We’re all interested in managing our weight and being healthy, but let’s face it, even the healthiest of people still enjoy a few snacks here and there. So don’t worry! It is possible to indulge in snacks and still limit the amount of calories you’re consuming in a day. When looking for a healthy snack, most people want something under 100-calories.
To help, we’ve done all the necessary leg work to find these lean snacks. Not only are these snacks healthy and low calorie, they are delicious and many of them offer some really great health benefits!
Some of the listed snacks may not be appropriate for everyone and eating more than 1 or 2 of these snack options in a day can still cause you to gain weight. Speak with your dietitian to learn more on what is appropriate and not appropriate for you. Just because an option is less than 100 calories, doesn’t mean it is 0 calories.
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Protein Snacks Under 100 Calories
You need protein to rebuild strong muscles and keep you feeling fuller for longer. However, that doesn’t mean you need to reach for a calorie-dense burger dripping with saturated fat. Reach for a handful of the following to fuel you until mealtime instead:
You know that almonds make delicious milk, but they’re a delightful snack eaten roasted, too. They contain healthy fats and vitamin E to keep your skin glowing and soft. Some people make oil from these nuts to apply topically to the skin, but since the nutrients also bolster heart health, why not nosh on a handful?
Cashews, like other nuts, contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, including oleic and palmitoleic acids. These essential fatty acids are associated with lower “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL or “good” cholesterol. Cashews have a slightly sweet flavor and they pair well with a few berries.
Pepitas, more commonly referred to as pumpkin seeds, contain high levels of magnesium, a mineral that is associated with neurological health. Researchers note that people with major depressive disorder often have lower levels of this mineral in their blood. If you feel blue, or you want to stave off your dementia risk, reach for a handful of these as a snack.
Like pepitas, sunflower seeds also contain some magnesium. Additionally, they possess monounsaturated fats. If you eat them with the shell and spit, it can take a considerable time to consume 100 calories’ worth. This feature makes them the ideal snack if you tend to graze when you’re bored and need something to do with your hands.
Walnuts resemble the brain when you take them apart, and perhaps Mother Nature formed them this way intentionally. These nuts contain a powerhouse of magnesium as well as healthy fatty acids to protect your neurons. You can eat them alone or you can add a few slivers to a small shaker salad for crunch without many calories.
Veggie Snacks Under 100 Calories
You know you need to eat more vegetables to get your phytonutrients and feel your best. Even the little ones on your shopping list will enjoy these treats:
Celery and Peanut Butter
Who could forget this kindergarten favorite? Remember when we’d put raisins on it and call it ants on a log? Well, there’s no reason not to still enjoy this tasty snack! Considering the fact that celery is mostly water, it’s definitely low in calories. (It’s also got some pretty incredible health benefits!)
When it comes to peanut butter, yes it can be high in calories and fat, but there are many different natural varieties of peanut butter without palm oil added, as well as low sugar options. Always try to purchase the most natural kind available.
Carrot Sticks and Light Ranch Dip
Carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene, which forms the building blocks for vitamin A production in the body. Granted, if you have children, it can be a struggle to get them to eat raw veggies, that’s where the dipping sauce comes in. You’ll be guilt-free knowing that a light ranch dip is low in calories and makes this orange veggie a fun snack for any age.
Mini Cucumber Sandwiches
Cucumbers contain barely any calories, and they taste fantastic with only a bit of dill and perhaps a smear of cream cheese. Alternatively, you can place slices on miniature pieces of bread to make tiny sandwiches.
Crudités and Greek Yogurt Dip
Radishes only have 12-calories per serving and no fat, so they won’t pad your waistline. Pair them and other veggies like broccoli and cauliflower with a Greek yogurt dip. What’s so good about these veggies? Well, cruciferous vegetables release compounds called isothiocyanates when combined with the water in your body, and these substances may prevent tumor development and cause death in cancer cells.
Fruit Snacks Under 100 Calories
Sometimes you crave something sweet, not savory. While the following suggestions make terrific snacks, they also serve as impromptu desserts:
Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that protects against neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Not only are blueberries tasty, they’re heart healthy too! Blueberries are well known for their heart health benefits. To make this snack under 100 calories, eat about 1-cup per sitting.
A medium-sized apple contains only 95-calories but provides a ton of nutrients. Plus, the hard, fibrous nature of this fruit acts as a natural toothbrush to cleanse your mouth after a meal if you don’t have a sink and a brush handy.
Medium-sized oranges, likewise, ring in at less than 100-calories per serving. Plus, they’re rich in vitamin C, a critical nutrient for immune system function. To help boost immunity and survive right through until the tail end of flu season, you’d be wise to indulge in a juicy orange every now and again.
C’mon, you know you love to say the word — something about it makes pronouncing it fun. This tropical fruit is deliciously juicy and flavorful. Plus, mangoes also contain vitamins A and C, and they weigh in with relatively few calories.
Carb-Rich Snacks Under 100 Calories
Not all carbs are created equal — nor are they necessarily the enemy, despite some online diet advice. However, the type of carbohydrates you consume matters. When reaching for a quick energy boost, avoid types containing processed bleached flour and opt for whole grains like quinoa and oats.
A serving of two rice cakes only contains 70 little calories. That gives you ample space to add a delectable schmear of cream cheese or hummus.
Slice of Whole-Grain Toast
One slice of whole-grain toast weighs in at well under 100-calories — it’s the butter that packs on the pounds. If you want additional health benefits, opt for sprouted bread. The process that sprouted versions goes through breaks down the protein and carbohydrates in the grain, increasing the vitamin content you enjoy.
You need to read labels carefully when you select multigrain crackers, but a handful of the right type won’t destroy your diet. Look for varieties that are free of oils like palm oil to protect wildlife habitats. Try to find brands that contain ancient grains, like amaranth and quinoa, if you have a gluten sensitivity.
A Mini Quesadilla
Small corn tortillas have approximately 50-calories per serving. You can fry one in a pan south-of-the-border-style and top it with creamy cheese and a few jalapeños or other pepper slices to make a tiny quesadilla that’s just right for taming your appetite.
If you thought pretzels were off the menu due to their white flour content, think again. You can find gourmet whole-grain pretzels that benefit your digestive health. You can even locate sprouted varieties that provide all the crunch with added nutrients to boot.
Other Snacks Under 100 Calories
Are you a master of meal prep? If so, why not dedicate some of that Sunday afternoon kitchen time to making healthy snacks that you can grab and go? You can mix up the following varieties for fewer than 100 calories apiece. You won’t feel an ounce of guilt when your children beg for one of these as an after-school treat:
If you follow a vegetarian or a vegan lifestyle, you probably already added protein powder to your list of kitchen staples. If not, get used to using it in various dishes to increase your nutritional quotient and feel fuller for longer. This recipe uses nuts and dried fruits to create a scrumptious treat for only 100 tiny calories.
Commercially produced granola bars can contain a ton of added fats and sugar, which increases their caloric density. However, you can make multiple varieties at home that are much healthier. Find one that your entire family loves, and you’ll never need to worry about what kind of dessert to toss in your kid’s lunch box again.
Frozen Fruit Pops
Fruit juice can contain a ton of added sugar. However, summer is on the way. If you have a watermelon, you can make these popsicles that are only 26-calories apiece. That’s right — you could eat nearly four of these and still stay under 100.
Store-bought applesauce can possess a ton of calories because of the added sugar used in production. Why reach for a jar when you can make a sugar-free homemade version that you’ll be proud to serve your family? This recipe also makes a low-calorie substitute for butter when baking.
Finally, unsweetened almond or coconut milk contains only 30- to 40-calories per serving, and fruit only has a token few. You can add ice to bulk up your concoction without adding to your calorie intake. You’ll feel hydrated and well-nourished.