Contrary to popular belief, snacking isn't a bad habit. If done properly, having a healthy snack in the middle of the day can help you make better food choices during meal times. That’s where 100-calorie snacks come in.
Of course, watching your calorie count isn’t the only thing you need to be mindful about. Paying attention to ingredients is key — wolfing down sugar-filled muffins or a whole packet of potato chips is far from healthy snacking, even if the calories are low.
But let's be honest here — your weight loss journey shouldn't force you into a diet of only baby carrots and celery sticks to munch on. To help address any FOMO issues, we're here with some 100-calorie snacks that taste great and won’t jeopardize your healthy eating goals.
Low-Calorie Snacks: Beware of Empty Calories
Before we present our list of low-calorie snacks, here's a public service announcement about empty calories.
Empty calories are the worst kind of calories — they're found in foods that bring a large amount of calories without doing much else for your body. No vitamins, no minerals, no fiber. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
And sugar is the biggest source of empty calories in most diets.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Americans consume 94 grams of sugar a day (about 358 calories). This is almost four times more than what the American Heart Association recommends. According to the AHA, men should have no more than 37.5 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar per day, while women should not exceed 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day.
This means that to enjoy a low-calorie snack in the middle of the day that’s truly good for you, it’s crucial to watch your sugar intake. This doesn't spell doom and gloom if you have a sweet tooth, however. It just means getting creative.
Must-Try 100-Calorie Snacks
There are a number of fruits and veggies out there with almost no calories that you can enjoy. But sometimes you want more than just an apple or cucumber slices.
On average, we need to eat about 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain weight, and 1,500 to 2,000 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. Opting for healthy 100-calorie snacks can keep the mid-afternoon hunger pangs at bay without creating any huge problems in your weight loss or overall health plan.
Here are some tasty 100-calorie snacks to consider adding to your weekly routine.
1. Baby Carrots With Hummus
Image: The Spruce Eats
Baby rabbit you may not be, but baby carrots are still a great savory snack option under 100 calories. The trick to jazzing up these veggies is hummus. Yes, that quintessential party dip made from chickpeas can add some zing to your snack. Not only that, pairing fiber-rich veggies with foods that are high in protein (which hummus is) will keep you feeling full for longer.
One medium carrot with two tablespoons of hummus from this recipe will bring you in at around 100 calories. Alternatively, you could get even more creative by making hummus from avocados or bell peppers.
2. Fruit With Peanut Butter
It's that fiber-protein combo again. The fiber from fruit paired with the protein from peanut butter will help with your hunger levels. Think half a small apple, half a banana, a few strawberries or blueberries, and a small tablespoon of peanut butter. Don't like peanuts? No problem. Go for almond butter instead. Either way, it’s bound to be among your favorite 100-calorie snacks.
3. Cottage Cheese and Honey
Drizzle some honey over half a cup of low-fat cottage cheese and you have yourself a thick, creamy, and high-protein snack under 100 calories. The honey adds a subtle sweetness and has antibacterial properties to boot.
4. Cucumber Rounds With Herbed Cream Cheese
Image: Foodie With Family
This refreshing, delicious, and simple snack takes just 10 minutes to make. Amp up your cream cheese by whipping it with chopped fresh dill, some garlic, and onion. You could even place a dollop of cream cheese or Greek yogurt in the middle of a cucumber slice and roll it up for a different presentation style.
5. Slow Churned Ice Cream
All the texture and taste of ice cream without the calories? What kind of sorcery is this? Slow churned magic, that's what.
Slow churned ice cream is made using a combination of milk, sweeteners, and natural flavoring. The production process helps it retain the thick, creamy texture of ice cream as you know it, but without any cream or thickening agents.
Since cream isn't the primary ingredient in this recipe, the calories and fat content is considerably less than traditional ice cream. Just be sure to use natural no-sugar and low-sugar sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia to minimize your sugar intake.
6. Avocado on Whole Wheat Toast
If you must have bread, go for the whole wheat or whole grain versions as they contain more fiber. Fiber is good for you for many reasons:
- It keeps your blood glucose levels from rising too fast, therefore avoiding a crash.
- It helps you feel — and stay — full faster.
- It cleans out your colon, reducing your risk for colon cancer.
- It keeps you regular, helping you to avoid constipation.
Thinly slice your bread to keep the calorie count low. Sprinkle a little paprika on the avocado and you'll have yourself a tasty little snack.
7. Cantaloupe-Veggie Smoothie
Just looking at this bright orange smoothie is enough to bring a smile to your face. But what will bring a smile to your gut is the fact that one serving of this smoothie contains 130% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 83% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
8. Mini Avocado & Hummus Quesadilla
Image: Cookin Canuck
Use a 3.5-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass and a sharp knife to cut out mini rounds from a sheet of whole wheat tortilla to make these cute little quesadilla snacks.
The recipe uses queso fresco, but cheddar cheese would work just as well. Each quesadilla only has 66 calories and is rich in healthy fats and protein, so feel free to dig in without guilt.
The Cereal School: A Creative 100-Calorie Snack
Luckily for you, we're all about getting creative and reimagining food here at The Cereal School.
Because we love our cereal — and we mean really, really love it — we didn't think all that crunchy goodness should be reserved only for mornings. And we're sure you'll agree that cereal makes the best snack. For starters, it’s just so convenient. And tasty.
So we knew we had to make one with all the flavor and none of the sugar. And we did. Three times over. In cocoa, fruity, and cinnamon bun flavors. All deliciously sweet. All superbly crunchy. All without sugar and just 100 calories per serving.
Yes, you read that right. At just 100 calories per serving, The Cereal School is the perfect snack. It's all sweetness without a single gram of sugar (thanks to monk fruit) and just one tiny carb per serving. It's also packed with 16 grams of protein, which will help you feel full — and stay full.
On top of that, our cereal is made from all-natural non-GMO ingredients, with no artificial colors, and is free of grains and gluten. Oh, and it’s delivered straight to your door in convenient little pouches. No wonder we’re a favorite of keto and low-carb lifestyles, diabetics, and anyone looking for healthy 100-calorie snacks. So go ahead and give us a try!