…with bold flavors and exciting nutritional benefits

Is it just wishful thinking that snacks can be healthful, tasty and satisfying? Absolutely not!

A cup of grape tomatoes plus a stick of string cheese is a great option for pizza lovers. Got a sweet and salty craving? A green apple plus 10 lightly salted almonds will do the trick. And if you are a “crunchaholic,” try three celery stalks, each topped with a half tablespoon of peanut butter.

But if it’s true convenience that you’re looking for—something that requires no prep time, can be grabbed on your way out the door and even left in your bag for a day or two—you’ll need to look further.

A good solution: More and more companies are now introducing prepackaged creative snacking solutions that are packed with vitamins and minerals as well as satisfying combinations of protein and fiber.

If you’re watching your weight: Thoughtful snacking can help you bridge meals so you can get from lunch to dinner without becoming so ravenous that you go overboard when you get home. The snacks below have 100 to 200 calories per serving.

Best new healthful snack choices…

Ocean’s Halo Seaweed Chips. A single serving (26 chips) of this hearty, crunchy snack contains 200% of your daily iodine requirement (great for thyroid health)…and 130% of your daily requirement for vitamin B-12 (a nutrient commonly found in animal protein and often lacking in vegetarians and adults over the age of 50, whose bodies are less able to absorb it).

These chips are also relatively high in protein (6 g per serving) and fiber (4 g per serving), so they’ll keep you full far longer than potato chips. Bonus: They come in fun flavors such as Chili Lime and Korean BBQ.

Cost: $3.99/bag. Available at Safeway, Vons and Whole Foods Market. Or online at OceansHalo.com.

SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin SeedsSuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds. This delicious snack is a protein powerhouse—depending on the flavor, each one-quarter cup serving contains as much as 9 g (as much protein as you will find in a jumbo egg).

Unlike nuts, seeds are allergen-friendly, and each serving of pumpkin seeds provides 15% of your daily needs for both zinc (good for prostate health) and iron (a nutrient that boosts energy and promotes red blood cell production). Additionally, each serving has up to 2 g of fiber.

The mouth-watering flavors are also great to spice up meals: Curious Curry, for example, would be tasty in a veggie stir-fry…Maple Sugar & Sea Salt would liven up oatmeal…and Tomato Italiano could be sprinkled over a salad for a savory crunch. You could even substitute the latter for pine nuts in homemade pesto or grind them up and use them to coat chicken or fish.

Cost: $3.99 to $4.99/bag. Available at King Kullen, Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market. Or online at SuperSeedz.com.

i heart keen-wah Quinoa Clustersi heart keenwah Quinoa Clusters. These crunchy little squares are made with organic quinoa and nuts. They are a respectable option when it comes to protein and fiber—3 g and 2 g per serving respectively. And with sweet flavor options such as Chocolate Sea Salt and Peanut Ginger, they are a smarter way to satisfy a sugar craving than, say, a cookie. Still, they do contain a fair amount of sugar (about 7 g per serving), so be sure to portion each four-ounce bag into four separate servings.

Cost: $4.99/bag. Available at Safeway, The Fresh Market and Whole Foods Market. Or online at iheartkeenwah.com.

Pulled pork Epic Bar Epic Bars. Remember those hard-to-gnaw Slim Jim–style meat snacks sold at the gas station? Well, there’s now a more natural jerky option. Epic Bars are tender, protein-rich treats (11 g per bar) that are made with interesting cuts of meats (Bison Bacon Cranberry…Lamb Currant Mint…and Pulled Pork Pineapple) and are fairly low in sodium (about 220 mg per serving).

Because the animals are grass-fed, the meat is high in omega-3 fatty acids for cardiovascular health and conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid that may reduce body fat.

Cost: $2.69 to $2.99 each. Available at REI, Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market. Or online at BottomLineStore.com.

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