Do dietitians eat snacks? You bet they do. Nutrition professionals understand the value of healthy snacks and how they play a positive role in both promoting weight loss and controlling hunger. But you will be hard-pressed to find a dietitian who noshes on fried potato chips and regular soda every afternoon. Nutrient-dense foods that often some protein, fat, or fiber are the snacks of choice for feeling fueled and satisfied.
We asked 15 dietitian-nutritionists what they eat every day during snack time and the responses were a mixed bag of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and high-protein snacks. Read on to learn what the nutrition experts use to re-fuel when the 3 PM slump hits, and for more on how to eat healthy, you won’t want to miss these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
“One snack that I eat almost every day is carrots with peanut or almond butter. It’s a little sweet, salty, and crunchy. This snack is easy, convenient, and portable. My kids like it too!” — Jennifer Hunt, RDN, LD, a South Carolina-based registered dietitian
“Granny Smith Apples, specifically cut into thin slices, makes it more satisfying to snack on. They’re sweet yet tart and crisp making them the perfect snack!” — Julie Lichtman, RDN, LD, a Philadelphia-based registered dietitian
“A food I snack on daily is granola because it’s crunchy and satisfying, filing and offers a balanced mix of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. I love adding it to my oatmeal or yogurt for some crunch, or even eating a handful with a spoonful of peanut butter.” — Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RD, registered dietitian and owner of Bucket List Tummy.
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“As cliché as it may sound, I snack on roasted almonds almost every single day and have for a long time. Because I know they are the one snack that will actually give me some satisfaction because of the protein and fiber and they are easy to carry around.”— Carrie Gabriel MS, RDN, registered dietitian at Steps 2 Nutrition
“I am a creature of habit. Every day I have plain Greek yogurt and frozen cherries (I microwave them for about 30 seconds first). The cherries are so naturally sweet that I don’t have to add any sugar to the yogurt. I just mix the two together and it’s delicious! Nutrition-wise, this snack helps me to include a serving of fruit and dairy, and it’s good for my bones, heart, and brain.” — Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, co-author The Menopause Diet Plan.
“I love mini bags of kettle corn popcorn as a whole grain snack. Plus, some research shows that foods with complex texture (think crunchy or chewy foods, like popcorn) signal fullness before foods with less texture. That’s why you may feel more satisfied after eating/chewing something with crunch versus drinking something like a smoothie.” — Amanda Izquierdo, MPH, RD, LDN, a Chicago-based registered dietitian
“The snack that I enjoy every day is definitely lime chips and fresh made Guacamole. The combination of flavors is so satisfying and with the healthy fat and whole-grain carbohydrate, it makes for a satisfying snack that holds me over to the next meal! These are also items that are easy for people to whip together while they are working from home or looking to zap those slight hunger pangs!” — Christa Brown, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and owner of Christa Brown Dietitian LLC
“I eat baby carrots and bell peppers with hummus every afternoon. Raw vegetables offer a satisfying crunch, and the protein in the hummus helps keep me full between meals, and there are tons of different flavored hummus dips out there to mix it up and add some variety! My two year old looks forward to this snack when I pick him up from daycare every day!” —Brianna Baker, MS, RDN, LD, a Houston-based registered dietitian
“Hard-boiled with a little everything bagel seasoning or mashed with a little avocado, eggs are a daily part of my snacking life because they are so nutrient-dense! One large egg provides 6 grams of high-quality protein and is one of the most concentrated sources of choline in the US diet, a nutrient critical for brain development that 90% of Americans don’t get enough of! Eggs are the perfect tasty snack that my toddler and I can enjoy together with ease and convenience (i.e. minimal mess preparation and clean up!).” — Liz Shaw, MS, RD, LD, registered dietitian and author of Air Fryer For Dummies
“My go-to snack is a brown rice cake topped with mashed avocado and flaky sea salt. When I lose steam in the afternoons I’m tempted to eat sweets, but it always ends up making me feel sluggish, and still hungry! The fat from the avocado is so satisfying that it completely tides me over until dinner. I love the crunch of the rice cake, and I choose brown rice cakes for the fiber.” — Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, creator of Mama Knows Nutrition
“I snack on nuts almost every day. My favorites are Brazil nuts, because they are high in selenium, walnuts because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and pistachios because they are high in the carotenoids, important cancer-fighting compounds and also because I like the taste and crunch.” — Jean LaMantia, RD, registered dietitian
“I snack on peanut butter every day. It keeps me satisfied between meals and it’s so versatile. Sometimes I’ll put it on a rice cake, or in a smoothie, or sometimes I eat it alongside an apple.” — Theresa Gentile, MS, RDN, CDN, a Brooklyn-based registered dietitian
“I keep protein-rich plant-based yogurt in my fridge as a go-to snack, as it’s easy to eat, and a perfect amount of calories, protein, fat, and carbs for a nutritious pick-me-up.”— Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian
“They are easy to carry anywhere as your snack without worrying about refrigeration. With 95% water it is great for hydration, it is also low glycemic food, provides cardiovascular benefits and can aid with regular bowel movement.” — Tejal Pathak, MS, RD, CDCES, registered dietitian and owner of www.tejrd.com
“I snack on two kiwis before bedtime in the evening. They satisfy my sweet tooth, give me a boost of vitamin C, and may even help me sleep, as data suggests that eating two of these fruits before bed results in falling asleep 42% more quickly when compared with people who don’t enjoy these tasty treats at nighttime.” — Brittany Scanniello, RD, LD, a Colorado-based registered dietitian
That’s why kiwi is on our list of the 5 Absolute Best Foods to Eat For Better Sleep!