans
- Mashed Sweet Potato (good with butter and cinnamon)
- Snow Peas
9 Whole-Grain Snack Ideas
There are a lot of great store-bought snack ideas here with whole grains and only a handful of ingredients listed. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, scroll down to see some homemade healthy snack recipes.
- Brown Rice Cakes – check out my post with rice cake topping ideas
- Cooked Whole-Grain Noodles (small pasta shapes varieties like rigatoni, penne, farfalle, etc.)
- Oatmeal (served warm in a Thermos if sending to school)
- Popcorn (make it using “The Popcorn Trick”)
- Puffed Whole Grain Cereal (corn, brown rice, wheat or millet variety, we like Arrowhead Mills brand)
- Shredded Wheat (look for brands that contain 1-ingredient)
- Whole Grain Crackers (like Triscuits, Multi-Seed, Ak-Mak, Whole-Wheat Matzos, Brown Rice Crackers/Snaps, or Whole-Grain Rye Crackers) topped with cheese, peanut butter, almond butter, other nut butter, or cream cheese and jelly combo
- Whole-Grain Toast
- Whole-Wheat Pretzels
11 Nut and Seed Snack Ideas
Have the kids pick their favorite nuts to create their very own trail mix! Nuts and seeds make great filling snacks full of flavor that can hold them over till their next meal. Best part is that you can pack them in a baggy and easily take them with you on the go.
- Nut Trail Mix including Dried Fruit
- Pine Nuts (they are good lightly toasted)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
Printable List of Snack Ideas
Many readers have requested a printable version of snack ideas, so we added one to our free resource area! Simply click the image below and follow the instructions for instant access to this and many other real food resources.
Helpful Tips: Healthy Snack Ideas
- Combine some of the suggestions in this post in creative ways (for example, combine some fruit with yogurt to make a yogurt parfait, or make a fruit salad and drizzle some honey on top).
- Some of the listed fruits are also great frozen. Ever blended up frozen bananas to make “ice cream”? Try it!
- If you’re looking for school lunch ideas, any of these would be great in a school lunch box!
- If you have a picky eater, combining several of these snacks onto a plate—tapas style!—could make a well-rounded lunch or easy breakfast, or help introduce new foods in a low-key way.
Please share your snack ideas with us in the comments below!