It happens: That midday (or midnight!) craving makes you reach for a quick snack that may end up skyrocketing your calorie count for the day. When your stomach rumbles, reach for one of these healthy 100-calorie snack options instead. Bonus: They're all easy to prepare, pack and travel with.
19 Easy 100-Calorie Snacks That Satisfy
1. Berries and Yogurt
A light treat with a boost of immune-strengthening antioxidants may be just what you need to satisfy your hunger. Simply combine 1/3 cup blueberries or raspberries with 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt (with no added sugar) for an anytime indulgence.
According to Nichole Lowe, a California-based health coach and founder of the Create Total Wellness health coaching clinics, Greek yogurt is loaded with probiotics, muscle-boosting protein (two times that of regular yogurt) and bone-building calcium. At just 95 calories, this snack can also help you lose weight and belly fat, says Lowe, when you substitute it for a higher-calorie nosh.
2. Tomato and Feta
One medium-sized tomato (approximately the size of a tennis ball) mixed with one tablespoon of feta cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar offers a nutritious snack under 100 calories.
According to Judy Nicassio, an Arizona-based nutritionist with Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics, tomatoes are loaded with vitamin C and lycopene, a phytochemical that may help reduce the risk of some cancers. Adding feta cheese to this snack provides quality protein.
3. Raw Veggies and Hummus
It's no secret that veggies offer nutritional value, but did you know that vegetables also provide a great source of dietary fiber and nutrients that support the immune system and help fight heart disease?
According to Lowe, 1 cup of raw veggies and 2 tablespoons of hummus provides the perfect combination of nutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fat) that keeps you feeling fuller longer. "Hummus has omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for maintaining a healthy heart," she adds.
4. Vegetable Broth
Drink up to help keep your appetite down. Sometimes it's hard to decipher between hunger and thirst. One cup of organic, homemade vegetable broth contains only 15 calories. You can pair that with a handful of baby carrots for added fiber.
A perfect snack as the weather starts to cool down, pack veggie broth in a thermos for work or make a batch to reheat at home throughout the day. A handy snack can prompt you to eat healthy, even when you're on the go.
5. Chips and Salsa
Add some spice to your snacking habits with a dose of chips and salsa. A serving of seven baked whole-grain pita chips with a quarter cup of chunky salsa keeps your snack to 100 calories, according to Nicassio. Enjoy a midday snack without the guilt of overindulging and consuming too many calories. Tomato-based salsa offers antioxidants from the tomato and spices, and the fiber-rich whole grain chips let you dip and chomp virtually guilt-free.
6. Veggie Soup
If you're not on veggie overload, why not snack on some natural nutrients from the garden? Whip up a batch of vegetable soup for a snack that is under 100 calories per cup. From carrots, tomatoes and green beans to peppers, broccoli, peas and potatoes, this nutritious meal or snack can help boost your energy and fill you up.
"It is an excellent nutritious snack and should be a staple in any health-conscious person's diet," says Lowe. "It's also a great way to ensure the family gets enough vegetables in their diet."
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs
When hunger strikes, a hard-boiled egg can satisfy your cravings. Hard-boiled eggs are an easy, convenient and healthy snack, according to Kim Hoban, a New York-based registered dietitian.
"Eggs are cheap, easy to cook and full of nutrition," Hoban says. "Eggs come in at about 75 calories each with the yolks and provide high-quality proteins, B vitamins and choline, making them a great food for our muscles, eyes and brains."
Pack one up to go or dive into this vitamin-packed treat at home for a low-calorie nibble.
8. Whole-Grain Bread and Almond Butter
Instead of reaching for a loaf of white bread, opt for a healthier snack. Whole grain bread can help with weight loss compared to refined breads because of the higher fiber content, says Lowe. Add half a teaspoon of almond butter to one slice of thin-sliced whole grain bread and you're under 100 calories.
According to Lowe, almond butter is high in protein and healthy fats. "Research suggests that nuts also may boost insulin sensitivity, which is an added bonus for people with diabetes or blood sugar issues," she says.
9. Dark Chocolate
Go ahead and indulge in some sweet chocolate for under 100 calories. Dark chocolate that contains about 70 percent or more cacao is a great way to crush your sugar cravings. When eaten in 2/3-ounce servings, it can be a very satisfying treat without the excess calories, says Lowe.
When your hunger is making you a bit nutty, reach for a healthy dose of protein. Although a bag of salty peanuts or cashews may be quick and easy, opt for 30 in-shell pistachios instead. Pistachios have fewer calories per nut, making them a great calorie-conscious snack, says Lowe.
In fact, pistachios also provide you with more potassium and vitamin K per serving than most other nuts and are a great source of vitamin B6, thiamine and phosphorus. Stock up on your vitamins when opting for this crunchy, filling, convenient snack.
11. Cucumber Slices
Cucumber can help your body eliminate toxins and stay hydrated, since the fruit is 95 percent water. Spruce up slices with creamy hummus, roasted garlic or roasted red pepper.
Combined with vegetables, herbs or hummus, cucumber slices offer a nice balance of healthy fat, protein and carbs, says Danielle Hart, a holistic nutrition consultant.
12. Bite-Sized Salmon
Last night's dinner can make for a healthy, bite-sized snack during the day. When you need some energy, protein can help fill you up and give you the boost you need to make it through a busy workday. Two ounces of baked or broiled wild salmon may just do the trick.
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce risk factors for heart disease and joint tenderness, says Lowe. As an added bonus, the protein will keep you feeling fuller longer.
Unfortunately, nuts often get a bad rap since most are typically high in calories. However, you can enjoy 12 whole almonds as a nutritious 85-calorie snack. Prepare in advance by portioning out daily snacks, lunches and nighttime meals.
"Almonds are high in vitamin E, protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats," says Lowe. "Research shows that people who consume nuts on a regular basis are less likely to become overweight than those who avoid them." Slim down and eat well when adding whole almonds to your daily diet.
14. Green, Leafy Vegetables
If variety in a snack is what you are craving, look no further. Fresh greens, in any variety, offer a great source of nutrients. Simply combine cooked spinach, kale, Swiss chard or collard greens together and add a bit of seasoning and vegetable broth for a dose of goodness at 90 calories. Add your choice of veggies, like onions, as well as light olive oil to spruce up the taste of this concoction.
Boost your energy with a fresh bag of greens or shredded kale salad while on-the-go or slurp up a mixture of greens with broth in a thermos during the day while at school or work. According to Lowe, these power greens are a great source of the vitamins, enzymes and nutrients needed to create optimal health.
It doesn't have to be movie night to break out the popcorn. As long as it's not drenched in butter and salt, popcorn can be a great low-calorie treat, according to Hoban. Opt for the mini 100-calorie microwaveable bags of popcorn or air pop for less than 50 calories per cup.
"Popcorn is low in calories and fat and high in fiber, making it an ideal snack," says Hoban. Spruce up this family favorite treat by adding your favorite spices and seasonings to a bowl of freshly popped popcorn.
16. Avocado With Balsamic Vinegar
For a snack with an appetizing kick, opt for 1/3 cup of an avocado drizzled with balsamic vinegar, all for under 100 calories. This delicious fruit is also a heart-friendly health food. According to Lowe, avocados are high in fiber and healthy fat, which will help moderate blood sugar and make you feel full longer.
Juicy, crunchy, fresh fruit is a low-calorie choice for the health-conscious nibbler, says Lowe. Fruits like pears and apples are high in fiber, which will make you feel full without elevating your blood sugar levels, she says. As a hypoallergenic (or low-allergy) fruit, a pear is the perfect choice for those with food sensitivities, and it's also packed with vitamin C.
18. Smoothies With a Twist
Create your own taste of paradise with a healthy green smoothie. Combine 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/4 of a small banana, 1/4 cup of spinach, 1/4 scoop of whey powder and ice for a daily boost of energy. Despite its rich green color, this smoothie is a sweet and creamy treat. It's great for post-workout, too.
The nutritional benefits include a host of nutrients, such as vitamins K, C and A, along with iron, magnesium, folate and manganese. The carbs and fiber from the banana and the protein from the whey powder help to keep this nutritious beverage balanced.
19. Sunflower Seeds
Just 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds are a heart-healthy snack that will help ease inflammation, keep you calm and strengthen your bones. Sunflower seeds, a convenient on-the-go treat, contain a good source of selenium, magnesium and copper to keep your bones strong and antioxidants to help reduce inflammation.
"Not just for baseball games, sunflower seeds make a great snack rich in vitamin E," says Peggy Kotsopoulos, author and registered holistic nutritionist. To keep this snack under 100 calories, portion out 2 tablespoons of seeds.