Even though people immediately assume you’re super healthy when you say you don’t eat animal products, you can always find junk food to snack on, be it dairy-free chocolate, accidentally vegan candy, or cheezy chips. And while it’s totally fine to treat yourself, staying healthy means always having nutritious options on hand, too.
The next time you reach for something to eat between meals, consider one of these plant-based snacks that are easy, delicious, and totally registered dietitian-approved.
1. Chia Pudding
Instead of going for processed pudding options at the store, Lauren McNeill, RD, MPH, owner of Tasting to Thrive, recommends making your own using chia seeds. “Chia pudding is one of the easiest snacks to whip up the night before a busy day,” she says. “It’s a great source of omega-3s, protein, and fiber, helping you stay fueled for longer.”
2. Oatmeal Energy Balls
Prepping a batch of oatmeal energy balls to eat when you’re hungry is a smart way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. “Energy balls are the perfect portable snack,” McNeill says. “Many energy ball recipes rely on dates, but you can also make them using a simple combination of oats, peanut butter, maple syrup, and some chocolate chips.”
3. Hummus with Crackers or Veggies
When it comes to dips, hummus will always be one of the best options for your health. “The best part about hummus is that it’s totally customizable,” McNeill says. “I love making homemade sun-dried tomato hummus because it’s much less expensive than what you’d buy at the store. With that being said, store-bought hummus can also be great when you’re in a pinch.”
4. Apples and Nut Butter
Apples are delicious year-round—especially when you eat them with your favorite nut butter. “It’s a classic! Pairing fruit with the protein and fat in nut butters will help you feel fueled for longer,” she says. It doesn’t matter whether you’re into peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. They’re all great picks for an easy afternoon pick-me-up.
5. Trail Mix
Store-bought trail mix is often jam-packed with sugar. When you make your own, it’s not only healthier, but also more delicious. “Making your own trail mix allows you to use all the ingredients you love, meaning you’ll likely reach for them more often,” McNeill says. “My favorite combination is walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened dried cranberries.”