The Optimal Snack Equation
Let’s face it: No nosh is perfect. But some come close. When choosing a snack, try to hit the nutritional targets below.

About 200 calories: This is enough to keep your metabolism humming, said Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian in Detroit.

At least 3 grams of fiber: Fiber is digested slowly and helps sustain your energy. It also absorbs water and expands in your stomach to keep you full.

At least 5 grams of protein: “Protein releases a hormone in the body that increases satiety,” said Elisa Zied, a registered dietitian in New York City.

No more than 12 grams of fat: This will help ensure that you don’t get more than 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, which is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recommendation.

Snacks for the Car
These quickie eats are easy to toss into a sandwich bag or fit nicely in a cup holder.

Sahale Snacks Tuscan Almonds With Parmesan + Herbs (¼ cup)
140 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 11g fat

Note: The name-brand snacks mentioned throughout are available at supermarkets and natural-food stores.

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Wasabi Edamame (¼ cup)
130 calories, 7g fiber, 14g protein, 5g fat

2 clementines and 7 walnut halves
163 calories, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 9g fat

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Cheddar Snack Mix (½ cup)
140 calories, 0g fiber, 3g protein, 5g fat

1 hard-cooked egg mashed with 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise plus a pinch of celery salt and 1 slice whole-wheat bread
163 calories, 2g fiber, 10g protein, 8g fat

Vitalicious VitaTops Deep Chocolate muffin top
100 calories, 9g fiber, 4g protein, 2g fat

Soy nuts (¼ cup) plus 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
190 calories, 6g fiber, 12g protein, 9g fat

3 cups popped popcorn with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan plus chili powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper
136 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, 4g fat

Yogi Granola Crisps Mountain Blueberry Flax (½ cup)
110 calories, 2g fiber, 3g protein, 3g fat

Kind Peanut Butter & Strawberry bar
190 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, 11g fat

Starbucks Grande Nonfat Caffe Latte
130 calories, 0g fiber, 13g protein, 0g fat

1 Kashi TLC Happy Trail Mix Soft-Baked Cookie
140 calories, 4g fiber, 2g protein, 5g fat

Grapes (½ cup) plus 1 stick light mozzarella string cheese
102 calories, 1g fiber, 7g protein, 3g fat


More from Real Simple:

How to Break Bad Eating Habits

Healthy Snacks for Common Cravings

The Best and Worst Appetizer Choices

Snacks for Your Desk
These keep well in a drawer or are quick to make in the office kitchen.

Emerald Breakfast On the Go Berry Blend (1.5-ounce bag)
180 calories, 3g fiber, 4g protein, 9g fat

Small bowl of Amy’s Organic Lentil Vegetable soup (1 cup)
160 calories, 8g fiber, 7g protein, 4g fat

Roasted chickpeas (¼ cup tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, cumin, and chili; roasted at 375º F for 35 to 40 minutes)
222 calories, 9g fiber, 10g protein, 8g fat

Bear Naked Peak Energy Cranberry Almond Trail Mix (¼ cup)
140 calories, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 7g fat

1 packet plain instant oatmeal (made with water) plus ½ cup blueberries
162 calories, 5g fiber, 5g protein, 3g fat

Half a cucumber, sliced, plus 3 tablespoons hummus
98 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 4g fat

Low-fat vanilla yogurt (½ cup) with 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin plus a pinch of pumpkin pie spice
114 calories, 1g fiber, 6g protein, 2g fat

1 Luna Chocolate Dipped Coconut bar
190 calories, 3g fiber, 9g protein, 7g fat

14 Wheat Thins Cinnamon Kick Crunch Stix with one 3.9-ounce cup Mott’s Healthy Harvest Granny Smith applesauce
180 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 4g fat

A 1.25-ounce package Beanitos Black Bean Chips plus a 3.5-ounce cup Chi Chi’s Mild Salsa
205 calories, 7g fiber, 6g protein, 8g fat

1 cup low-fat kefir and 1 peach
168 calories, 2g fiber, 12g protein, 2g fat

1 bag Figamajigs Original Bites (fig pieces coated with dark chocolate)
150 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 4g fat

Barbara’s Puffins Peanut Butter & Chocolate (¾ cup) with ½ cup nonfat milk
152 calories, 3g fiber, 6g protein, 1g fat

2 carrots (cut into sticks) with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
144 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein, 8g fat

Snacks for the Couch
Grab ’em when you have more prep time or want to sack out in front of the TV.

5 Triscuit crackers dipped in ½ cup cottage cheese sprinkled with garam masala
181 calories, 3g fiber, 16g protein, 4g fat

Pita pizza (1 small whole-wheat pita, 1 tablespoon marinara, 1 ounce part-skim mozzarella, oregano, and basil)
160 calories, 3g fiber, 10g protein, 6g fat

Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Tenders (4 ounces)
210 calories, 2g fiber, 20g protein, 10g fat

La Tortilla Factory High Fiber Low Carb tortilla (6.5-inch) wrapped with smoked salmon (1 ounce) and low-fat cream cheese (1 tablespoon)
113 calories, 7g fiber, 11g protein, 6g fat

Pineapple juice (¼ cup) with ¼ cup plain low-fat yogurt plus ¼ cup strawberries and ½ frozen banana (blended together)
137 calories, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 1g fat

2 sliced tomatoes with 1 ounce mozzarella plus 5 basil leaves and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
122 calories, 3g fiber, 9g protein, 5g fat

1 banana with 2 teaspoons almond butter plus 1 tablespoon toasted shredded coconut
200 calories, 5g fiber, 4g protein, 8g fat

1 slice pumpernickel toast with 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese plus 1 sliced radish
111 calories, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 3g fat

7 Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters
140 calories, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 7g fat

Half a package Annie Chun’s Sprouted Brown Rice Sushi Wraps with ¼ cup slivered vegetables
159 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 1g fat

1 cup blackberries with ¼ cup part-skim ricotta plus ½ teaspoon honey and grated lemon zest
158 calories, 8g fiber, 9g protein, 6g fat

1 Skinny Cow White Mint Truffle bar
100 calories, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 3g fat

1 Amy’s Tofu Scramble in a Pocket Sandwich
180 calories, 0g fiber, 11g protein, 6g fat

Cooked brown rice (½ cup) with ¼ cup vanilla soy milk plus 2 tablespoons raisins (warmed together in the microwave)
196 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein, 2g fat

2 figs with 2 slices prosciutto (cut in half)
144 calories, 3g fiber, 9g protein, 5g fat

For answers to some frequently asked questions about between-meal eating, see How to Snack Successfully.