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Healthy Snack Alternatives

close up of woman's hands as she eats fresh fruit from a small food storage container

It’s easy to reach for chips or candy when the urge to snack hits. But with just a little bit of forethought at the grocery store, you can pick up healthy and delicious eats that will satisfy your hunger and provide some healthy nutrition with less fat and calories.

Regularly choosing foods that help you maintain a healthy weight can lower your risk of several cancers, including breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. American Cancer Society Managing Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, offers these easy-to-prepare ideas you and your family will love:

  • String cheese or cheese cubes and whole-grain crackers
  • Hummus and whole-wheat pita bread
  • Carrots, pepper strips, and celery sticks (sometimes with ranch dressing to dip)
  • Edamame (soy beans) and sweet cherry tomatoes
  • Whole fruit or fruit slices (dipped in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown)
  • Trail mix made with cereals, nuts, pretzels, dried fruit, or raisins
  • Individual serving-sized containers of low-fat, low-sugar yogurt (look for no more than 20 grams of sugar per 6 ounces)
  • Baked tortilla chips and salsa
  • Popcorn without added salt or butter
  • Single portion-sized cups of unsweetened apple sauce or fruit packed in its own juice, without added sugar
  • Celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter and sprinkled with raisins or other dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries)

Kale chips

Kale, an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, is quickly becoming an American staple. A member of the cabbage family, kale can be added to pastas, salads, stir-fries, soups, and stews. It can also be steamed, sautéed, or baked.

For a healthy, delicious snack, drizzle washed and dried kale leaves (stems removed) with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

In a hurry? Read our suggestions for quick healthy snacks you can pack for travel.