Teaching and eating healthy snacks don’t have to be mutually exclusive. If you find yourself going to the teachers’ lounge for a candy bar or bag of chips so you don’t get “hangry” before your next meal, here’s good news! Making healthier choices that don’t sacrifice taste is easier than ever.
Not only will the snacks and drinks we’ve listed here give you fuel for a busy school day, but you can also feel good consuming them.
Healthy Snacks for Teachers
This list is broken down into two sections: Classic healthy snacks and super snacks that provide that extra-special something, like probiotics, fiber, or protein.
Classic Healthy Snacks
Some of the best snacks are provided by nature! Fresh fruits and vegetables are always best (reusable food storage containers are a great way to transport your snacks and also stay environmentally conscious.) Dried fruit is nutritious, too, but eat less of it than you would fresh fruit. Dried fruit often contains higher concentrations of sugar and carbs.
- Apple slices (add a squeeze of lemon to prevent browning) or a medium banana
- Celery or carrot sticks (plain or with peanut butter or cream cheese for flavor and protein)
- Plain nuts like almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.
- Dried fruit or freeze-dried fruit (without added sugar)
- Hard-boiled eggs (add a sprinkle of salt, paprika, or everything bagel seasoning for flavor)
- Hummus and snap peas
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Super Snacks with Something Extra
These super snack suggestions are made from high-quality ingredients and leverage current nutritional research and technology. They include nutrition bonuses like:
- Probiotics (good bacteria for gut health)
- Adaptogens (plants – often mushrooms, and herbs – with possible health benefits)
- High-fiber, plant-based protein
Athletic Greens drink mix for gut health and recovery. One scoop is all you need to get the benefits of this comprehensive nutrition drink. Athletic Greens includes prebiotics, probiotics, and plant-based enzymes to support gut health; vitamins and minerals to support immunity; and superfoods, antioxidants, and adaptogens to support recovery. Mix it into your water bottle or add it to juice or milk.
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OLIPOP soda for fiber and gut health. Soda on a list of healthy snacks? Yes! OLIPOP is a great choice for a snack if you want something fizzy and fast, but don’t want all the sugar (or fake sugar) of big-name sodas. Each can contains OLIPOP’s unique blend of seven botanicals, plant fibers, and prebiotics, and has just 2-5 grams of sugar and 9 grams of fiber per serving. Choose from flavors including Vintage Cola, Ginger Lemonade, and Cherry Vanilla.
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Kind Energy Bars for a mid-day boost. Kind Energy Bars are made with Kind’s “5 super grain blend” of oats, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, and millet, and include 10 grams of protein and about 30 grams of carbohydrates (of which 10 grams are added sugars and 5 grams are dietary fiber) for energy.
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Thrive Market Dragon Fruit Chips for vitamins and antioxidants. Thrive Market labels these fruit chips a “superfood” because dragon fruit can help digestion, immunity, and heart health, and is also said to improve the appearance of skin and hair, too! These vegan, single-ingredient, gluten-free, salt-free, non-GMO, naturally sweet chips will satisfy your craving for something crunchy and are a great alternative to regular potato chips. (Note: You must be a member of Thrive Market to purchase. Teachers get a free membership!)
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Snacks for Teachers: What to Look For
What makes a snack healthy? Here’s what to look for (not necessarily all in one snack):
- High fiber or water content (or both!)
- Complex carbs (found in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables)
- Healthy fats (such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
Pro Tip: Pair a protein with a carbohydrate to maximize staying power. For example, eat your apple slices with a piece of string cheese.
Also, know what to avoid. These ingredients and additives don’t do anything to boost your health:
- Excessive added sugars (watch for stealth sugars, too, like high fructose corn syrup)
- Bad fats (especially trans fats)
- Excessive preservatives
- Synthetic food dyes
The best snacks for teachers don’t have to be complicated. Whole fruits and veggies, nuts and legumes, and whole grains are always a win. Healthy desk-friendly snacks with added benefits like probiotics or protein can help give you the fuel you need to keep on being your awesome self!