Snack Attack: 50 Snacks for 50 Calories or Less


Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, trying to maintain your weight, or attempting to help your children or yourself eat better, experts agree a few sensible snacks interspersed with smaller meals is a healthy way to consume daily calories. Smaller food portions throughout the day can speed up your metabolism and curb your hunger.

Nutrition specialist and NDSU professor, Julie Garden-Robinson talks about the benefits of snacking. “Snacks can fill nutrition gaps. Besides providing valuable nutrients, snacks can promote better concentration and can prevent eating too much during meals.”

Because childhood is a time of rapid growth, supplementing your children’s meals with healthy snacks is a way to boost nutritional deficiencies and keep them energized throughout the day. “Well-chosen snacks help fuel children’s growth. Most children cannot eat enough during the three typical meals per day to meet their nutrition needs. Healthful snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, and yogurt, provide nutrients that might be missing in the child’s overall diet,” says Garden-Robinson.

For adults trying to watch their weight, low-calorie snacks between meals alleviate hunger which can lead to overeating. Being hungry depletes your willpower, so sensible snacking will help you maintain your weight loss goals.

It’s important to snack only when you’re hungry and fight the urge to munch on food because you’re overwhelmed, stressed, or upset. Garden-Robinson reminds us that sometimes kids, like adults, might ask for a snack when they’re not really hungry—just bored. “Snacks, and food in general, should not be provided as an ‘activity’ or as a reward for good behavior. Parents and caregivers play a vital role in helping children learn to recognize when they are hungry and when they are full, and that awareness will serve them well throughout their lives.”

Here is a list of 50 snacks that contain 50 calories or less. Happy snacking!

1/2 cup skim milk

1/3 can sardines in water

1 medium tomato

1 small peach

2 broccoli spears

1 cup of tomato juice

1/2 cup blueberries

1 small plum

6 Tbsps. Frosted Cheerios

1 mini snack box raisins

2 medium carrots

1 cup strawberries

5 stalks celery

7 tiny pretzel twists

1/2 cup pitted cherries

1 serving sugar free Jell-O®

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup sugar snap peas

coffee with chocolate creamer

4 Tbsps. lowfat yogurt

1 medium cucumber

6 almonds

2 Hershey’s Hugs or Kisses

1 cup zucchini

5 maraschino cherries

10 plain M&Ms

1 cup green beans

1/2 grapefruit

1 piece pickled herring

1 small tangerine

2 marshmallows

1 medium kiwi

1/2 medium orange

1/2 cup grapefruit juice

10 green olives

5 whole grain crackers

1 cup watermelon

1/4 cup shelled edamame

1/4 cup lowfat cottage cheese

2 iced animal crackers

1 Popsicle ice pop

1/2 cup cantaloupe

3 bite-sized pitted prunes

1/2 medium banana

1/2 cup diced pineapple

1 cup of vegetable juice

1 rice cake

1 medium bell pepper

1/2 medium apple

1 cup white mushrooms

Kelly Lynch is the editor-in-chief of The Village Family Magazine. Send comments to her at



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