Snack Ideas_PicMonkey Collage

Snacks are an easy way to help athletes fuel their workouts and keep their bellies satisfied between workouts. When exercise volume and intensity increase, athletes are going to feel more hungry because they are burning more calories. Fueling the body during these peak training periods can seem like another job. Athletes need to plan ahead and be prepared to have snacks available and easily accessible to prevent not eating anything at all or buying an unhealthy option.

Depending on an athlete’s schedule between practice and work/classes, snacks can be as small as 100-200 calories to hold them over until a meal OR snacks can be as large as a 400-600 calories meal. Athletes may not have enough time for a sit down breakfast or lunch, which is why large snacks can be a great way to make sure these athletes are getting the energy and nutrients they need.

Satisfying snacks are going to be snacks containing the combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat (at least 2, if not all 3 food types). However, opt for low fiber and low fat snacks before workouts and during workouts to prevent gastrointestinal discomfort. Trial and error experiments are important to help athletes figure out what snacks won’t cause stomach cramping during workouts.


Various snacks in their approximated calorie ranges

100-150 calorie snacks:

  • Apple with 1-2 tsp of peanut butter
  • Low fat cheese (string cheese, babybel cheese) & small fruit
  • Large rice cake with 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • Whole wheat english muffin or 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1-2 tsp of peanut butter
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) of low-fat milk or chocolate milk
  • Granola/cereal bars (Nature Valley, Kashi, Chewy, Nutrigrain), Fig bars
  • 1/2 of a fruit & nut bar (Larabar, Kind bar, Rxbar)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or cottage cheese (with or without 1/4 cup of fruit)
  • 1 hard boiled egg & small fruit
  • 2 Tbsp of hummus with veggies or on a large rice cake
  • 3 pitted dates with 1 tsp of peanut butter each

200-250 calorie snacks:

  • Banana with 1 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • Fruit & nut bars (Larabar, Kind bars, Rxbars)
  • 1/3 cup of trail mix (often contain nuts/seeds, dried fruit, and sometimes chocolate chips) OR 12 almonds and 1 individual box of raisins
  • 1 cup of plain low-fat greek yogurt or cottage cheese with 1 cup fruit
  • 1 cup of cereal with skim milk
  • 1 cup of oatmeal made with milk + 1/2 cup fruit
  • 1.5-2 cups of cooked edamame in shell
  • 1/4 cup hummus with carrots/bell peppers/your choice of vegetable and/or pita chips/pretzels/rice cake/whole wheat toast

300-350 calorie snacks:

  • Tuna fish sandwich (1 can of tuna mix with 1-2 Tbsp of plain greek yogurt on 2 slices of whole wheat bread or 10-12 whole grain crackers)
  • 3 slices of lean deli meat on 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • PB&J  (1 Tbsp of PB, 1 Tbsp jelly/jam/honey) on 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat wrap with 1 Tbsp peanut butter + banana
  • Wheat bagel with 1 Tbsp PB
  • 1.5 cup (12 fl oz) of skim milk/chocolate milk + banana
  • 20 fl oz fruit and dairy smoothie
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt with 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 cup of oatmeal made with milk + 1 cup of fruit + 1/8 cup nuts
  • 4 oz grilled/baked chicken breast with 1/2 cup of brown rice (or half sweet potato) + 2 Tbsp of avocado


To avoid skipping meals/snacks or being frustrated by hunger pains, plan ahead by keeping nonperishable food items at home in a cabinet, at work in a drawer, at school or gym in a locker, and/or in your car. I always have a box of bars in my car because you never know when you are out and about, your stomach is screaming, and a bar will keep your stomach quiet until you get home! This happens to me at least 1x/wk and I am always thankful for being prepared!

  • Granola bars, fruit & nut bars
  • Cold cereal
  • Oatmeal (individual packets or a large jar to scoop from)
  • Tuna fish (canned or packets)
  • Whole grain crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, rice cakes
  • Low fat popcorn
  • Nuts/trail mix pre-portioned snack baggies or 100-200 calorie packets
  • Mini boxes of raisins
  • Banana chips
  • Fruit cups in 100% fruit juice
  • Applesauce cups
  • Peanut butter (individual packets or a jar to scoop from)
  • 100% fruit juice boxes


  • Peanut butter substitutes: almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter
  • Milk substitutes: soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk
  • Greek yogurt substitutes: regular yogurt, soy yogurt, almond yogurt, coconut yogurt
  • Gluten free bread options: rice cakes, corn tortillas, gluten free breads, homemade almond meal pancakes to use as bread.

Click to download your SATISFYING SNACKS HANDOUT

Favorite Snacks 


What is your favorite go to snack?


Thanks for reading!  😀

Your Dietitian,

The Nutriciser