Smart Snacking Advice + Easy Snack Recipes

Publish Date January 23, 2023
Author Elizabeth Calvelage (RDN, LD)

Whether you’re grabbing something between meetings, choosing something for the kids, packing for a road trip or recovering from a workout, snacks are part of the everyday routine. According to the 2020 Food & Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, nearly one-third of Americans snack at least once a day, and about a quarter of Americans snack multiple times a day. Let’s take a look at what's driving the urge to snack and find out how we can snack healthier. Then, we’ll go over some easy snack recipes the whole family will enjoy.

Why Do We Snack?

Research has found a number of motivations for snacking, including hunger, culture, distracted eating, boredom, indulgence and food insecurity. Still, snacking is beneficial to our overall health because it provides opportunities for nourishment, helps maintain energy levels and promotes recovery from exercise.

Snacking can also help curb your appetite and prevent overeating at the next meal.

When is the Best Time to Snack?

Hungry between meals? Grab a snack! Not only can snacking keep you feeling energized, but it’s also important for blood sugar balance. Choose foods with heart-healthy fats and dietary fiber for long-lasting energy and for help maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Another great time to snack is before or after a workout. A carbohydrate-dense pre-workout snack out can improve overall performance, while having something to eat following a workout can promote muscle recovery and replenish glycogen stores.

What are Healthy Snack Foods?

Depending on one’s schedule and lifestyle, snacking can make up a large portion of energy intake, so it’s important to identify what’s in a nutritious snack.

Determining a healthy snack is similar to putting together a balanced plate, but smaller. Snacks should include roughly 150-250 calories and 2-3 food groups. Try pairing together whole grains, fruits and/or vegetables and a lean protein for a well-balanced snack that’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Easy Snack Recipes

We’ve put together a few simple yet healthy snack recipes you can try at home. Ready in minutes, delicious and made with better-for-you ingredients, here are a few of our favorite easy snacks to make when hunger pangs hit:

Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks

Some days are busier than others and you may not have time to put together a well-balanced snack. For those days, reach for products that have adequate

carbohydrates and protein by themselves or when combined with something else. Here are some of our favorite zero-prep snacks you can grab while out and about or keep in your bag:

The Perfect Snack to Satisfy Your Cravings

What if you have a specific snack-related urge? No two people are alike – so it’s no surprise that we all have different snack cravings! If you’re looking for the perfect foods to fulfill your hankering for something sweet, salty, crunchy or spicy, we’ve got you covered with these pre-made recommendations:

Determining the right snacks can be challenging—especially when there are aisles of options. Let a Kroger Health Dietitian help you! We offer one-on-one video chats so you can get personalized nutrition education, healthy snacking advice and much more. Our dietitians’ product knowledge and nutrition background can help even the pickiest of individuals find a go-to snack. Schedule a Telenutrition appointment today and get access to an online dietitian from your phone, desktop or tablet.

When shopping, remember to look for the OptUP rating on eligible product pages to quickly compare similar products and choose the more nutritious option. For more healthy eating inspiration, browse our wide range of better-for-you recipes. Remember to check out our digital coupons and weekly ad for deals on everyday favorites and essentials.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.