Snacks to Eat When You're Bored


Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Snacking happens. Sometimes, it even happens when you’re not necessarily hungry, just bored. It's important to be aware of how often you are snacking due to boredom and address the boredom if necessary. But, occasional snacking for reasons other than hunger is just fine.

Snacks to Eat When Bored

Be sure you choose snacks that sound good and appeal to your personal preferences. You might also consider snack that take time to eat. That way it can be a more mindful and satisfying experience. Here are six low-calorie, high-volume options for your next snack attack.

Cut Veggies and Salsa

Be your own hero, and keep a fridge full of cut veggies for easy healthy snacking. They're satisfying, crunchy, and super low in calories, and they deliver a whole lot of nutrients to your body. If you’re snacking because you’re bored, you might as well get something good out of it. Some great veggies to snack on are baby carrots, jicama sticks, and sugar snap peas.

Lightly steam the sugar snap peas, and then chill them. This takes away their slightly grassy flavor.) And salsa is low in calories and full of flavor. Keep it classic, or try a fun flavored variety, like peach salsa. Or go extra spicy—that'll slow down your eating.

Prefer your veggies french-fry style? You can learn how to make low-fat fries from fresh veggies.

Light Popcorn

Popcorn is the ultimate high-volume snack. Just stick with low-calorie picks and avoid adding butter, of course. Plenty of brands make reduced-calorie ready-to-eat snacks.

Check out Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop, Smartfood Delight, Cape Cod Popcorn, and Popcorn Indiana Fit Popcorn. Each of those has options with about 35 calories per cup or less. That means you can have around 3 cups for 100 calories. Sweet! If portion control is a problem, whip up your own 100-calorie snacks using sealable bags or containers.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit has a few things going for it: It’s healthy, it’s all-natural, and it’s delicious. Reach for a crunchy Fuji apple, a cup of green grapes, a bowl of sliced mango, a berry trifecta with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries…the list of good-for-you fruits is endless. Munching on fresh fruit is the way to go if you’re craving sweetness—you get that yummy natural flavor without any added sugar.

Seaweed Snacks

They’re green, they’re lean, and they’re perfect for when you feel like you need some crunch in your life! Seaweed snacks are light, crispy, and naturally salty—perfect for when you're craving potato chips. Bonus: You can have a huge portion of a small number of calories. Look for seaweed sheets, seaweed crumbles, even chips. Some of my top brand picks are SeaSnax, GimMe Organic, and Annie Chun’s.

Watch out for heavily fried snacks with added oil. Always flip the bag around, and check the nutritional panel for the calories and fat count. And don't forget to check the servings per container.

Freeze-Dried Fruit

Why reach for freeze-dried fruit when you could have the fresh stuff? The freeze-dried kind has a distinct crunchy texture that's perfect when you need a serious snack fix. Plus, you can keep packages of it on hand without worrying about spoilage.

If you're unfamiliar with freeze-dried fruit, here's the deal: It's basically dehydrated fruit that maintains its size; the moisture is removed, leaving you with a crispy treat. Unlike dried fruit, it isn't shriveled, so you get a nice big serving. Tip: Mix some freeze-dried fruit with light popcorn for a mega-snack mix.

Sugar-Free Candy

Sugar-free hard candy and lollipops are a little different from the rest of the snacks on this list in that they’re not high-volume—you don’t want to eat a lot of hard candies and lollipops. But the good news is that you don’t need to.

The beauty of hard candy is that it takes a long time to eat, so a little goes a long way. I’m a fan of classic 60-calorie Tootsie Pops. Mint-flavored treats are also good because they tend to curb cravings for other foods once you have that mint flavor in your mouth.

By Lisa Lillien
Lisa Lillien is a New York Times bestselling author and the creator of Hungry Girl, where she shares healthy recipes and realistic tips and tricks.