Real food snacks are fueling, tasty, and satisfying! It’s hard to say that about most of the junk that’s sold as quick-grab snacks. Picture those impulse-buy snack options stacked by the register in just about every store. Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
You know that hangry moment when you’re stuck roaming the aisles of the gas station shop, and your main choices seem to be Doritos, Cheetos, and Jolly Ranchers? (I have to admit, though, the options do seem to be improving a little bit these last few years. So encouraging, right?!)
10 Satisfying, Real Food Snack Ideas
If you are trying to swap out highly processed snacks with real food snacks, here are a few ideas to get you started. Aim to include a combination of at least two macronutrients if possibile (i.e. protein & fat, or carb & fat, or protein & carb). Doing so typically leaves you more satisfied and energized.
- nut butter and apple slices
- roasted pumpkin seeds and dried fruit
- single-serving pack guacamole and red pepper strips
- hard-boiled egg and carrot sticks (That small container in the pic is salt and pepper. I keep that little container always filled in the cabinet, so I can just grab it quickly when packing this snack.)
- pear slices and a sharp, flavorful cheese
- single-serving pack of olives (I get mine at Trader Joe’s) and a clementine
- hummus and veggies
- peanut butter and celery sticks
- roasted mixed nuts
- cottage cheese and fruit
Snacking and “appetite awareness”
To be honest, I’m much less of a snacker since I focused my diet on real, whole foods, and, frankly – started eating MORE at mealtime, and making sure my meals almost always include protein, fat, and slow-digesting carbs. I feel more satiated by my meals, and don’t always need a snack to get me through to the next meal. It’s pretty convenient, actually! I used to be the queen of snacks, packing SO many snacks everywhere I went. Once I focused on feeling nourished instead of famished, I discovered that I had much less need for snacking. Nourished, not famished!
If you are feeling the need to snack constantly throughout the day, check in with yourself at mealtime for some “appetite awareness”.
Are you eating to satiety at mealtime?
Is it possible that you’re simply not eating enough to meet your needs at mealtime?
Or are you missing out on certain macronutrients (protein, fat, or carb?) in your meals, leaving you with that “always hungry” feeling?
That being said, there are days when we’re going to feel a bit hungrier than other days, and you might need a snack or two. And we all have those days when nothing goes according to plan – a delayed meeting, crazy traffic delays, a last-minute trip to the pediatrician’s office, and then lunch or dinner didn’t happen when you needed it to. It makes a world of difference to keep something stashed in your bag, to get you through until mealtime. By packing your own snack, you’ll guarantee that it will be real food that will fill you and fuel you.
I’m always looking for more real-food snack ideas . . . what do you like to pack?