Ever grab a bag of chips thinking, "I'll just eat a few," and suddenly the bag is empty? I have. This happens more often than I care to admit after working from home for more than a year, and it turns out I'm not alone. In a recent survey of more than 2,000 people by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy, 67% of American adults who have been snacking during the pandemic are snacking at home more now than they normally would have prior to the COVID-19 pandemic starting. Whether you're craving potato chips or a candy bar to get through the workday, there are healthy snacks to buy that taste just as good (if not better) than some of your favorite junk foods.
Next time you need an afternoon pick-me-up, opt for one of these healthy packaged snacks made from wholesome ingredients. Instead of empty calories, most of these healthy snack options contain protein, fiber, vitamins, or other beneficial nutrients.
Chocolate-peanut butter cups are my all-time favorite candy. When trying to reduce (or eliminate, in my case) your refined sugar intake, these stevia-sweetened cups are a real treat. Bonus: each serving contains 4 grams of fiber and protein per serving.
If BBQ chips are a go-to for you, enjoy a handful of these veggie-based snacks. The onion ring-shape crunchy snack is made with red lentils for a plant-based protein boost and are baked instead of fried. I also highly recommend the sour cream and onion ($15, Amazon) flavor.
Warning: remove a single portion before diving into a can of these bold-flavor almonds to avoid eating all of them at once. Don't worry each serving is a generous 28 nuts, which is plenty of this antioxidant-rich healthy packaged snack to feel full until dinnertime. The spice on these is pretty mild in my opinion, but if you don't like heat go for a different flavor such as salt 'n vinegar or toasted coconut.
Here's a healthy snack to buy that both the kids and adults will enjoy. The little cookies are made with 100% whole grains and contain 5 grams of protein per serving. Honey is my personal favorite, but there are also chocolate and cinnamon flavors available solo or in a variety pack ($19, Amazon).
Want to get a serving of fruit in but not in the mood for biting into an apple? Enjoy these healthy packaged snacks instead! These nutritious gluten-free snacks are simply made with just two ingredients: apples and cinnamon. So you get the satisfaction of a crunchy-sweet chip without any sugar or oil.
Healthy junk food might seem like an oxymoron, but these crunchy snacks prove it's now a reality. I can easily down a mini bag of these cheese curls with less guilt thanks to peas as plant-based main ingredient. Each serving packs 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, and there are no artificial flavors or colors involved either.
Here's another healthy snack to buy perfect for keto or paleo dieters. Biltong is a centuries-old process of drying and preserving meat in South Africa. Rather than many beef jerky products that are dehydrated and processed in a sugary marinade, Stryve's low-carb, protein-packed snack is simply air-dried beef. And there's no sugar here, just vinegar, spices, and salt.
The sugar-filled varieties of cereal are some of my favorite late-night snacks, but they're not really healthy. Enter Magic Spoon to save the day. These cereals are low-carb, high-protein, gluten-free, grain-free, and sugar-free. So many "free-from" labels might make you skeptical, but I'm telling you these are definitely a delicious healthy alternative to the real thing.
Forget the bag of chocolate-coated candies and go for one of these healthy purchased snacks. SKINNYDIPPED is seriously creative when it comes to creating a healthy alternative to junk food, and these peanut butter and jelly or milk chocolate peanuts prove it. Each serving contains healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Popcorn is a great healthy snack to buy, but why go plain when you can get white cheddar?! Get your whole grains by enjoying a cup of this delicious savory snack that's only 50 calories per cup thanks to being air-popped rather than cooked in oil.
If reaching for candy bar in the afternoon puts you in your happy place, this is the healthy packaged snack for you. With fudge, crunchy almond, and peanut butter flavors available, each bite is seriously just like your favorite chocolate-filled candy. They're vegan, gluten-free, and organic, so they also tick all the boxes for every diet need.