The holidays mean gift-giving, get-togethers, and guests—you’ll never know who may drop by unexpectedly (hello, godkids!) so it’s best to keep your pantry stocked with pre-packaged holiday snacks. These ideas for holiday snacks will make it easy for you to prep an impressive spread and make you look like the holiday hostess with the mostest! Some are even healthier than the usual run-of-the-mill snacks so you give your guests the gift of good health.
1 Popcorn. This favorite movie-time treat can actually be healthy—as long as you don’t douse it in butter, caramel, or any of those artificial flavorings. Research from the University of Scranton has found that popcorn has loads of polyphenols, which are good-for-you antioxidants that an reduce inflammation, which in turn can help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. It’s high in fiber so it’s good for your gut and makes you feel full so it can keep you from overeating. And it even has more iron than spinach! Try Little Kernels Gluten-Free Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn, available at Healthy Options.
2 Cookies. Cookies are great for dunking in milk, coffee, or tea. Avoid the sugar bombs and try Cooper Street Cinnamon Choco Chop Cookies, which have just 45 calories and 3 grams of sugar a pop. Or try Audrey’s Almond Chia Cookies, which have nutrient-packed chia seeds in a crisp cookie package!
3 Pretzels. Pretzels are a familiar snack but they may not exactly be your idea of a healthy food. But From the Ground Up Gluten-Free Cauliflower Pretzel Twists are non-GMO pretzels that have the same nutrient content as actual vegetables! It’s a sneaky way to get kids to eat a serving of veggies.
You can also play up the Christmas feels with a Christmas-y flavor, like White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Crisps by Snack Factory. Feeling a little bit indulgent? Try the Dark Chocolate Pretzel Crisps.
4 Trail mix. Trail mix presents a number of different textures and flavors in one bite: crunchiness, softness, sweetness. Your coffee-loving friends will love the Coffee Shop trail mix by Creative Snacks Co., which contains roasted no-salt cashews, milk chocolate peanuts, dark chocolate espresso beans, almonds, and semi-sweet chocolate chunks.
5 Chips and dip. No one can stop at just one chip so why not make your snacking as healthy as possible? Choose a chip that’s made with more wholesome ingredients and that’s lower in sodium than most chips, such as The Better Chip Gluten-Free Kale & Chia Veggie Squares. Try serving it with a healthy dip like salsa or hummus.
6 Baked crisps. Ditch the fried and salty snacks and serve something unique like Wild California Pineapple Coconut Baked Crisps. Aside from having a pina colada-like blend of pineapple and coconut, these crisps are also made using nutrient-rich grape flour.
7 Dried fruits. Dried fruits may offer many health benefits, like improving your gut health with its fiber content. They also contain many of the nutrients that their whole, fresh counterparts contain. Just make sure you choose something that doesn’t have added sugars. One to try: Sunny Fruit Organic Mulberries, a gluten-free snack with no sugar added. Serve it with some nuts for a protein kick.
8 Chocolate. Dark chocolate has been touted for its health benefits, but it’s the holidays after all so you can live a little, and eat and serve it alongside milk chocolate and white chocolate. Try Little Secrets Dark Chocolate Gems. Love your wafer candy bars? Little Chocolate Milk Chocolate Sea Salt Crème Filled Crispy Wafers are a revelation—not only are they delicious but they’re also made with fair-trade chocolate!
9 Nuts. Protein-rich nuts may have a number of health benefits: They contain lots of nutrients and antioxidants, may help lower cholesterol, and may reduce the risk of heart attacks. Apart from offering health benefits, they’re deliciously crunchy! Try Almond Brothers Gluten-Free Lemon Almonds or Cocoa Almonds.
10 Crackers. A classic snack to serve guests, crackers come in so many flavors and can be served with a selection of cheeses and a bottle of wine—a lovely way to celebrate the holidays! 34 Degrees Sweet Lemon, Cracked Pepper or Sesame may be some good options. All products are available at Healthy Options this Christmas season.