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24 snack ideas to satisfy your cravings.

Snacking has gotten a bad rap, thanks to our tendency to choose empty-calorie snack foods like candy or chips to ease between-meal cravings. But when your stomach starts growling hours before your next meal, a healthy snack is actually a good idea, to hold off hunger and keep energy levels high.

The supermarkets are full of new products advertised as healthy snacks, many of which come packaged in individual bars, microwaveable cups, and 100-calorie pouches. But which ones pass the test of being both tasty and healthy (or at least not unhealthy)? I recently hit my market and came up with two dozen snacks that satisfy without calorie overkill.

close up of a young woman biting into a cereal bar

These may not be "perfect" snacks, mind you. Some are a bit higher in sugar, saturated fat, or sodium than I would like. But most have:

  • Enough calories to be satisfying, but not so many that the snack becomes a meal.
  • Less fat and saturated fat than other similar snacks.
  • Whole grain and fiber, protein, and/or other nutrients that give them staying power.

Here are my picks for healthier supermarket snacks, whether you feel like having something sweet, something cool and creamy, something crunchy, or something hot and filling.

Healthy Snacks: Something Sweet

My five sweet snack choices include a higher-fiber pastry, creamy pudding, and three higher-fiber cookies.

Fat-Free Sugar-Free Instant Pudding (made with nonfat or 1% milk), various brands, 1.4-ounce box makes 2 cups. Per 1/2-cup serving made with nonfat milk: 80 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 6 g protein, less than 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar (from the natural sugar in milk).

Fiber One Bars (variousflavors, such as Blueberry), 6 pastries per box. Each pastry has 190 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber, 15 g sugar

Nabisco 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons, 1 pound bag. Fig Newtons have gone whole grain! Two cookies have 110 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar (some of which comes from the figs).

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