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Healthy Snacks: Best Snack Awards

Shape staff sampled healthy nutritious snack food to recommend the best low calorie snacks to help you continue to make tasty healthy food choices.

With a seemingly endless supply of new cookies, bars, chips, crackers, and freezer treats arriving in grocery stores daily, how can you possibly sort through the entire snack pack to find healthy nutritious snack food that’s also tasty?

The answer: You don't have to. To spare you the arduous task of reading labels and sampling to create your own list of healthy snacks, the Shape staff nibbled, crunched, and spooned up hundreds of goodies. After tallying the results, we narrowed the field to our favorites in five craving categories:

  • Sweet low calorie snacks
  • Savory low calorie snacks
  • Creamy low calorie snacks
  • Crunchy low calorie snacks
  • Salty low calorie snacks

While flavor and snacking satisfaction were major priorities, we also held each of the winners to rigorous nutritional standards, listed below. So the next time you're feeling the urge to splurge, go right ahead. These 25 healthy food choices will not only tame your cravings, they'll also let you feel good about digging in.



In order to be considered Shape-worthy, the winning healthy food choices had to meet these nutritional criteria:
  • Have 200 calories or less per serving
  • Contain 0 grams of trans fat and be low in saturated fat
  • Have no more than 400 milligrams of sodium (we made an exception for the soup, as it could be a mini meal)
  • Offer nutritional extras, like portion-controlled packs, whole grains, or additional vitamins and minerals.

[header = List of healthy snacks: yummy low calorie snacks when it’s time to indulge.]


Healthy Nutritious Snack Food Choices: Sweet Snacks


Here you go! Shape has created a list of healthy snacks that can keep you on track with your healthy food choices – and they taste great, too.

Low Calorie Snacks, Award # 1: Pepperidge Farm Montieri Raspberry Tart Cookies

(120 Calories, 3g Fat for 2 Cookies)

Made with a layer of real fruit and a flaky pastry lattice top, "this cookie reminds me of a fresh-baked pie, in miniature!" one taster claimed. Plus, these healthy snacks contain no artificial flavors or preservatives, just like Grandma used to make. ($3 for a bag of 12)

Low Calorie Snacks, Award # 2: Quaker Chewy Dark Chocolate Cherry 90 Calorie Granola Bars

(90 Calories, 2g Fat per Bar)

Whole-grain oats and wheat make this bar a heart-smart choice but, as healthy snacks go, it was the combination of fruit and candy flavors that won over testers' taste buds. One said: "It's the next best thing to a chocolate-covered cherry." ($3 for a box of 10)

Low Calorie Snacks, Award # 3: Hostess 100 Calorie Packs Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

(100 Calories, 3g Fat for 3 Cakes)

You'll save a whopping 31 grams of sugar and 15 grams of fat by selecting these bitesize healthy treats over the coffeehouse version, but you'll still get that crumbly cinnamon-spiced top—not to mention 5 grams of fiber per three-pack. ($4 for 6 packs of 3)

Low Calorie Snacks, Award # 4: Starbucks Skinny Mocha

(90 Calories, 0g Fat for 12 oz.)

This espresso beverage has about half the calories of the original but still meets 30 percent of your daily calcium needs. "The flavor is like a creamy cross between coffee and hot cocoa," said one tester. "I'll definitely be drinking the iced version this summer!" ($3 for a tall cup)

Low Calorie Snacks, Award # 5: Reese's Peanut Butter Snacksters

(100 Calories, 4g Fat per Pack)

Need a serious hit of PB minus the J? This goodie grab bag filled with peanut butter chips, cereal puffs, and Reese's Pieces makes short work of cravings. One comment: "For peanut butter addicts like me, this mix totally hits the spot." ($3 for a box of 7)

[header = Healthy nutritious snack food: Shape recommends savory low calorie snacks.]


Healthy Nutritious Snack Food Choices: Savory Snacks


Check out this delightful list of savory healthy snacks! You can please your tastebuds without putting on the pounds.

Low Calorie Snacks Award # 1: Wholly Guacamole 100 Calorie Snack Packs

(100 Calories, 8g Fat per Pouch)

This Tex-Mex favorite delivers heart-healthy fats, folate, and vitamin B6. Guacamole can be tough to stop scooping, so testers were relieved to find it in portion-size packs. One said: "It's just the right amount to use as a dip for lowfat tortilla chips." ($4 for a box of 6)

Low Calorie Snacks Award # 2: Miss Vickie's Nine Grain Simply Salted Chips

(140 Calories, 7g Fat for 15 Chips)

Wholesome ingredients like steel-cut oats, buckwheat, and barley—plus extras like sunflower seeds and brown rice—give this chip hearty texture. One taster commented: "These are flavorful enough on their own; you hardly need any dip." ($2 for a 6 oz. bag)

Low Calorie Snacks Award # 3: Dr. Praeger's Sweet Potato Bites

(110 Calories, 3g Fat for 2 Pieces)

Lightly crispy and filled with pieces of tangy sweet potato, each round fulfills 10 percent of your daily vitamin A needs. "I love that they're bitesize, like a passed hors d'oeuvre," one taster said, "and quick to heat up and eat anytime." ($3 for a box of 12)

Low Calorie Snacks Award # 4: Progresso 40% Less Sodium Italian-Style Wedding Soup

(90 Calories, 2g Fat per Cup)

Seasoned meatballs, tubetti pasta, carrots, and spinach give this healthy snack a thick, chunky texture—and make it a truly satisfying snack. Not only didn't staffers miss the extra sodium, but one said, "I felt full for hours after eating it." ($2 for an 18.5 oz. can)

Low Calorie Snacks Award # 5: Morningstar Farms Ginger Teriyaki Veggie Cakes

(110 Calories, 2g Fat per Patty)

"These saved me when I had to work late and wanted something 'real' to eat," confided one tester. Each Asian-style patty, made with bok choy, edamame, and sticky rice, provides half the niacin you need daily. ($4 for a box of 4)

[header = List of healthy snacks: find cool, creamy, refreshing low calorie snacks here.]


Healthy Nutritious Snack Food Choices: Creamy Snacks


Delight in these smooth and refreshing low calorie snacks – guilt free!

Low Calorie Snacks # 1: Edy's Fruit Bars

(45 Calories, 1g Fat per Bar)

From the outside, they look like traditional ice pops, but the fruit-flavored shell hides a creamy center. "The raspberry flavor is a tasty spin on the original orange variety," shared one tester. Can't find the Edy's brand? Look for the bars sold under the Dreyer's label in some locations. ($6 for a box of 24)

Low Calorie Snacks # 2: Yoplait Fiber One Nonfat Strawberry Yogurt

Each half-cup container of these yummy healthy snacks delivers 5 grams of fiber—20 percent of what's recommended daily to help reduce your risk of heart disease. "It was a little sweeter than I expected," said one tester, "so it's perfect for mixing with cereal or fruit." ($3 for 6)

Low Calorie Snacks # 3: Sara Lee Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

(120 Calories, 7g Fat for 6 Bites)

No need to split a single piece of cheesecake with friends. This freezer treat lets you keep that crumbly crust and rich filling all to yourself. "Because they tasted so decadent, I only needed two to satisfy my creamy cravings," raved a taster. ($4 for a tub of 40)

Low Calorie Snacks # 4: Kraft LiveActive Natural Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

(80 Calories, 5g Fat per Stick)

These preportioned sticks are made with probiotic cultures, good bacteria that foster healthy digestion, making them a great choice for healthy snacks. "A sophisticated version of the original string variety—and just the right size for an anytime snack," said one tester. ($4 for a bag of 7)

Low Calorie Snacks # 5: Jell-O Singles Sugar Free Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

(80 Calories, 0g Fat per 4 oz.)

Nonperishable and tiny enough to toss in any bag, this treat made testers nostalgic. "One bite took me back to elementary school," one remarked. To whip up healthy snacks in seconds, stir a packet into half a cup of cold nonfat milk. ($2 for a box of 6)

[header = Healthy snacks: enjoy the satisfying crunch of these top low calorie snacks.]


More Healthy Nutritious Snack Food Choices: Crunchy Snacks


There’s nothing better than healthy snacks that provide bursts of flavor and a satisfying crunch. Here are the 6 best low fat choices.

Low Calorie Snacks # 1: Kellogg's All-Bran Strawberry

Low Calorie Snacks # 2: Drizzle Fiber Bar

(120 Calories, 3g Fat per Bar)

Sure, it contains 10 grams of fiber—40 percent of what you need daily—but bits of real fruit and an icing topper make these healthy snacks seem almost like dessert. One tester said she would "grab one when I'm craving a doughnut for breakfast." ($5 for a box of 6)

Low Calorie Snacks # 3: Quaker Caramel Drizzle Mini Delights

(90 Calories, 4g Fat per Bag)

Splashed with smoky caramel, these rice cakes taste nothing like the bland version from years ago. Testers deemed them "ideal for trips to the mall, where you might be tempted to grab something unhealthy from the food court." ($3 for a box of 6)

Low Calorie Snacks # 4: Pringles Baked Wheat Pizza Stix

(90 Calories, 4g Fat per bag)

Tasty things come in slim packages: Each pouch has a dozen crispy wheat sticks dusted with a blend of Italian seasonings. "You get that savory flavor of pizza sauce and just a hint of cheese without all the calories," remarked one taster. ($3 for a box of 10)

Low Calorie Snacks # 5: Kellogg's Wild Animal Crunch Cereal

(100 Calories, 1g Fat for ½ Cup)

The kid in you won't be able to resist the furry creatures featured on the boxes of these healthy snacks—or the chocolate—vanilla flavor of the wholegrain cereal inside. Your grown-up side will appreciate that each bowl provides 25 percent of 7 vitamins and minerals. ($3 for an 11 oz. box)

Low Calorie Snacks # 6: Utz Original Multigrain Sunflower Chips

(140 Calories, 6g Fat for 1 oz.)

These wavy crisps are made with flour from whole-grain corn, rice, and oats. And while they're 40 percent lower in fat than traditional chips, they still "taste just sinful enough to make you feel like you're treating yourself," said one tester. ($3 for a 10 oz. bag)

[header = Healthy nutritious snack food choices: choose these salty low calorie snacks.]


More Healthy Nutritious Snack Food Choices: Salty Snacks


Craving a delicious salty snack but wanting to make sure that you’re choosing healthy snacks? Check out these craving-busting choices.

Low Calorie Snacks # 1: TrueNorth 100% Natural Peanut Clusters

(170 Calories, 13g Fat for 6 Pieces)

Knowing when to stop noshing can be tough, but these cube-shaped healthy snacks make portion control easier. Each serving supplies a dose of magnesium and heart-friendly monounsaturated fats. "Great nutty flavor with just a hint of sweetness," said one staffer. ($3 for a 5.5 oz. bag)

Low Calorie Snacks # 2: Kashi Roasted Garlic & Thyme TLC Party Crackers

(130 Calories, 5g Fat for 4 Crackers)

Baked with a delectable blend of garlic, herbs, and sesame seeds, this sophisticated snack delivers 8 grams of whole grains per serving. "I'd top mine with a thin slice of Swiss or Monterey Jack for an extra kick of flavor," one taster remarked. ($3 for a box of 24)

Low Calorie Snacks # 3: Popcorn, Indiana Aged White Cheddar Kettlecorn

(160 Calories, 11g Fat for 2½ Cups)

Even after taste testing was finished, staffers kept asking for extra samples of this cheese popcorn. "For something so light, it's got an incredibly rich, full flavor," said one. "I was tempted to lick my fingers afterward!" ($2 for a 4 oz. bag)

Low Calorie Snacks # 4: Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs Mister Salty Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels

(100 Calories, 4g Fat per Bag)

Pop open a pack and you'll get a generous handful of pretzel rings. "These are the ultimate go-to snack for PMS cravings," said one tester. "They curb your desire for something sweet and salty in one shot." ($3 for a box of 6)

Low Calorie Snacks # 5: LesserEvil Classic SeaSalt Krinkle Sticks

(110 Calories, 3g Fat for 1.2 oz.)

Dusted with white pepper, garlic powder, and sea salt, these stick-shaped healthy snacks are baked—not fried—to make them ultra crispy. Said one tester: "You get the satisfying snap of a potato chip and the fun shape of a French fry without all the extra grease." ($3 for a 5 oz. bag)

When cravings hit, it’s key to replace high calorie, high fat snacks with healthier choices. Here is a list of healthy snacks that can help you do just that.


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