One of the most common requests I get is for healthy snacks, especially travel-friendly. While I don’t recommend much snacking, if you have lunch at noon and dinner at 7pm, you’ll need a little something in between to keep blood sugar levels stable. We all grew up with the message that the vending machine housed our snacks, and we could just grab a “snack pack” of chips, candy, or pretzels. But now we know better: sugary and refined snack foods jack our blood sugar levels, causing an inevitable crash that leaves us tired and even hungrier. Junky snacks raise insulin, leading to increased fat storage and high triglyceride levels.
Enter the paleo snack: grain free and free from refined sugars to both give you a boost and enhance your health.
The key to a good snack is that it should contain protein + a little fat or carb for ideal satiety. While a piece of fruit or a handful of chopped veggies provides fiber and nutrients, it may not tide you over, and in sugar sensitive or hypoglycemic folks, fruit alone may contribute to blood sugar swings. The one exception is if you have trouble sleeping at night: If you routinely wake up around 2-3am, your adrenals may be fatigued and unable to keep your blood sugar stable at night, so a carb-based snack before bed can help. 1/2 a sweet potato with some coconut butter, or 1/2 banana with a little almond butter does a great job here.
Here are my top go-to snacks:
- beef or turkey jerky
- gelatin puddings
- canned wild salmon flaked into 1/2 avocado (mix with olive oil mayo if desired)
- hard boiled eggs
- tin of sardines or smoked oysters
- mug of bone broth with sea salt and curry powder
- Epic bar
- Apple or banana with portable almond butter
- Packet of Artisana superfood nut butters. Delicious and very portable!
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite real food, paleo snacks below, so you’ll have plenty of options. Many of these are travel-friendly.
17+ Paleo Snack Recipes (Grain & Dairy Free)
Savory Lotus also uses gelatin for pina colada gummy snacks. Kids love em !
Nut bars are easy and keep well. 99% of the protein bars at natural foods stores are filled with junk (but not Epic bars!). So, make your own: Lemon fruit & nut bars.
Homemade nut bars.
Coconut magic bars.
These spiced pumpkin seeds are very rich in zinc and also make a great portable snack and good alternative to nuts.
Kale chips are always popular, and for another alternative to potato chips, make your own vegetable chips. They are delicious and very rich in much-needed minerals.
On the sweeter tip, these little truffles combine both metabolism-boosting coconut and antioxidant rich cacao.
My maca root truffles are bomb, too. Great for an energy boost!
I always see recipes for fruit leather, but I don’t have a dehydrator. No worries! You can make fruit leather in the oven.
There you have it! Plenty of ideas for snacks to keep you away from the vending machine.
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. In addition to her coaching practice, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and kick nagging digestive issues for good. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.