Whether you’re settling in for your online class after a long day at work or heading over to campus bright and early, a nutritional snack is a great way to get a quick, natural boost of energy or elevate your mood. Best of all, it’s healthy for you and won’t cause any feelings of guilt.
Before you stop by the vending machines or hit up a drive-thru for a less-than-healthy choice, consider the following tasty treats.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to healthy snacks. Odds are you’ve enjoyed yogurt over the years and there’s no reason to stop now. Especially not when you’re getting 20% of your daily allotment of vitamin D and calcium per serving.
The added perks: The small containers are easy to carry around and you can enjoy a wide array of flavors.
When it’s best: Use yogurt as a bridge from breakfast to lunch. Reach for it when you first find yourself watching the clock and wondering if 10:00 a.m. is too early for a meal.
This classic snack you drop in your child’s lunches (and likely enjoyed as a child too) would be a good choice for you as well. On average, you can expect to get about seven grams of protein from one serving of string cheese.
The added perks: Like yogurt, string cheese is easy to grab when you’re on the go. It can also be an excellent alternative to the ever-tempting salty snacks of the world. Add in the single serving nature of string cheese for portion control and you’ve got a nutritional snack.
When it’s best: The protein in string cheese helps stave off hunger pangs, so you’ll want to reach for it in the mid-late afternoon. If you find that dinner is just too far away, quiet those stomach growls with some cheese.
No, we don’t mean the boring, cardboard-like versions. We are actually advocating the ones with chocolate, peanut butter, nuts and flavor! Typically these indulgent snacks have nutritional benefits which belie their tasty appeal.
The added perks: Portability rules the day for all of our nutritional snacks so far, but none of the others on the list will give you the sort of mental boost this snack will. Chocolate can elevate your mood and satisfy a craving for a dessert so you can let your mind get back to focusing on the task at hand.
When it’s best: Despite being branded as a breakfast food, granola bars are a good snack for the evening, in place of a dessert. A granola bar can give you a boost instead of making you feel sluggish. Use those 100-200 calories for the energy you need to power through a tough homework assignment.
Twenty three almonds, to be precise. Self magazine declares this to be the magic number for this snack, which they’ve dubbed their top savory super snack. Why all the almond love?
It offers fiber, heart-healthy fats and vitamin E, which may help your body bounce back post-workout. The nuts also pack alpha-linolenic acid, which revs your body’s fat-burning ability.
The added perks: Satisfying a salty craving. If you prefer salty over sweet, this snack is for you. And the total portion should help to pass some time. If you can resist eating them by the handful, munching down on a single almond at a time can make your snack last longer. It will also give your body time to digest, so you don’t feel compelled to grab something else to eat afterwards.
When it’s best: When you have to do something that is repetitive or takes a long time. Have a twenty-page chapter to read in your text book? See if you can savor a single nut per page. Or break it down and enjoy one after every paragraph.
Tortilla chips and hummus
You may be surprised to see that chips made our list, but we assure you, this can actually be a nutritional snack. Just enter into consumption with one thought in mind: All good things in moderation. Yes, if you limit the amount of hummus you use and eat less than 20 chips, you can enjoy this snack for under 200 calories.
The added perks: This snack won’t remind you that you’re trying to be healthy. It’s not as blatant as celery and peanut butter or steamed cauliflower all by itself. This is chips and dip. If you’re a fan, that’s perk enough.
When it’s best: Definitely a primetime snack, this is a great one for that well-deserved study break. It’s always important to study as much as you can, but if your brain has turned to mush and morale is low, take a break, turn on Netflix, and grab the chips and dip.
If you need more inspiration, check out our list of 8 Power Snacks for Nurses. And as always, comment and tell us what snacks you turn to for a healthy boost.