Pop quiz: when are you most vulnerable to making unhealthy choices — when you have delicious, good-for-you treats nearby or when you’re hungry and desperate to eat something — anything? If you picked the latter, you’re not alone. It’s easy to eat healthily when nutritious foods are at your fingertips, but when your only options are from a vending machine or convenience store, things get tricky.
Luckily, by whipping up your own healthy snacks on-the-go, you can avoid this once and for all. I’ve selected some of my favorite treats that are easy to prepare and even easier to throw in your bag. Skip the processed stuff and reach for these instead. You’ll never be hunting for healthy snacks for your family again.
27 Healthy Snacks “On-the-Go”
These colorful — thanks to anti-inflammatory pistachios and antioxidant-rich cranberries — are crazy simple to make. Melt liquid ingredients like coconut oil, butter, and maple syrup, and then stir in dry ones, including quinoa cereal. Let the ingredients hang out and work their magic in the refrigerator until bars have set.
Once your apples are sliced, these “cookies” come together in seconds. They’re super easy to customize, making them a fun activity to have the kids help out with. Swap the peanut butter for a nut butter like almond or cashew. Use organic cocoa chips or dark healthy chocolate chips sweetened with fruit sugar, coconut sugar or make your own with coconut oil and organic cocoa. Pop ‘em in a to-go container for healthy snacks, on-the-go!
When you’re craving a sweet treat, these gluten-free muffins fit the bill. And with bits of pecans and dark chocolate chips, they’ve got enough crunch to feel substantial, too. Make an extra batch and freeze them for busy weeks.
Photo: Banana Nut Muffins / Dr. Axe
Whether you’re looking for a mid-afternoon snack or a pre-workout nibble, these protein bars are inexpensive to make and taste great. They’re sweetened naturally and thanks to the protein powder and chia seeds, they’ll keep you feeling full. Just swap out peanut butter for your favorite nut butter and, if you want a chewy bar, opt for quick-cooking natural oats.
I LOVE pumpkin pie, so when I saw this yummy healthy snacks option, I just had to include it! Plus, these bars make it easy to get a perfectly portioned treat to take on the go. Pecans help from a crunchy crust while the “crème” filling is silky smooth thanks to pure pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Wash this down with a glass of milk — mmm!
No baking, no gluten, no problem. These date-based balls firm up in the fridge and are perfect to pack into lunch bags. Just use a quality nut butter in place of the faux peanut butter and you’re good to go!
Cookie dough is delicious enough but to find a version that’s actually good for you is hard to come by. That’s why these are one of my favorite healthy snacks. Coconut flakes and chocolate chips (opt for dark) make this sweet, while nut butter gives it staying power. These make a great after-dinner snack — no baking required!
These gummy treats are better than the ones you purchase by the pack. Not only are they cheaper than their store-bought counterparts, but they are good for you, too. They’re filled with fresh fruit juice and berries, antioxidant-rich raw honey, and gelatin, keeping your hair, nails, and skin looking good. Your kids will love them — and so will you.
These citrus honey nut bars will wake up your taste buds. They’re crunchy, healthy, and simple to make; kids can definitely help! Best of all, with a few simple substitutions, you can make cinnamon and cacao versions of the bars, ensuring every family member will find a flavor they love.
For a cool treat, this all-natural pudding is sure to please. Chia seeds are rich in fiber and protein, adding an extra nutritional boost alongside fresh fruit and almond milk. To eat this on the go, store in a mason jar or portion out into individual food storage containers.
Almond and chocolate fans, rejoice. Satisfy your sweet tooth with these yummy bars. Perfect when you need a chocolate pick-me-up or even as a healthy dessert, these no-bake bars are made with almond flour, coconut, and dark chocolate — yum! Just be sure to use powdered coconut sugar.
I love when pantry staples come together to create a yummy snack. These filling energy bites are great to nosh on during busy days or when you’re on the run. Flaxseed and oatmeal are packed with fiber while coconut flakes and honey add a hint of sweetness. Skip the peanut butter and choose your favorite nut butter instead.
With just 7 ingredients, these cookies are healthy snacks you can feel good about and still satisfy your taste buds! They’re crunchy (yay, pecans!), sweet (chocolate chips and coconut flakes, yum!), and are finger-lickin’ good.
If you enjoy cereal bars but not what’s in the processed versions, you will love these bars. They’re oozing with clean, all-natural ingredients like cinnamon, honey, and blueberries. They make a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack. You’ll never turn to the packaged stuff again.
Fudgy, fruit, and … good for you? These brownies nail it. With just 100 calories and wholesome ingredients, you’ll feel guilt-free reaching for these when you want chocolate, no matter where you are!
When you need a portable breakfast, this is a tasty go-to option. Vitamin-rich sweet potatoes are a “nest” for eggs over easy or served omelet style. Add your favorite veggies and opt for beef or turkey bacon. Prep these the night before and reheat before running out the door.
Baked oatmeal fans (and soon-to-be fans), you’ll love this recipe! Oatmeal gets an on-the-go makeover in this easy recipe. You can make these plain or add your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, granola, or jam. This recipe also makes several servings — make these on a Sunday and have snacks for the rest of the week!
18. Power Balls
These easy-to-make power balls are excellent snacks during workouts, hikes, or other energy-zapping activities. With are mixture of protein-rich sunflower seeds, fiber-full flax meal, vitamin-rich wheat germ, and more, these balls will give you a dose of fuel without requiring processed ingredients.
Nut butter bars are popular for good reason: they’re full of protein, use few ingredients, and taste delicious! Whey protein powder will give you an extra boost of energy while bananas and honey add natural sweetness.
These 3-ingredient “sushi” rolls are fun for kids to make and turn plain bananas into a fun snack. Who said you can’t play with your food? Put these in a to-go container and to enjoy when you’re out and about.
You’ll want to ration out these crackers before tasting them because, as they say, once you pop, you can’t stop. These gluten-free crackers are made with almond flour for a light texture and while I love the suggested seasonings (especially the crushed red pepper flakes for a little heat!), you can totally customize these based on your family’s favorite flavors. Garlic would be great in these! Try them spread with hummus for extra protein and nutrients.
You won’t believe how simple these are to make! Tossing cashews with maple syrup, sea salt, and lime juice gives them a salty, zingy flavor you’ll love. Try adding in other nut favorites to vary the flavor.
23. Snackle Soldiers
This cross between a muffin and a cookie is easy to make and even easier to eat while on the go. Their sweetness comes naturally from maple syrup and there are lots of options to customize these to your taste —but I recommend the lemon zest for a unique taste!
When you want the convenience of an energy bar without all the suspicious ingredients, these are a wonderful option. They require just four ingredients (the cinnamon is optional, but I love it!) and you can either cut into bars or roll into balls. So simple but so tasty.
Who knew that sweet potatoes could make fruit leather so healthy and so good? The vitamin-packed veggies are the star of these healthy snacks. And with a handful of common ingredients like apples and cinnamon powder, they’re super easy to make, too.
Chickpeas get turn into crispy, crunchy portable snacks easily! I love how easy this recipe is. Coat chickpeas in your favorite seasonings, bake, and eat! These are great warm or at room temperature. Try it next time you’re considering popcorn.
This is traditionally a Christmas snack, but it’s so good, you’ll love it any time of year! They are a little more work, but with just 3 ingredients — egg whites, roasted almonds, and raw honey — they’ll come together quickly. Perfect for a mid-day snack or special treat!
Try one of these healthy snacks and let me know what you think!