Healthy snacks
budget recipes

Budget-Friendly Snacks to Fuel Your Body

Trying to keep three little humans fed is hard work. As a mom of three, good snacks are a must!

And let’s be real – even adults need a good snack from time to time. 😉 (I’m a fan of apples and peanut butter myself!)

Unfortunately, the convenient snacks you get at the store can be pricey. Not to mention, these snack foods are usually extra processed with little nutritional value, plus extra sodium and added sugar.

So how can you find more nutrient dense snacks that don’t cost an arm and a leg?

With a little extra prep at home, you can put together some tasty snacks that are both healthy and inexpensive. Here are a few ideas!

At Home Snacks

Yogurt parfait-Fat free plain Greek yogurt
-Fresh/frozen fruit or unsweetened applesauce
-Spices of choice (cinnamon, ginger, etc.)
-Nuts or chia seeds
-Tasty breakfast or snack
-Plenty of protein (yogurt) & healthy fat (nuts & seeds) for good staying power
-No added sugar!
Veggies & hummus-Favorite veggies chopped up (broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery)
-Homemade hummus
(I like this budget-friendly tahini free hummus)
-Great option for any dietary restriction! (Gluten free, dairy free, etc.)
-Lots of good vitamins & fiber from the veggies
Cucumbers & tuna salad-Cucumbers
-Avocado (use in place of mayo)
-Light canned tuna
-Seasonings (salt, garlic powder, etc.)
-Great low carb snack
-Loaded with protein & healthy fats from the tuna & avocado
Ants on a log-Celery
-Nut butter of choice
-Raisins or dark chocolate chips
-Makes veggies more fun for kids!
-Great vitamins & fiber from the celery
-Nut butter keeps you full for longer

On the Go Snacks

It’s a little easier to come up with healthy snacks to eat at home, where you have access to a fridge. But what about healthy snacks to take on the go? Here are some ideas.

Roasted chickpeas-Chickpeas
-Olive oil
-Seasonings of choice
(Try this recipe from Love & Lemons)
-Satisfy your munchies!
-Plenty of fiber, iron, & protein
Roasted kale chips-Kale
-Olive oil
-Seasonings of choice
(Try this recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch)
-Great way to sneak in those veggies!
-Vitamins & fiber from the kale
Healthier granola bars-Oats
-Peanut butter
-Nuts & seeds
-Dried fruit or dark chocolate chips (optional)
(Try this recipe from Well Plated By Erin – though I recommend cutting the honey in half)
-Portable breakfast or snack
-Whole grains for energy & fiber
Protein muffins-Try these veggie-loaded chocolate protein muffins from The Natural Nurturer
-Or these peanut butter chickpea muffins from Ambitious Kitchen
-A healthy sweet treat or snack
-A little protein boost to go along with the whole grains

Finding Healthier Store-bought Snacks

While I’m a fan of preparing snacks myself, sometimes it just isn’t realistic. So sometimes you have to choose the next best thing. Here are some tips for finding healthier snacks at the store:

  • Buy big then bag up small. Most often, buying a larger size will cost less per ounce. So if you know your family will eat a large amount, buy a big bag of that trail mix or goldfish. (Did you know they make whole grain goldfish now?) Then use ziplocks or other containers to portion out the snacks. This will both promote healthy eating habits (portion control), and it will save you money.
  • Check the ingredients. Is sugar (or sucrose, corn syrup, glucose, rice syrup, or a zillion other hidden sugars) in the first five ingredients listed? Probably not the best thing to put in your body. (Ingredients are listed in the order of their weight, so the first ingredient is the most prominent.)
  • Look for snacks with few ingredients. Generally speaking, more processed food has a long list of ingredients, including all sorts of artificial additives. Look for ingredients you recognize and for snacks that have a short ingredient list.
  • Read the nutrition label. Snacks with more protein and fiber are going to keep your kiddos fuller for longer. Snacks with lots of added sugar, on the other hand, will leave you wrangling wild hooligans and hour later. (Check out this article from Harvard Health for a few good tips on reading the nutrition label.)
  • When in doubt, get fruit and veggies! If you don’t have time to prepare something fun, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a bag of baby carrots or a banana to bring along as a snack. It may not be the most glamorous, but fruits and veggies are always a good go-to!

Whatever you choose to do for snacks, know that you can find options that are good for your body – and it doesn’t have to be from a fancy health food store. By making homemade snacks, or even just sticking with fruits and veggies, you can have budge-friendly snacks on hand for whenever the munchies strike. 😉

What snack will you try this week? Let me know in the comments below!

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