Balanced snacks provide a mix of nutrients that give you energy and keep you satisfied!
Read on to learn more about balanced snacks.
You’ll also find 50 healthy snack combos to create your own nutritious and delicious combinations!
What are Balanced Snacks?
Have you ever wondered why you can eat a sleeve of crackers and not feel full?
This is because crackers only have carbohydrates which do not fill you up.
Balanced snacks have a combination of protein, healthy fats, and/or carbohydrates.
This nutrient-dense mixture helps fill you up, regulate blood sugar levels, and maintain energy.
Learn more about the impact of eating carbs alone in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “How Do Naked Carbs Make You Gain Weight?“.
Nutrients in a Balanced Snack
Below is a breakdown of each nutrient in a balanced snack.
One key to a balanced snack is protein.
This macronutrient is essential for building and repairing tissues, including muscles.
It also helps keep you full and satisfied!
Another satisfying component in a snack is fat. Fat contributes to feelings of satiety, which is the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
In addition, fats slow down digestion and regulate the release of hunger-related hormones, leading to a longer-lasting feeling of fullness.
Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, and avocados.
They are essential for brain health, hormone balance, and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. They can also promote healthier, glowing skin.
Carbs increase your blood sugar, energizing you until your next meal.
They are an important source of fuel for your body and brain.
Many popular diets encourage you to avoid carbohydrates. However, carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy!
How Do You Make a Well-Balanced Snack?
Creating a balanced snack is easy with the right components!
Choose 2-3 options from each category below to create your very own balanced snack:
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Deli meat
- Canned fish
- Grilled chicken
- Fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Whole grain crackers
- Pita chips
- Whole grain cereal
- Whole wheat bread
- Whole-grain tortilla
- Brown rice cakes
- Nut butter
- Seed butter
- Dark chocolate
How To Make Your Balanced Snack Vegan
Build high-protein vegan snacks with vegan versions of traditional yogurts, such as soy, cashew, or coconut.
You can also substitute vegan cheese, which is made from plant-based ingredients and dairy-free.
What Are Some Healthy Snack Options?
Check out this extensive list of 50 balanced snack ideas:
- Greek yogurt & fruit
- Whole-grain cereal with milk
- Fruit & nut butter
- Chia seed pudding
- Fruit smoothie
- Rice cakes with sunflower butter
- Cottage cheese & fruit
- Peanut butter & jelly (or honey) sandwich
- Chocolate covered raisins
- Protein bar or granola bar
- Greek yogurt & dark chocolate chips
- Nut butter & banana sandwich
- Oatmeal topped with berries
- Protein shake
- Granola, berries, & milk
- Fresh fruit & sunflower butter
- Hard-boiled egg on whole-grain toast
- Roasted chickpeas
- Tuna or chicken salad on whole-grain crackers
- Hummus & veggies
- Avocado toast
- Whole-grain crackers with sliced cheese
- Tortilla chips & guacamole
- Cottage cheese & nuts
- Pita chips & hummus
- Jerky & cheese with whole-grain crackers
- Caprese skewers (cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil)
- Turkey & cheese in a whole-grain tortilla
- Veggie sticks with a side of Greek yogurt dip
- Mini caprese skewers (cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil)
- Refried beans & shredded cheese in a whole-grain tortilla
- Grilled chicken with veggies or fruit
- Veggies & guacamole
- Turkey pepperoni & cheese roll-ups
Sweet & Savory Snacks
- Nuts & dried fruit
- Greek yogurt with honey & almonds
- Ants on a log (celery topped with nut butter & raisins)
- Fresh fruit & nuts
- Greek yogurt with pumpkin seeds
- Fresh fruit & string cheese
- Mini Charcuterie board
- Yogurt parfait with berries & nuts
- Whole-grain crackers with hummus & fruit
- Dark chocolate-covered almonds
- Trail mix with nuts, seeds, & dried fruit
- Pretzels & cheese
- Sweet & salty granola
- Cottage cheese with cinnamon & apple slices
Takeaways on Balanced Snacks
Balanced snacks provide the body with sustained energy and necessary nutrients.
Combine protein, healthy fats, and/or carbohydrates to create a wide array of tasty and balanced snacks.
Hungry for More?
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also Certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!