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30 Healthy, Sweet Snacks to Satisfy a Craving (Plus, What Nutritionists Think About ’Em)

We love snacks. They break up the day, give us a treat to look forward to and keep us from feeling ravenous when the next meal is hours away. But we’ll admit that a handful of sour gummies isn’t the smartest choice when aiming for that last goal. We can’t quit the sugary stuff for good, but we can mix in a few healthy snacks that are as satisfying to our sweet tooth as they are to our hunger pangs. Here, 30 sweet snacks that fit the bill, plus some expert advice from nutritionists.

Meet the Experts

First, What Makes a for a Healthy Sweet Snack?

Obviously candy and cookies aren’t going to cut it, but what about the less obvious stuff, like yogurt or protein bars? We tapped two nutritionists—Melissa Buczek Kelly, MS, RD, CDN and Vanessa Rissetto, RD—for their take on what constitutes a healthy, sweet snack (because sometimes it’s hard to tell).

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Both Kelly and Rissetto stress that choosing a sweet snack requires thinking about more than just the sugar content and calories. “If there is a label and I’m trying to choose between sweet snacks,” Kelly explains, “I look to see what the fiber, protein and added sugar content are. Snacks may have naturally occurring sugars as well as added sugars. Be mindful of the added sugars.”

Likewise, Risetto recommends making sure the snack includes fiber, protein and some fat to hold you over. “I’m also looking for no more than 200 calories and no more than 10 grams of sugar,” she says, which can help keep you focused if weight loss is your goal.

Beyond that, Kelly recommends practicing mindfulness. “I first ask myself, ‘what type of sweet am I craving or looking forward to?’ It’s best to listen to your body and have what you are in the mood for off the bat versus consuming things you aren’t as into. Being more mindful and intuitive with all your food choices, meals and snacks sets us up with a healthier relationship with food overall,” she says.

What Sweet Snacks Do Nutritionists Recommend?

If you can hit that, ahem, sweet spot of fiber plus protein, you’ll set yourself up for success. Kelly recommends pairing apple slices, a small banana or a handful of strawberries with natural peanut butter. “I may also reach for a couple of squares of quality dark chocolate, or even a few dates sliced open and smeared with nut butter and a few chocolate chips or a drizzle of honey on top.”

Rissetto is a fan of plain yogurt with dark chocolate—“over 85 percent [cacao] has a good amount of fiber”—or a teaspoon of Nutella. “I love Trader Joe's mini ice cream cones as well,” she says. “The serving size is three, so you hit the calorie goal while having something seemingly decadent, like an ice cream.”

Want the TL;DR? You should aim for natural sugars over added and pair your sweet treat with fiber and protein for maximum impact. Here, 30 healthy sweet snacks we love.

Quiz: Tell Us About Yourself and We’ll Tell You What Midnight Snack You Should Make Tonight

30 Healthy, Sweet Snacks to Try

1. Yogurt with Fruit

Cookie and Kate

Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, and even more so if you go for the Greek stuff. Adding fruit toppings like sliced berries, chopped apples or cubed pineapple gives it a bump of fiber while also enhancing its sweetness.

Try it: Roasted Strawberry Rhubarb and Yogurt Parfaits

2. Bananas and Peanut Butter

tataks/Getty Images

We’re with Kelly on this one—this classic combination is one of our favorites when we’re itching for something sweet. Reach for natural PB to keep the added sugar to a minimum.

Buy it: Justin’s Peanut Butter

3. Dates and Nut Butter

vaaseenaa/Getty Images

Both dates and nut butter—whether it’s peanut, almond or otherwise—contain plant-based protein, so they’ll fill you up a bit between meals and quell your cravings for something sugary. (Psst: They taste kinda like a candy bar.)

Try It: Snickers-Stuffed Dates

4. Ants on a Log

Katherine Gillen

It was a lunchbox staple for good reason: It’s tasty and surprisingly nutritious, thanks to fiber and protein. One serving, complete with celery, peanut butter and raisins, clocks in at about 175 calories with 8 grams of sugar.

Try it: Ants on a Log

5. Homemade Granola Bars

Whole Food for Your Family

Instead of buying a box of bars with a bunch of extra ingredients you don’t need in them, try making your own at home. You can customize the flavors to your heart’s desire and add as much or as little sweetener as you like. Chocolate chips are a must, if you ask us…but nuts and dried fruit add extra fat, fiber and protein.

Try it: Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

6. A Fruit Smoothie

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

The key to a smoothie won’t leave you hungry an hour later is to pack it with plenty of protein, fat and fiber. For this, we prefer yogurt, nut butters and oats over protein powders, which often contain added sweeteners.

Try it: Green Smoothie with Avocado and Apple

7. Frozen Chocolate-Covered Bananas

Detoxinista

A creamy banana coated in a snappy dark chocolate shell? It’s like an ice cream bar, but better, since there’s way less added sugar and more fiber.

Try it: Chocolate Covered Bananas

8. Apples and Nut Butter

Jamie Grill/Getty Images

It’s an oldie but a goodie. Apples contain plenty of fiber (about 5 grams in one medium apple, per the USDA), and nut butter is rich in filling fat and protein. Combine the two and you have healthy, sweet snack magic.

Buy it: Barney Almond Butter

9. Protein Balls

Pinch of Yum

As it turns out, you can do a lot with some oats and peanut butter. These protein bites contain chia seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes for fiber, with chocolate chips and a touch of honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Try it: Cookie Dough Energy Bites

10. Yogurt Bark

Feel Good Foodie

Yogurt bark has all the benefits of a regular ol’ cup of yogurt, but in a fun-to-eat format that’s almost like ice cream. Spread a layer onto parchment paper, then top it with fresh fruit and freeze until hard. Voilà, the easiest sweet snack ever.

Try it: Frozen Yogurt Bark

11. Almonds and Dark Chocolate

Professor25/Getty Images

As Kelly recommended, a few squares of quality dark chocolate are a great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet, since dark chocolate is lower in sugar than milk varieties. Paired with a handful of almonds, you have a fiber-rich snack for the books.

Buy it: Green & Black’s Organic 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate

12. Popcorn and Chocolate Chips

undefined undefined/Getty Images

Crisp and salty, popcorn is naturally light (a whopping three-cup serving clocks in at about 100 calories) yet high in fiber, so go ahead and nosh. For a sweet twist, toss your bowl with a tablespoon or two of chocolate chips. (We also like a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.)

Buy it: Angie’s Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn

13. “Nice” Cream

Julia Gartland/Dada Eats

Instead of making those overripe bananas into bread, toss a few in the freezer and whip them into “nice” cream with a tablespoon or two of protein-rich nut butter. The toppings aren’t strictly necessary, but a handful of nuts or granola adds texture and fiber.

Try it: Morning Soft Serve

14. Pineapple Coconut Whip

Ren Fuller/Downshiftology

If you’re more about Dole Whip than bananas, try making a version in your own kitchen with coconut cream and pineapple. It contains just 7 grams of sugar while satisfying your cravings (plus, it’s dairy free).

Try it: Pineapple Coconut Whip

15. Yogurt Ice Pops

Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

If eating yogurt with a spoon puts you to sleep, try freezing it with fruit into homemade ice pops. Even with added brown sugar, these pops clock in at 15 grams of sugar per serving, and if your fruit is already sweet, you can leave it out.

Try it: Peaches-and-Cream Ice Pops

16. Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Rune Alnervik/EyeEm/Getty Images

Cottage cheese gets a bad rap for being diet food, but it’s so high in protein, we can’t help but love it. Couple it with sliced fruit to transform it into a sweet snack worthy of your healthy eating plan.

Buy it: Good Culture Cottage Cheese

17. Sorbet

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

We’ll save ice cream for special occasions, but sorbet gets the weekday snack seal of approval since it’s lower in calories. Even better, if you make it at home, you can control the amount of sugar that goes in (and you don’t even need an ice cream maker).

Try it: One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet

18. Freeze-Dried Fruit

Fabian Salamanca/Getty Images

While traditional dried fruit can sneak in a lot of extra sugar, with freeze-dried fruit, what you see is what you get. It’s crisp and tart with concentrated fruit flavor and plenty of fiber. (Plus, the serving size is usually pretty big, so it feels like a real indulgence.)

Buy it: Freeze-Dried Strawberries

19. Frozen Berries

brozova/Getty Images

You could just grab a handful of berries out of the fridge…but freezing transforms their texture into something craveable. It’ll never be the same as popping cookie dough bites with abandon, but it’s the next best thing.

20. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Henry Hargreaves/Avocaderia

Rich, creamy and intensely chocolaty, this treat is also plant-based, rich in healthy fat and low in sugar. And because we know you’re wondering: It doesn’t taste anything like avocado.

Try it: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

21. Cereal with Milk

Abel Halasz/EyeEm/Getty Images

As long as you skip the sugar cereal and opt for something high in fiber, cereal can make a smart snack when you’re looking for something sweet. Pair it with milk to increase the fat and protein content.

Buy it: Post Grape-Nuts

22. Oatmeal with Fruit

Downshiftology

Nope, your porridge isn’t just for the morning hours. Opt for plain oats instead of the pre-packaged, instant kind, and add your own fruit for a healthy sweet snack that’s low in sugar and high in filling fiber.

Try it: Oatmeal with Healthy Toppings

23. Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

When baked instead of fried, sweet potato fries make for a snack that’s the ideal balance of sweet and salty. One serving is about 120 calories with 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of naturally occurring sugars, so you’ll even have room for a little ketchup.

Try it: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

24. Watermelon-Feta Skewers

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Sweet-and-savory snackers will appreciate the flavors of these fruity skewers, which contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Feta adds protein and fat in addition to a briny note. For the sweetest treat, seek out a ripe watermelon at the store.

Try it: Grilled Watermelon-Feta Skewers

25. Homemade Nut Butter Cups

David Frenkiel/Quick and Slow

Skip the candy aisle and make your own chocolate nut butter cups at home, with dark chocolate and a filling of your choice. Almond and peanut butter are delish, sure, but tahini is an unexpected option that can be sweetened with the tiniest bit of maple syrup.

Try it: Swirled Tahini Cups

26. Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Julia Gartland/Dada Eats

Oh hey, chocolaty, moist dessert of our dreams. By swapping the usual oil and butter with ripe avocado, you can add fiber and healthy fat to your brownies without them tasting green. These are sweetened with coconut sugar (which is less refined than granulated and adds fiber) and peanut butter.

Try it: Chocolate Avocado Brownies

27. Sweet Potato Brownies with Date Caramel Frosting

Rawsome Superfoods

Speaking of brownies, have you ever tried making them with sweet potatoes? They’ll still have all their fudgy decadence, but with only 150 calories and 8 grams of super per serving. Not to mention, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

Try it: Sweet Potato Brownies with Date Caramel Frosting

28. Overnight Oats

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

We love overnight oats because they have all the benefits of regular oatmeal (filling fiber and complex carbs), plus you can make them ahead. Add cocoa powder and sliced fruit to make them sweet without a ton of added sugar.

Try it: Overnight Oats with Chocolate and Strawberry

29. Cashew Cookie Dough

Jerrelle Guy/Black Girl Baking

Cookie dough that counts as a healthy sweet snack? It sounds to good to be true…until you try making it with puréed cashews. They make the raw-dough treat creamy and scoopable. Reduce the sugar to ¼ cup or less to make it even healthier.

Try it: Macadamia, Brown Butter and Cashew Cookie Dough

30. Smoothie Bowl

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Spoonable and refreshing, a smoothie bowl can be a smart choice as long as you ditch added sugar in place of naturally sweet fruit. Hot tip: Go for the ripe, in-season stuff for maximum flavor and sweetness.

Try it: Triple-Berry Smoothie Bowl

33 Easy Snacks to Make at Home (That Aren’t Cheese and Crackers for the Millionth Time)