10 Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Snacks (PHOTOS)

10 Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Snacks (PHOTOS)

healthier snack alternatives

When it comes to healthy, mindful eating, we’re completely on board. Filling, nutritious breakfast? Check. Balanced lunch and dinner? Check and check. That is, with the exception of snack time. Around 3 p.m. daily, a rumbling stomach reminds us that lunch was so long ago, and with the dinner hour far, far in the future (hunger makes us dramatic), we eagerly turn to a midday snack.

In the middle of this long stretch between meals, a hangry haze descends (that’s hungry + angry), and we no longer want that sad brown banana, packed this morning with virtuous intentions. No, instead we want all the chocolate.

To combat this afternoon snack attack, we’ve rounded up some healthier -- yet still completely delicious -- alternatives to our favorite afternoon snacks. Whether you crave cookies, chips, or chocolate, there’s something here to fight off your hanger.


Images clockwise from left via latejuly.com; walmart.com; candy.com; shop.justins.com; jet.com; boomchickapop.com

  • KIND Caramel Almond & Sea Salt


    Images via oldtimecandy.com and KIND

    With 240 calories, PayDay candy bars are a comparatively better caloric bargain than many of their chocolate counterparts. But for slightly fewer calories and much less sugar (5g per bar versus Payday’s 21 grams), the Caramel Almond & Sea Salt KIND bar will squash your candy craving. Packed with protein, fiber, and a host of vitamins, these bars will allow you to indulge in a salty, sweet, and totally tasty afternoon treat sans the subsequent sugar crash.

  • Late July Dude Ranch Multigrain Chips


    Images via walmart.com and latejuly.com

    Like Doritos Cool Ranch, Late July Dude Ranch Multigrain chips are also tangy and flavorful, but with the added bonus of whole grains in the form of brown rice, chia seeds, and quinoa, among others. They’re also organic and have no artificial colors or flavors.

  • Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut Butter + Pretzels Snack Pack


    Images via candy.com and shop.justins.com

    There’s no denying Nutella is delightful, but those commercials trying to pass it off as a breakfast food are dubious. Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter, however, is made with hazelnuts and almonds (they’re the first ingredients), as well as organic cocoa and vanilla. The snack pack comes with gluten-free pretzels and a reasonable (read: safe) portion of nut butter, which is good, because eating an entire jar of this addictive chocolate spread would be way too easy.

  • Angie's Boom Chicka Bites Sweet & Salty Nut


    Images via jet.com and boomchickapop.com

    Angie's Boom Chicka Bites Sweet & Salty Nut has the crunchy, dual flavor combination of caramel corn, but with the added bonus of ‘ancient grains’ - namely sorghum and amaranth, which are rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Heart-healthy cashews, almonds, and peanuts round out this robust snack.

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  • Woats Oatsnack Nuts About Berries


    Images via walmart.com and Woats

    With whole grain oats, roasted praline pecans, and dried cranberries, Woats are like oatmeal cookies you pour out and eat by the handful. Unlike packaged cookies, they have straightforward, all-natural ingredients and slightly fewer calories.

  • Popcorn Indiana FIT White Cheddar Chips


    Images via walmart.com and Popcorn Indiana

    Thin, crunchy Popcorn Indiana FIT White Cheddar Chips have a nice, textured surface area that delivers a ton of rich flavor for fewer calories and less fat (4 grams, compared with Smartfood’s 10 grams per serving). They’re also a great gluten-free, snack-time option.

  • Biena Honey Roasted Chickpeas


    Images via walgreens.com and Biena

    Swap in Biena Honey Roasted Chickpeas if peanuts are your go-to afternoon snack -- both offer crunch with a satisfying, salty-sweet combination, and both have plenty of protein to keep you running until dinner. The chickpeas, however, have 78 percent less fat than peanuts, which, by our calculations, means you can eat more.

  • Lundberg Sweet Dreams Rice Cakes


    Images via wegmans.com and Lundberg

    Substitute a rice cake for a butter cookie, you say? No, we’re not crazy -- when it comes to tackling the afternoon snack attack, these Sweet Dreams Rice Cakes do the job deliciously. Gluten free and made with organic ingredients, the chocolate-dipped rice cake is a sweet and satisfying option.

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  • Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips


    Images via walmart.com and Way Better Snacks

    Just like the Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Way Better Snacks Sweet Chili tortilla chips are super flavorful with a slightly spicy kick. The latter are made with chia, broccoli, radish, and flax seeds, sprouted for more easily absorbed nutrients, and are high in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. Dip them in hummus for an even more substantial snack.

  • Blue Diamond Bold Sriracha Flavored Almonds


    Images via Blue Diamond

    In moderation, almonds are a healthy snack with the superpower to fight our afternoon candy bar cravings. And while we know they’re high in protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E, sometimes we want a more snappy snack. Enter Blue Diamond Sriracha flavored almonds -- they’ve got all the same nutritional benefits, but with a bold, tangy flavor. They’re also available in single serving packs, which is helpful if you, too, have problems with portion control. (If you don’t, you will after tasting these.)

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